Dandelion Root benefits to your health
by Herbalist Wendy Wilson
Everyone has seen dandelion root. Most children will pick the mature seed-filled puffball and blow on it to watch the seeds drift through the air. We are told it is one of the hardiest of lawn weeds, or is it a weed? Dandelion is from the sun flower family. It is native to Western Europe and the Mediterranean. Where dandelion originated is hard to say due to the nature of its wind-blown seeds, which populate every climate-friendly area of the globe. The prevalence of dandelion may be our Creator’s way of saying everyone at some point may need this herb. Let’s find out why.
Dandelion has a rich history. It was first recorded in written form by Arabian physicians as a medicinal remedy around the 10th century. The Greeks referred to it as “taraxos” “akos”, which translates to “disorder remedy.” So, how did it get the name dandelion? The French gave this herb its common name calling it “dent de leon”, which translates to “teeth of the lion.” Why did they call it that? They associated the saw-tooth shape of the leaf as lion’s teeth. Down through the centuries the leaf and root have been used for the medicinal properties.
Dandelion has many aliases such as; blowball, canker wort, fairy clock, Irish daisy, piss-in-bed, priest’s crown, swine’s snout and white endive.
Dandelion is mentioned in natural medicine folk lore as having uses for; bed wetting, liver and spleen disorders, heartburn, eczema, rheumatism and gout. Dandelion shows up in folk medicine from China to India to Europe and the Western World. Not everyone who used dandelion over the centuries knew whey it worked so well. Science has discovered that it has many actions. The human body will utilized only the chemical properties of the plant that it needs. For instance, dandelion has flavonoids which work like a diuretic and blood purifier. This is why it works so well on kidney/balder issues because it will reduce cramping, muscle spasms and reduce inflammation.
Our ancestors also used dandelion as a digestive aid. Science explains that it is the inulin mucilage of dandelion that soothes the digestive tract, removes irritating toxins and promotes the regulation of friendly bacteria. Dandelion is therefore nature’s probiotic. How does dandelion help the liver and spleen? Science discovered that dandelion has oils and bitter resins, which stimulate these organs to purge toxins. A similar action happens on the kidney filters. This herb is also high in vitamin A (beta-carotene), which is stored in the liver for nutrition. When you assist the liver to function better you also assist the gall bladder. Dandelion helps with gall stones. I personally would layer dandelion with Barberry bark and Milk thistle for the liver and gall bladder.
Recently a study from Windsor University in Canada found that dandelion root kills cancer cells. Biochemist Siyaram Pandey had doubts regarding Dr. Caroline Hamm’s report that dandelion root tea was helping her cancer patients at the hospital get better. It seems Pandey was the ultimate skeptic when it came to using natural substances for medicinal applications. So, he tested dandelion root just to prove he was right that it was mere coincidence that the tea-drinking leukemia patients were better. So, Pandey tested leukemia blood samples against the dandelion root extract. It was one of those career moments when he discovered that Dr. Hamm was right. There is something in the dandelion root that makes leukemia cells commit cell suicide. He also noted that other healthy non-cancerous cells were not affected indicating that dandelion root zeros-in and destroys only the cancer cells. The other benefit is there are no side effects, which is not the case with chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Dr. Pandey wanted to test dandelion root further against other cancer cells. In the lab he used other types of cancer cells in lab cultures and got the exact same results each time. Dandelion root kills all types of cancer cells.
Dr. Pandey’s research was big news to the medical community and the grant funding came pouring in. They hope that this research will lead to a synthetic dandelion drug for Big Pharma to sell. If they pull this off you know the drug will have side effects and won’t work as well as the original dandelion root. Why? Most chemicals found in natural sources will have buffer alkaloids with them. These buffers are designed as required up-take nutrients. This combo is nature’s way of making sure the strong chemicals in plants are metabolized properly to avoid toxicity and side effects. Pharmaceutical companies cannot patent what is naturally occurring in medicinal plants unless there is a significant change. So, they will isolate the strongest alkaloids to make their drugs. If they can make a synthetic copycat it will provide the big profits they are after. Clinical trials are already underway in Canada to help launch a new miracle drug. If a patient cannot be secured, you will not see oncologists endorse dandelion root for anything. Why not just use organic dandelion folks? You don’t need a prescription for that and it is low cost with no side effects.
Does dandelion root have any side effects or counter-regulatory indicators to worry about? The German E-Commission (similar to the FDA) has tested dandelion root and has officially approved of its use for digestive disorders such as appetite loss, indigestion, gas and liver bile flow. Dandelion root dose offer a diuretic effect and should not be used with prescribed diuretics. Do not use dandelion root with appetite suppressants as dandelion can stimulate appetite. Do not use dandelion with prescription or over-the-counter laxatives. Dandelion alone dose offer a mild laxative-type action. Do not use dandelion root with anti-inflammatory drugs as dandelion offers anti-inflammatory action. Both the German E-Commission and the FDA recognize dandelion to be safe and free of adverse reaction risk. However, I would not mix it with drugs. This also does not mean that you can’t have an allergy to the herb. Skin rash can happen in those who are sensitive to dandelion. I would avoid using dandelion if you suffer form intestinal inflammation or blockage or bile duct blockage.
If you intend to tap into the power of dandelion, how should you use it? With any medicinal herb you will use it for a short time (4 to 6 weeks) and not on a continuous basis. There is a difference in medicinal and nutritional food sources. Nutritional sources you can use all the time. When my children were young they would ask why herbs tasted so bad. I explained that a strawberry tasted sweet and is a nutritional food – you can eat a lot of it if you want. A medicinal herb may taste bitter or hot and you would naturally eat a small amount. The medicinal herbs are packed full of strong chemicals your body can use for medicine and you need smaller amounts. If dandelion tasted like a strawberry, you would eat too much. Dandelion root will be harvested after the bloom has hit its peak and the medicinal properties will revert back into the root. Therefore, dandelion root tincture will offer the most potency. The recommended dose for tincture would be 1 to 2 teaspoons three times daily. If using a dandelion root infusion (tea) you will need to steep the tea a minimum of 20 minutes and three cups of tea will equal one teaspoon of tincture.
WHERE TO GET IT?
If you intend to use dandelion, make sure it is certified organic. This will guarantee that your herb is free of pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides and other agricultural chemicals. Apothecary Herbs has included certified organic dandelion root in their Bladder & Kidney Cleanse Tea. You can layer this tea with their Bladder & Kidney Tincture for maximum cleansing effect. They have also added dandelion root to their Blood Cleanse Tincture. You will also find they have Dandelion Root Tincture all by itself to use as needed. You can layer the Dandelion Root tincture with their Barberry bark (for gall bladder) and Milk Thistle (for liver). For a free product catalog or to order contact Apothecary Herbs toll free 866-229-3663, International 704-885-0277 online http://www.thepowerherbs.com, where your healthcare options just became endless. Check out their New Lung/Congestion Kit and sign up for their free online newsletters for more healthy information. Receive FREE ground ship in the continental US with your order of $20.00 or more with coupon: SFRE13 (Exp 3/31/13).
COMING UP ON HERB TALK LIVE
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