Dandelion

Dandelion Leaf and Dandelion Root

Dandelion Leaf Organic, Taraxacum officinale.

Dandelion Leaf. herb is very common throughout the world, to the point that they are considered a weed. The leaves of these herbs are gathered in the spring season and then dried for use.  Item No: 1245-50

Dandelion

Lion’s Tooth; Pissenlit; Pu Gong Ying

Taraxacum officinale; Leondonton taraxacum

A close relative of chicory, Dandelions are one of the first flowers to pepper front lawns and fields as a bright yellow harbinger of spring, serving as a reminder to cut our grass and start weeding our gardens (lest they take over!). Dandelions have a long history of use worldwide — although today much of North America wrongfully sees them as nothing more than a nuisance. Dandelions were used as early as the eleventh and twelfth century by Arabian physicians, and its use spread to India, Europe and eventually North America when settlers brought it over on the Mayflower. In Europe, the leaves often make an appearance in salads as its bitter taste is said to aid digestion, The flowers can be collected and used to make a mild dandelion wine or tea, and the roots roasted to make a caffeine-free coffee substitute — not to mention how amusing they are to children making wishes and blowing their seeds into the air!

Nutritionally speaking, it is a shame that more people do not incorporate this readily available green into their diet, as one serving   the leaves can contain up to 1,400 IU per 100 g of Vitamin A, making it the richest plant source of the vitamin. One serving also contains almost half the calcium content of a cup of milk and almost as much iron as a serving of spinach. Historically and in the opinion of many modern herbalists, the bitter taste is thought to stimulate bile production and encourage digestion (how’s that for a healthy side dish?). Not to mention high in fibre, since the roots contain inulin. The leaves and roots also contain quercetin (which has cancer risk-reducing and anti-inflammatory properties), luteolin, p-hydroxyphenylacetic acid, germacranolide acids, chlorogenic acid, chicoric acid, and monocaffeyltartaric acid as well as being high in potassium (beneficial for stamina, lowering blood pressure and keeping your brain and memory in top form). Dandelion is known its digestion-stimulating, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anticarcinogenic, analgesic, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-coagulatory and prebiotic effect properties. As a bitter herb, it is used to stimulate the appetite and bile secretion, as well as treating minor gastro-intestinal disorders. Animal studies show improved hepatic markers and decreased hepatic fibrinous deposits in mice with induced hepatic fibrosis fed dandelion water-ethanol extracts versus placebo group. This, and other studies showing decreased oxidative damage in alcohol related liver toxicity in mice, lend credibility to the use of dandelion in treating certain liver disorders. To the French, Dandelion is also known as “pissenlit”, referring to its well-documented diuretic qualities (such that if one is not careful, they may wake up to a damp lit (bed)). Human studies have validated this as well, and most volunteers experience increased frequency of urination when taking an water-ethanol extract of dandelion leaf. In China, dandelion is used as a laxative, and in some hospitals, dandelion enemas are not uncommon. Dandelion also shows promise in treating inflammatory conditions, as some studies have shown the plant to inhibit interleukin-1, which in turn causes an inhibition and of the inflammation-causing tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). As well as being a powerful anti-oxidant, recent Russian research has marked dandelion as a phytovaleologic plant, capable of protecting one from harmful radio waves. To that end, one might say that dandelion is also cancer-protective because it reduces the presence of free radicals through its anti-oxidant activity, since the presence of free radicals causes oxidative damage (and aging) that increase the chance of cancer-cell mutation and the development of tumors. In one study, rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet for a period of time in conjunction with a standardized dosage of dandelion root and leaf show reduced oxidative stress and milder forms of artherosclerosis as compared to control and normal groups not fed dandelion. This treatment group also had lowered triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and increased levels of the beneficial HDL cholesterol (thus being helpful for the prevention of hypercholesterolemic artherosclerosis and for risk-reduction in subjects predisposed to coronary artery disease).
To prepare a cup of dandelion tea, simply pour one cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried leaves and let steep for 3-7 minutes. This is a very bitter tea, so sweetener may be desired. To use the roots, spread the chopped root on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 350 F for about two hours (making sure not to burn) until they feel crispy and have a pleasant roasted aroma. They can be ground in a food processor to be used as a coffee substitute or left in chunks and steeped in boiling water. Dandelion leaves can also be used in soups, sandwiches, salads and stirfrys.

