28 Amazing Benefits Of Dandelion (Dudal) For Skin, Hair, And Health November 8, 2016

Dandelion—though the name seems rather unfamiliar, most of us have come across this herb but ignored it as just another weed. But the fact remains that this herb can do miracles for your health! I’m sure this must have aroused your curiosity in dandelion and its potential benefits. Dandelion is also known as ‘Dudal’ in Hindi, ‘Simhadanti’ in Telugu, ‘Dugddhapheni’ in Malayalam, ‘Kuttu’ in Marathi, ‘Kaadu Shaavanthi’ in Kannada, and ‘Pitachumki’ in Bengali.

Curious? Let’s stroll down to unravel the surprising benefits dandelion has to offer!

Dandelion—A Brief

Family—Asteraceae
Origin—Central Asian regions. Also grows naturally in temperate and semi-tropical regions
Plant Type—Hardy plant with long taproots and long dark green leaves that rise directly from the ground, radiating in all directions
Also Known Worldwide As—Priest’s crown, Monk’s head, Irish daisy, and Lion’s tooth
Structure—Dandelion root is fleshy and dark brown in color with white pulp inside.

This herb is highly nutritious with almost all the parts of the plant including leaves, flower tops and root providing health benefits.

Leaf—The leafy portions of the plant are known as dandelions greens which are considered a nutritious vegetable. They are used in several recipes, green salads, and smoothies.
Root—Dandelion root has medicinal properties and is used for drying and grinding of coffee.

Fresh dandelion leaves, as well as dried herb, are available in health food markets. This herb is also available in the form of dandelion tea, capsules, and tinctures. Apart from its culinary uses, it is beneficial in the treatment of several medical conditions.

Skin Benefits

  1. Treatment Of Acne
  2. Treatment Of Skin Diseases
  3. Treatment Of Burns And Stings
  4. Anti-Aging Benefits

Dandelion for Hair Care

  1. Stimulates Hair Growth
  2. Treatment Of Dandruff
  3. Treatment Of Greasy Hair

Health Benefits

  1. Aids Digestion
  2. Controls Blood Pressure
  3. Treatment Of Liver Disorders
  4. Treatment Of Kidney Disorders
  5. Treatment Of Gallbladder Disorders
  6. Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections
  7. Prevents Anemia
  8. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
  9. Bone Health
  10. Promotes Weight Loss
  11. Treatment Of Jaundice
  12. Helpful In Diabetes
  13. Prevents Cancer
  14. Boosts The Immune System
  15. Improves Brain Health
  16. For A Better Vision
  17. Natural Detoxifying Agent
  18. Helps Remove Warts
  19. Natural Remedy For Constipation
  20. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
  21. Other Benefits

Skin Benefits Of Dandelion

The rich plethora of nutrients in dandelion helps maintain skin health and prevents skin problems. Adding dandelion to your diet can do a great deal of difference to your skin.

Skin-Benefits-Of-Dandelion

Image: iStock

1. Treatment Of Acne

We all know that acne is caused because of hormonal imbalance that begins during your teenage years when the body undergoes physiological changes. The juice of dandelion is an excellent detoxifier, diuretic and antioxidant. These properties make it useful in the treatment of acne.

Why Does It Work

Dandelion juice regulates the secretion of hormones and widens the pores, thus facilitating the removal of toxins through sweating and urination. Dandelion sap can be applied topically on acne to inhibit microbial infection. The Vitamin C component speeds up the healing process, thus reducing the visibility of scars and red inflammation that often accompanies acne. Dandelion tea can also be consumed to prevent acne. All you need to do is steep one to two teaspoons of dandelion root or leaves in a cup of water. This will rid your body of toxins that cause acne (1).

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2. Treatment Of Skin Diseases

Dandelion sap known as dandelion milk is effective in treating skin diseases caused by microbial and fungal infections.

Why Does It Work

Dandelion sap is highly alkaline in nature and exhibits potent germicidal, fungicidal and insecticidal properties. So, it can be used to treat itchiness, eczema, warts, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and other similar conditions without any side effects (2).

Caution

However, make sure you avoid contact with the eyes when using it.

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3. Treatment Of Burns And Stings

The inside portion of dandelion flower stems can be used as a smoothening agent for the treatment of burns and stings such as nettle allergy or bug bites which are quite painful.

