But, what if the Dandelion was more valuable and useful than anything else that grew in your garden? It just may be…
Here are 5 reasons that you might want to not only allow your Dandelions to grow in your yard, but perhaps even cultivate a spot just for them in your garden:
- Anti-Cancer Activity – Dandelion has been traditionally used for a variety of cancers and recent scientific studies have proven its efficacy in this area. Dandelion has anti-cancer activity against prostate, breast, pancreas, liver and skin cancers. Herbalist Susan Weed talks about it's role in breast cancer: “Dandelion is a superb ally for liver and breasts. Regular use-internally before meals and externally before sleep-helps keep breasts healthy, reverses cancerous changes. Digestion is settled and strengthened a few minutes after taking a dose. Results in breast tissue are slower, taking six weeks or more to become evident.”
- Nutrient Dense – Dandelion is rich in nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K1, the B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, beta-carotene and dietary fiber. It also contains zinc, copper, manganese and essential fatty acids. Whew, that's an impressive list!
- Liver Protection Activity – Liver protection is one of the uses of Dandelion that is common to many systems of traditional medicine, including TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Western Herbalism. Dandelion has been well-known as a liver tonic for centuries. Quite a few studies have proven this in recent years, including a study done on alcoholic liver damage.
- Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activity – Due in part to its rich vitamin and mineral content, it is no surprise that Dandelion is an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Many health conditions are the result of oxidative stress and Dandelion has proven in studies to have anti-oxidant and protective activity and to reduce markers of oxidative stress.
- High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Lowering Benefits – According to Olympia Herbalist, Elise Krohn, Dandelion helps the liver to preferentially make high quality fats (HDL) over low quality fats (LDL). It is also an excellent diuretic, helping to normalize high blood pressure. This has been borne out in studies as well. Herbalist David Hoffman notes that the powerful diuretic action of Dandelion is comparable to the drug `Frusemide', with the added benefit that Dandelion is rich in potassium – which is usually depleted by pharmaceutical diuretics.
We've really just skimmed the surface here, though. Dandelion is also thought to help with degenerative joint diseases and rheumatism, hormone regulation that may assist with menopausal symptoms, blood sugar regulation which may assist diabetics, as well as having antiseptic activity. With all these benefits, Dandelion has something to offer just about everyone!