These annoying weeds in our yards actually have several health benefits when ingested. Native Americans used boiled dandelion in water to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat appendicitis, stomach problems, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, it has been used in remedies for fever, boils, diabetes, eye problems and diarrhea.
Dr. Laurell Matthews, ND of NWA Natural Doctors adds, “Dandelion has earned a reputation for being a liver and gall bladder supporting herb. The leaves increase the production of bile by the liver. The roots help to move the bile out of the gall bladder, and then along with the bile, toxins that can be eliminated from the body through the feces. Therefore, the use of the roots and leaves together is important for the best liver benefits. Because it supports the liver, dandelion is traditionally used to help high cholesterol, abnormal blood sugar, menstrual and skin disorders, especially when there is a history of toxic exposures or sluggish liver.”
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, here is how to take it–
Ask your doctor to help you determine the right dose for you. Some traditional doses include:
- Dried leaf infusion: 1 – 2 teaspoonfuls, 3 times daily. Pour hot water onto dried leaf and steep for 5 – 10 minutes. Drink as directed.
- Dried root decoction: 1/2 – 2 teaspoonfuls, 3 times daily. Place root into boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes. Strain and drink as directed.
- Leaf tincture (1:5) in 30% alcohol: 30 – 60 drops, 3 times daily
- Standardized powdered extract (4:1) leaf: 500 mg, 1 – 3 times daily
- Standardized powdered extract (4:1) root: 500 mg, 1 – 3 times daily
- Root tincture (1:2) fresh root in 45% alcohol: 30 – 60 drops, 3 times daily
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain components that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.