ALTHOUGH GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS SAFE, DANDELION ROOT SHOULD BE AVOIDED BY THOSE WITH RAGWEED ALLERGIES OR ALLERGIES TO ANY MEMBERS OF THE ASTERACEAE FAMILY (RAGWEED, CHAMOMILE, DAISIES, MARIGOLDS ETC) DUE TO THE RISK OF AN ALLERGIC REACTION. SYMPTOMS MAY INCLUDE ANAPHYLAXIS, CONTACT DERMATITIS, ERYTHEMA MULTIFORME, RUNNY NOSE AND EYES AND SNEEZING. PEOPLE TAKING CERTAIN CYTOCHROME P450 SUBSTRATES SHOULD BE CAUTIOUS OR AVOID TAKING DANDELION ROOT AS METABOLISM OF THESE MEDICATIONS MAY BE ALTERED. THESE MEDICATIONS INCLUDE CYP1A2 TYPES SUCH AS VERAPAMIL, AMITRIPTYLENE, PROPRANOLOL, HEOPHYLLINE (ALTHOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN NO ADVERSE SIDE EFFECTS REPORTED IN HUMANS, EXERCISE CAUTION). GLUCURONIDATED MEDICATIONS SUCH AS ACETAMINOPHEN, ESTROGENS AND ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES, AS WELL AS LITHIUM, POTASSIUM-SPARING DRUGS AND QUINOLONE ANTIBIOTICS MAY HAVE INCREASED CLEARANCE FROM THE BODY SO MEDICATIONS MAY HAVE TO BE ADJUSTED ACCORDINGLY.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Canadian Food & Drug Administration.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Canadian Food & Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. www.distinctlytea.com 519-578-2010 distinctlytea@rogers.com

Research compiled and summarized by Keila McCullough BHSc, ND (cand.) Distinctly Tea Inc.

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“Creation of phytovaleologic drugs”. Bakuridze AD, Nikolaev SM, Berashvili DT, Bakuridze KA, Tsomaia IV. Georgian Med News. 2009 Jun;(171):78-80.

“Dandelion” Monograph. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com/

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“Dandelion: The History of Dandelion”. Chhabra YP. Herbal Legacy. http://www.herballegacy.com/Chhabra_History.html

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“Flavonoids, cinnamic acids and coumarins from the different tissues and medicinal preparations of Taraxacum officinale”. Williams CA, Goldstone F, Greenham J. Phytochemistry 1996;42:121-7.

“Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root and leaf on cholesterol-fed rabbits”. Choi UK, Lee OH, Yim JH, Cho CW, Rhee YK, Lim SI, Kim YC. Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Jan 6;11(1):67-78.

“In vitro and in vivo hepatoprotective effects of the aqueous extract from Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) root against alcohol- induced oxidative stress”. You Y, Yoo S, Yoon HG, Park J, Lee YH, Kim S, Oh KT, Lee J, Cho HY, JunW. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jun;48(6):1632-7.

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“Taraxacum officinale inhibits tumor necrosis factor-alpha production from rat astrocytes”. Kim HM, Shin HY, Lim KH, Ryu ST, Shin TY, Chae HJ, Kim HR, Lyu YS, An NH, Lim KS. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2000 Aug;22(3):519- 30.

“The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day”. Clare BA, Conroy RS, Spelman K. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):929-34.

Research compiled and summarized by Keila McCullough BHSc, ND (cand.)


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