The dandelion is best known as a weed that grows on lawns. While many people see it as a nuisance, its root has a variety of medicinal uses. Dandelion roots have been used medicinally since the 10th century, when they were employed to treat liver conditions in Arabia.
Vitamins and Minerals
Dandelion root contains vitamins A, C, D, and B complex, all of which are antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. Zinc, iron and potassium are also found in dandelion root. The weed is so chock full of vitamins and minerals that it is commonly eaten raw and added to salads in Europe.
Dandelion root is often called a liver tonic because its high iron content enables it to clear the organ of toxins, making it an excellent diuretic. It is often used to treat liver problems such as jaundice and cirrhosis. The high potassium levels in dandelion root also aid in kidney function and help to lower blood pressure.
Appetite and Digestion
Dandelion root acts as a mild laxative, helping to restore regularity to the digestive system, and it can lower the level of uric acid in the body. Dandelion root also acts as a mild appetite stimulant. Drinking tea made from dandelion root can provide relief from digestive ailments such as constipation and flatulence.
Dandelion root can help lower cholesterol and neutralize acids in the blood. It has high sodium levels that aid in the balancing of electrolytes in the blood, making it helpful after episodes of heavy vomiting or diarrhea. The high iron levels in dandelion root make it effective in treating anemia, a deficiency of iron in the blood.
The family of B vitamins is useful in stabilizing moods and countering depression. Because it has such high levels of B complex vitamins, dandelion root is often used as an anti-depressant.
The liquid in the root of a dandelion acts as an astringent, meaning it draws moisture from tissue and helps it to constrict. Dandelion root is used to treat ailments like acne, blisters, corns, warts and other types of skin irritation.