Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a perennial plant with no stem, very common in prairies and pastures.
Native to Europe, dandelion is widely distributed in the warmer temperate areas of the Northern hemisphere, and it is renowned for its many health properties and therapeutic benefits.
Dandelion and its health benefits
- Raw dandelion has high levels of vitamin A, vitamins, B6 and B9 and vitamin C, which makes it a plant that reinforces our immune system, helps our body fight off bacteria and toxins, might help reduce risks of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, reinforces our skin, tissues and bones.
- A source of iron and potassium, dandelion acts on regulating the nervous system and our muscle functions. It helps fight exhaustion.
- With high polyphenols content (it is the vegetable that contains most), dandelion is an excellent antioxidant, an ally in the fight against body ageing.
- With anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties, dandelion helps eliminate toxins accumulated due to food, infection and the surrounding environment. It also helps treat arterial hypertension.
- An excellent natural purgative, this plant regulates digestive tract functions. Dandelion works wonders for difficult digestion and constipation disorders. It also helps fight excess cholesterol.
- Dandelion stimulates the gall bladder and acts on the liver. It is recommended when treating liver deficiency, painful hepatic attack and icterus.
- A invigorating agent that “cleanses” the liver and blood, dandelion juice is sometimes recommended raw to boost the body, drinking several cups a day for a week.
- Activity against rheumatism and arthritis has been attributed to it.
- Dandelion is also recommended in treatments against dermatitis, psoriasis and other cutaneous disorders. Dandelion root decoction cleans impurities from the skin and helps the face to recover its glow.
Growing dandelion for its health benefits
- Dandelion grows easily everywhere, but it particularly likes direct sun and rich and cool soil. It fares well in thick, heavy, compact clay soil.
- If you don’t plan on consuming dandelion very often, simply collect those that grow naturally in your garden or in fields, checking first that they aren’t treated with pesticides.
Cooking dandelion for its health benefits
Feel free to try pairing dandelion with eggs and bacon for a balanced and delicious mixed salad.
Dandelion nutritional content
Dandelion provides on average 50 kcal / 3.5 oz (100 g). With high levels of vitamins and minerals, it is invigorating, diuretic and purgative.
- Gardening: how to grow dandelion