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Dandelion, which is often viewed as a weed, is in fact a much valued herb. Almost all parts of the plant are used for various purposes; and the plant itself is very rich in nutrients. Dandelions are edible and are used for culinary purposes. The leaves can be eaten both in cooked and raw forms (in salads). The flowers are used in wine making. The roots and flowers are also edible, but they are cooked to get rid of the bitter taste. Young and tender leaves are preferred to mature ones, that can be more bitter in taste.

Apart from the culinary uses, dandelions are also popular for their therapeutic properties. It is an important herb used in the traditional medicine of Arabians and Native Americans. Even today, this herb is used in both fresh and dried forms. You can buy dandelion in the form of capsules and extracts.

Nutrition

Dandelions are flowering plants that belong to the genus Taraxacum of Asteraceae family. There are numerous species and the most common ones, like Taraxacum officinale and Taraxacum erythrospermum, are found as weeds across the globe. The leaves of these plants are serrated, hairless, and shiny; and the flowers are small. They are perennials that can grow to a maximum height of around 12 inches. These plants contain high levels of vitamin A, C, K; and minerals, like calcium, potassium, iron, and manganese. They are rich in fiber, protein, carbohydrate, and many other beneficial compounds. It is a rich source of beta carotene and biotin.

Benefits of Dandelion Tea

Herbal tea is made with dandelion roots or leaves, in fresh or dried forms. Dandelion tea has been used by humans through the centuries, as a remedy for a variety of ailments. This herbal tea is said to be good for general health.
  • Dandelion tea is considered good for detoxification, especially for cleansing the liver and kidneys.
  • It can also act as a diuretic, that can increase the flow of urine; thereby preventing water retention in the body, by expelling excess water and salts.
  • Dandelion leaf tea is said to be good for blood purification. It is also beneficial for cleansing the skin and get rid of acne.
  • This herbal tea is found to be effective in treating digestive disorders, like constipation and diarrhea.
  • It is used for controlling high cholesterol and blood sugar levels. So this herb is often recommended for diabetics.
  • Tea made with dandelion is said to be useful for conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, as the herb has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Benefits of dandelion tea include weight loss too. It could be due to its diuretic properties that reduce water retention in the body.
If you are interested in using this herb; consult a qualified herbal practitioner, and follow his instructions. It will be better to seek the opinion of your health care provider, as the herb may interact with other medication and supplements. Even though it is considered safe, dandelion may cause allergic reactions in some people. Those with gallbladder problems, should avoid this herb.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert advice.