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Dandelion- The Teeth of the Lion

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Yes, I am referring to those pesky weeds that you are always pulling out of your yard… Or as most children call them– FLOWERS!  The dandelion greens and roots are true medicine.

Dandelion comes from the French word dent de lion, or lion’s tooth, because of its leaves jagged edges.

Dandelion can improve the cardiovascular system by reducing cholesterol and triglycerides as well as reducing fat cell production through cell differentiation.1  In animal studies, dandelion is also known to reduce plaque in the arterial walls.2  In addition, dandelion is a great anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant that is commonly used in places where medicine (for diabetes) is either not available or not cost effective.3

It does have a bitter taste that you may not like at first.  This can be helped by:

  1. If you brew it into a tea, just keep drinking the tea until you get used to it as our taste receptors change over time. (Most people aren’t used to bitter flavors.) Don’t give up!
  2. Brew it, chill it and then use it as a base in a smoothie—smoothies can hide a lot!
  3. Add lemon/lime and honey (or other natural sweeteners)
  4. Add a small amount of fresh chopped dandelion greens to your salads. This helps you get the benefits but not taste them quite as strongly

Safety notice:  You can buy fresh dandelion greens or dried in the form of a tea.  If you are foraging your own from your back yard or other places in nature, just be sure to avoid areas that are sprayed or exposed to chemicals.  I would never recommend eating the ones right on the side of the road as auto chemicals will likely be absorbed into the plants.  The same is true for public parks and places like that that are likely to be sprayed.  You don’t want to take plant medicine alongside toxic materials

Nourish your body with some mineral-rich, liver-loving dandelion greens.  

 

Resource list:

  1. González-Castejón M, García-Carrasco B, Fernández-Dacosta R, Dávalos A, Rodriguez-Casado A. Reduction of adipogenesis and lipid accumulation by taraxacum officinale (dandelion) extracts in 3T3L1 adipocytes: An in vitro study. Phyther Res. 2014. doi:10.1002/ptr.5059
  2. Choi UK, Lee OH, Yim JH, et al. Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root and leaf on cholesterol-fed rabbits. Int J Mol Sci. 2010. doi:10.3390/ijms11010067
  3. Wirngo FE, Lambert MN, Jeppesen PB. The physiological effects of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) in type 2 diabetes. Rev Diabet Stud. 2016. doi:10.1900/RDS.2016.13.113