3 Ways "That Blasted Weed" is Important for your Everyday Health

Dandelion
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We hate dandelions on our lawns. We hate dandelions in our flowers and crops and anywhere near our homes. We spend hundreds of dollars on weed killers and hire special companies to rid us of this bright yellow problem. Cabinets are full of allergy medications used to quell those runny noses and constant sneezing caused by these unwanted flowers. Yet, we forget that nature doesn't bless us with any gift that lacks special purpose.

Dandelions, those "blasted weeds" we so dearly despise, are amazing for a good many things, including our everyday health and beauty.

Skin Care: Dandelion sap, or dandelion milk, is useful in treating skin diseases which are microbial or fungal in nature. The sap in itself has germicidal, insecticidal and fungicidal properties, to be used on such skin problems as itches, ringworm, and eczema. What’s the plus side to using an herb instead of pharmaceutical medication? There are no risks of side effects or hormonal disturbances commonly caused by prescribed or over-the-counter treatments.

Acne: The juice of the dandelion makes a great treatment for acne, dye to its detoxifying, diuretic, stimulant and antioxidant properties. Dandelion juice can help regulate proper secretion of hormones, increase sweating and widen the pores, helping with the removal of toxins through sweat and urine. If the sap is applied directly onto the skin, it can inhibit infection and reduce the signs of acne.

Weight Loss: When we go to the bathroom, our urine consists of up to 4% fat. The more we have to run to the toilet seat, the more of our body fat and water weight we get rid of. Dandelions have us making that rip much more often, and without the side effects of dietary pills or other chemical concoctions.

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When consuming dandelions, it would be advisable to contact a doctor for the right dosage. However, there are some traditional ways to take the herb, including:

• Dried leaf infusion: 1 - 2 tsp., 3 times a day. Pour hot water onto dried leaf and steep for 5 - 10 minutes. Drink as directed.
• Dried root decoction: 1/2 - 2 tsp., 3 times a day. 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

Dandelions are great for fighting off quite a few diseases, making that hated flower one of the most important gifts Mother Nature could have placed literally on our doorstep.

Precautions: do not intake dandelions if

• You are currently taking antacids, as it would only increase stomach acid
• You are taking blood thinning medication, as it would increase chances of bleeding
• You are taking diuretics or water pills, as the increased urine production could cause an electrolyte imbalance
• You are taking lithium, as it may worsen side effects as per animal studies
• You are taking medication for diabetes, as it may increase risk of low blood pressure

Source: Dandelion | University of Maryland Medical Center. Image: Wikipedia

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