When we hear the word Dandelion the first thing that comes to mind is a stubborn weed or a fun spring day. Have you ever thought of dandelions as food? The entire plant from the flowers to the roots is edible. For children, are for making wishes by blowing off the white tuft, and for adults it is just a regular plant that can be seen everywhere.
What Are Dandelion Greens?
There are many types of the Dandelion flower but the most common type is Taraxacum officinale. This plant is native to Asia and Europe and for thousands of years, they have been using it as a medicinal plant and in herbal teas. Similarly, some cuisines also use these as a staple.
What Are The Uses Of Dandelion Greens?
Dandelions are easy to grow but they are best planted in Early Spring and start germinating in 10 days. The dandelion plant is considered an herb that is high in iron and calcium vitamins A, K, C, and B2. To top it off they also have more iron and protein than spinach. Dandelion Greens are diuretics from where the old tale of bed-wetting started. Besides these Dandelion greens also strengthen the immune system help fight cancer and reduce inflammation. Following are some health benefits of dandelion greens.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Dandelion Greens?
Dandelions are full of antioxidants which explains their use in herbal teas or as a medicinal plant. They contain beta-carotene which protects against free radical damage and oxidative stress. They are also rich in another antioxidant called polyphenols which is mainly concentrated in the flower but some amount can also be found in the roots and leaves as well
Inflammation is a natural reaction of the body after injury and infection. Dandelions contain polyphenols which are potent anti-inflammatory compounds. A study conducted on mice showed that mice That received dandelion showed reduced inflammation as compared to the control group.
Accumulation of cholesterol and triglyceride leads to heart conditions and dandelions contain compounds that reduce the accumulation of cholesterol in the fat cells. A study conducted on mice showed that dandelion leaf extract significantly reduces the total cholesterol level. Adding leaves and flowers of dandelion to a high-cholesterol diet also reduces cholesterol levels.
Many studies showed that dandelion extract protected the liver against injury and disease. One study even showed that it protects the liver against the effects of sodium dichromate which is a chemical cause of liver damage. Dandelion also protects the liver by reducing the level of liver fat and protecting against oxidative damage.
What Makes Dandelion Greens An Anti-cancer Food?
One of the most fascinating properties of dandelion is that it protects against cancers of various organs. A mice study showed that giving dandelion extract changes pathways that are involved in the metastasis of breast cancer. This extract also slows the growth of liver, colon, and stomach cancer cells. The dandelion extract can also be used in conjunction with other chemotherapeutics for inducing apoptosis of the cancerous cells. It also reduces the side effects of conventional chemotherapeutics by lowering the dosage requirement. The dandelion extract also causes melanoma, and pancreatic cancer cells to self-destruct thus reducing the growth of cancer cells.