Dandelions are a family of flowering plants growing in many parts of the world that may be familiar to you since they are a common sight, and never seems to leave your lawn or garden. In fact, they are often considered a pesky weed in Canada and the U.S. while European and Asian nations have greatly benefited for years from the incredible nutritional value that this weed contains (1). Dandelion, belonging to genus Taraxacum, is a flower and is a broad term for many types of flowers that are native to Europe and North America (2). This dandelion or “lion’s tooth” in French, is herbaceous and perennial that grows very well in temperate climates and reproduce quickly and effectively, so it is possible to cultivate plenty of dandelions at the same time (3).
What is Dandelion Good For?
Dandelion is used as diuretic and tonic. The diuretic properties of dandelion are well-known. It improves the appetite and will stimulate the stomach, liver and gallbladder, a stimulant to the immune system and is used to treat kidney and liver disorders (4). It can also be used for the skin. Externally, dandelion is used to treat skin disorders, including eczema (5). Additionally, dandelions are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and it even has antioxidants. One cup of raw dandelion greens contains 112% of your daily required intake of vitamin A and 535% of vitamin K (6). Dandelion is rich in calcium and vitamin K that are essential for the growth and strength of bones (7). With its antioxidant properties, like vitamin C and luteolin, it helps protect the bones from age-related disorders like osteoporosis and arthritis (8).
To many of us, a field of dandelions could bring about memories in the younger years when a stretch of field is covered with thick dandelions where you can relax or play for a while. While this plant is considered to be common in sight, its health benefits are more than you can even imagine. Its benefits would include relief from liver disorders, diabetes, urinary disorders, jaundice, and even anemia (9). It helps in maintaining bone health, skin care, and weight loss. Moreover, dandelion is also known to aid in improving appetite, reducing muscle pain, stomach disorders, and it helps treat bruises as well (10). One of the many benefits of dandelion is for liver detox.
The liver is a very important organ in our body. It is located in the upper right-hand portion of the abdominal cavity, beneath the diaphragm, and on top of the stomach, right kidney, and intestines. Its job is to regulate most chemical levels in the blood and excrete a product called bile that helps carry away waste products from the liver (11). All the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver where blood is being processed and breaks down, balances, and creates the nutrients and also metabolizes drugs into forms that are easier to use for the rest of the body (12). The liver is a workhorse that acts as your body’s primary filtration system—it converts toxins into waste products, cleanses your blood, metabolizes nutrients and medications, and produces proteins (13). And while a healthy liver naturally cleanses itself, it may not necessarily be functioning optimally if it’s constantly faced with dietary and environmental toxins (14). Liver detoxification is a remedy to keep it healthy and running.
Dandelion For Liver Health
To get the most of this plant’s benefit for liver detox, consuming it in a form of tea could be a best option. The root is the part that helps cleanse the liver. Its root’s compounds cause an increase in bile production, which, in turn, improves digestion. The increased bile production also helps the liver to digest foods and removes toxins quickly and efficiently cleaning the liver (15). Dandelion root can be processed as a tea that helps deep liver cleanse. These antioxidants eliminate free radicals and toxic intermediates like peroxides that otherwise interfere with the production of digestive enzymes by your liver. Due to high levels of cholesterol and lipids in the blood, non-alcoholics are also prone to liver damage. Drinking dandelion tea can reduce inflammation in the hepatocytes (16). Dandelion tea is then considered a “liver tonic,” because it is responsible to detoxify the liver and improve the flow of bile (17). The water-soluble polysaccharides from dandelion root may help protect the liver from hepatic injury, according to recent study (18). Also, dandelion tea helps improve the health of your kidneys and reduces your risk of developing gallstones by flushing out toxins, salt and excess water through increased urine production (19).
Moreover, Andrew Chevallier in his book, “Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine”, explains that dandelion helps to detoxify the liver and promote increased bile production (20). Dandelion, folk medicine of many countries, as a liver tonic, stimulates a sluggish or congested liver. Its roots provide a mild laxative effect used to improve digestion and relieve stomach upsets like flatulence, constipation and fullness (21). Also, dandelion root relieves headaches and treats skin disorders, boils and other ailments related to liver dysfunction (22). On this note, dandelion is believed to be important for the removal of toxins deposited in the liver from pharmaceutical drugs (23). Other studies show that dandelion contains diuretics and liver-detoxifying properties and a new research is looking into dandelion root’s possible cancer-killing properties as well (24). In a small laboratory study in mice, hot water dandelion root extract reduced alcohol-related liver damage in mice (25). Many medical experts regard dandelion use as generally safe-rare side effects include upset stomach and diarrhea making dandelion root tea a good option if you’re looking for ways to detox (26).
Everyday our liver deals with digestion, metabolism of toxins, hormonal control, and numerous other important activities. It has a lot of body tasks to accomplish, which may overwhelm it. A dandelion root tea liver cleanse can help the liver stay healthy and do its job more efficiently. Dandelion root is one of the best herbs available for a liver cleanse as it aids the liver flush out toxins and makes it easier for the liver to digest food and promotes healing. Though a common sight, dandelion is a beneficial plant to grow and nurture in every garden. It’s a great companion plant for gardening because it brings about useful nutrients good for our body.