Dandelion herb, botanical name Traxacum officinale, has a long history of use both in medicine and in food. It grows as a weed throughout the world, and its leaves are used in salads. Medicinally both the leaf and the root are used, but there is a difference in their constituents and therefore their uses.
Leaves are used for dandelion tea and the dandelion root powder is used for dandelion coffee. Dandelion is a rich source of minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, selenium, calcium, boron and silicon. It also contains vitamins and fibre making the leaves very nutritious. The leaf also has a greater diuretic effect than the roots. The root has laxative, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions.
Dandelion root has bitter constituents that increase bile production and therefore increase digestion and breaking down of fats. It also assists the liver increasing its detoxification action. Dandelion extract has a long history of use as a liver tonic, for loss of appetite and dyspepsia. The root may help improve gut health by stimulating bifidobacteria, and it may also help in diabetes, hives, urticaria and eczema.
Considered a safe, non-toxic herb but it may cause allergy in people allergic to daisies.
You can buy dandelion supplements at Mr Vitamins.
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