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HWLH News Letter for March 2022- Issue #0100 - Dandelion Benefits
March 01, 2022
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March 2022 - #100 - Dandelion Benefits
Hope everyone is as excited about this spring as I am. I feel that for the first time in two years things may actually start to look and feel normal again.
I know it’s only March but it feels free, fun and fresh even if it is a little too early to celebrate spring.
Anyhow, now is a great time to lose a little weight before the skimpier summer clothes come out of the closet.
All About Dandelion Benefits
Sounds silly but by eating or drinking the dandelion plant it can actually help fight the battle of the bulge and also offers a plethora or health benefits.
For most people dandelions are just pesky weeds that grow in the yard, but even though they may not be welcomed in our modern day yards, these weeds have been grown and cultivated for centuries because of their medicinal properties.
That’s why it’s still cultivated for consumption today and can be found in practically every specialty tea and health store. All parts of this plant can be used including the flowers, stem, leaves and root.
Nutrition in RAW Dandelion Greens:
High amounts of vitamins A, C and K
Moderate amounts of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and lutein
Rich in fiber, beta-carotene and many other antioxidants
Raw dandelion greens are 86% water, 9% carbohydrates, 3% protein and 1% fat
Approximately 100 grams of raw dandelion contain about 45 calories
Raw flowers contain many phytochemicals such as polyphenols, flavonoids and antioxidants which help detox the body
Whether in Raw or Dried Form the Dandelion is Beneficial
This plant is considered a liver cleanser as the polysaccharides in dandelion are known to reduce stress on the liver and help it to produce necessary bile.
Also helps the liver filter out toxins from your food and out of the body
Let us break down this marvelous plant to see where all the benefits are.
This information can be useful when you want to buy some tea and not sure whether to buy just the root, the leaves or a combination. This all depends on what health benefits you are looking to achieve.
The Dandelion Flower – Mainly For Detox
Some studies are now showing that the yellow flower of this plant offers high levels of antioxidants.
Just like mentioned above the raw flowers provide phytochemicals such as beta carotene, polyphenols, flavonoids and many other antioxidants which help detox the body, cleanse the liver and boost the immune system to fight illness and disease.
The Dandelion Root – Mainly for Gut Health
Dandelion root is also a rich source of the prebiotic inulin, which is a type of soluble fiber which prevents constipation and helps maintain healthy gut bacteria.
The Dandelion Leaves – Mainly for Vitamins and Minerals
Think of the leaves as a vitamin and mineral supplement as these greens contain a nutritious punch.
The leaves are an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K and smaller amounts of E and B1. They also contain a variety of minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium to name a few.
The Dandelion Stem
What are dandelion stems good for?
Though every part of the dandelion plant can be eaten the stems are usually left to make oils and ointments.
That’s because the stems contain a sap and some people take the sap to make oils to treat muscle pain and sore joints.
These oils can also be used in the manufacturing of salves, creams and soaps to treat corns, calluses, warts and dry skin.
Possible Health Benefits by Eating or Drinking the Dandelion Plant:
Helps burn fat for weight loss success
Highly nutritious providing lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber
High in antioxidants which help detox the body
Considered a liver cleaner which helps burn fat
Helps strengthen the immune system
Contains anti-inflammatory properties
Contains diuretic properties which help the body get rid of excess water
Helps with urinary tract infections
What can you make out of the dandelion plant?
From the flowers you can make dandelion wine
Its roots can be roasted and then used as a caffeine free coffee substitute
Dandelion and burdock make a popular soft drink in Britain similar to our root beer
Many people enjoy fresh dandelion salads especially during the summer when in season
Try sautéed dandelions as a warm vegetable side dish
All parts of the dandelion are dried and used as tea
Why are teas so popular?
It all boils down to availability.
Well it’s really hard to get fresh dandelion unless you live perhaps in California and have a Whole Foods store close by or you can wait till summer time hoping that the grass in your area has some dandelions growing in it.
That is why there are so many types of dandelion tea available. There is a high demand for dandelion tea because of all the health benefits it provides and many companies now produce and sell this tea making many brands for the consumer to choose from.
Whether you are consuming this plant fresh or as a tea from a dried plant, it has been used as traditional medicine for centuries in many parts of Europe, North America and China.
So How Do Dandelion Benefits Help Us Lose Weight?
It’s all about the liver. The healthier your liver is functioning the easier it is for your body to burn fat, it’s that simple.
When we choose to eat and drink clean (healthy) the liver is less stressed out and will not only be able to break down more fat in our bodies, it will also be able to do it faster.
Risks of Eating or Drinking Dandelion
If you have allergies to dandelion, ragweed, marigold, daisies, chrysanthemums or chamomile you should avoid dandelion.
Many people have pollen allergies, especially in the spring when many plants and weeds start to come to life.
Dandelion pollen may cause allergic reactions in some people. Be aware if you are near these plants or handling them for those who may be allergic.
Avoid if Pregnant or Breastfeeding
Dandelion plants can be quite potent so it’s best to avoid during pregnancy or breastfeeding because there is simply not enough studies done in this area and what kind of impact it could have and Mom and baby.
Remember, the herbs such as the dandelion plant are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
May Interfere with Some Medications
Since Dandelion tea is a diuretic and high in potassium and other ingredients, it may interfere with some medications such as lithium, blood pressure pills, blood thinners, diuretic (water pills) and even many types of antibiotics.
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure that there will be no interactions with your medications if you enjoy eating or drinking the dandelion plant.
Blood Pressure and Clotting
Because the levels of potassium in dandelion may impact blood flow and clotting, it is best to avoid drinking or eating dandelion if you are taking any type of blood thinners or high blood pressure pills.
Also the leafy greens of the dandelion contain vitamin K which can make the blood clot faster, another precaution to keep in mind if on blood thinners.
Liver and Kidney Issues
f you have any kind of issues with your liver or kidneys you should always check with your doctor first before eating dandelions or drinking dandelion tea. The dandelion works like a diuretic and this could cause more problems when it comes to kidney issues and medications.
For some people the dandelion plant can increase their stomach acid and create heartburn so if you have problems with heart burn to begin with you should only try small amounts at first to see if it helps or hinders you.
Everything we eat or drink should always be done in moderation and that applies to herbs such as the dandelion plant that can carry a potent punch.
Many herbs and plants are not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
Perhaps one day the FDA will have to start regulating some of these herbal remedies, but I don’t think the pharmaceutical companies will like that and let’s face it - no one messes with the pharma companies as they are too big, way too powerful and way to rich.
Also, many of us depend on “Big Pharma” for much needed medications we need to survive or maintain a certain quality of life.
So when it comes to herbal remedies not a lot of money is put towards studying their benefits and when some of these studies are done the positive results are sometimes purposely not shared or tucked away for a price.
So try to incorporate a cup of dandelion tea 2 or 3 times of week and see how you feel or if you have lots of dandelions at your disposal enjoy a dandelion salad and don’t forget to eat those pretty yellow flowers as they contain the most antioxidants.
Wishing you all health and happiness
Until next time
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