Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Healthful Benefits of Dandelion Leaf and Root

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Dandelion is often one of my "go to" herbs.  It has so many benefits and can be bought inexpensively in dried form (you can find it HERE).

The two forms we use the most in our house is the dried leaf and the dried root (not in powdered form).  I use these two forms to make herbal teas.  With the leaves, I make an infusion and with the root, I make a decoction.  I have written posts about how to make and infusion and decoction and you can read more about infusions HERE and decoctions HERE.

Dandelion is one of the key herbs that is used to purify the blood and support the kidneys and pancreas.  The leaves are particularly helpful as a diuretic and helpful for cellulite and fluid retention.  A combination of root and leaves has been known to be helpful in dissolving urinary stones and gravel.  In relation to the pancreas, this is a key herb for helping to increase insulin secretions, which is beneficial for diabetics.

It is also known as a "bitter", which means that it helps to activate the entire digestive tract and liver, thus helping to ease digestion, increase appetite and the flow of digestive juices, and cleanse the liver.  It is also known to help treat liver disease and sluggish liver as well as help to dissolve gallstones.  The root is also a mild laxative.

Not only does dandelion have many healing and cleansing properties, but it is high in minerals.  It is high in minerals like iron, phosphorus and manganese, and also has significant levels of potassium, calcium, zinc and more.  It is also very high in vitamin A and a good source of B vitamins an vitamin C.

For all you breastfeeding moms, this herb is also a galactogogue, meaning that it helps to increase milk supply.

Dosing with herbs can be tricky.  You will often find different dosages on the internet.  I recommend that you use a resource that you trust.  One book that I have found helpful is Nutritional Herbology.  He includes doses with his herbal descriptions.  I also recommend finding a trained herbalist in your area, as they can be an excellent resource and can help you determine the dose your body will need.

As with any herb, you should check with your health care professional before taking.  Be especially cautious with dandelion if you have a history of gallstones.

Please be aware that I am an affiliate with Amazon and Mountain Rose Herbs.  Any use of the links in my posts is much appreciated and like a tip to help keep this blog going.  Thank you!

(Featured on GNOWFGLINS and The Nourishing Gourmet, Real Food Renegade).

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