Why Does It Work

The anti-inflammatory property of dandelion makes it feasible for curing topical burns (3). That is why the leaves and roots of this plant have been used in Chinese medicine to treat poison ivy, sunburns, and hives.

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4. Anti-Aging Benefits

Do you want to look young and pretty forever? Add dandelion to your diet for instant results.

Why Does It Work

Being rich in antioxidants, dandelions prevents aging by reducing the appearance of fine lines, dark spots and wrinkles around the eyes and lips. Besides nourishing your skin, this herb helps tone and firm up sagging and unbalanced skin (4).

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Dandelion for Hair Care

Natural herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals which nourish your hair and dandelion is no exception. Both consumption and topical application of this herb provide the following benefits to your hair.

Dandelion-for-hair-care

Image: iStock

5. Stimulates Hair Growth

Did you know that dandelion can promote hair growth?

Why Does It Work

Dandelion root is a rich source of vitamin A, C, and E as well as B-complex vitamins. Besides, it contains choline, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, biotin and calcium all of which play a significant role in making your hair healthy as well as stimulate hair growth.

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6. Treatment Of Dandruff

Want to get rid of your flaky scalp? Turn to dandelion for help.

Why Does It Work

Dandelion is rich in iron which helps keeps dandruff at bay (5). You can have dandelion supplements or just add a few leaves of dandelion to your tea or use them in salad dressing.

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7. Treatment Of Greasy Hair

Oily hair can be any girl’s nightmare. But girls, here’s help.

Why Does It Work

Dandelion is effective in getting rid of excess oil or sebum accumulated in the scalp. If you have greasy hair, you can simply steep dandelion leaves or roots for about 20 minutes. Strain this mixture and use it on your hair as a final rinse. Do condition your hair after this to prevent loss of moisture.

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Health Benefits Of Dandelion

Dandelion is a powerhouse of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, protein as well as B-complex vitamins. It is thus, obvious that this herb has a long list of health benefits to its credit.

Health-Benefits-Of-Dandelion

Image: iStock

8. Aids Digestion

Wondering how dandelion is linked to your stomach? Read on

Why Does It Work

Dandelion is a mild laxative, a tonic, and an appetite suppressant. Thus, it promotes digestion and relieves digestive disorders by balancing the natural and beneficial bacteria in the intestines. It is also a good remedy for dyspeptic complaints. The high levels of dietary fiber in dandelion promote healthy bowel movements as well as relieve constipation and diarrhea. It is also beneficial in treating serious gastrointestinal issues (6).

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9. Controls Blood Pressure

Does hypertension worry you? Dandelion can help you.

Why Does It Work

Being a diuretic, dandelion lowers high blood pressure by increasing urination. The fiber in dandelion reduces cholesterol while potassium replaces sodium (7). Both these factors play a major role in regulating blood pressure. Dandelion juice quite effectively does this.

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10. Treatment Of Liver Disorders

Bid liver problems a goodbye, thanks to dandelion.

Why Does It Work

Dandelions contain antioxidants like Vitamin C and luteolin which promote optimal functioning of the liver and protect it from aging. Other compounds in dandelion can treat liver hemorrhage. They ensure proper flow of bile from the liver. Dandelion is an excellent liver detoxifier (8).

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11. Treatment Of Kidney Disorders

Dandelion is a blessing for our organ-system. Wondering how? Read on to find out,

Why Does It Work

The rich content of sodium in dandelion root helps in eliminate the toxins accumulated in your body. It protects kidney health by removing waste, salt, and excess water, purifying blood and replacing the loss of potassium. Besides, it inhibits microbial growth in the urinary system (9).

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12. Treatment Of Gallbladder Disorders

Dandelion improves the functioning of the gallbladder and protects it from the harmful effects of oxidants and infections.

Why Does It Work

It prevents gallbladder problems by increasing bile production and reducing inflammation (10). Dandelion root enhances the production of bile in the body, preventing gall bladder blockage and stones. It improves its functioning and protects them from the ill effects of the oxidants and infection. Dandelion also helps to heal dyspepsia, various infections affecting the stomach, intestine, and urinary system.

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13. Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections

Dandelion leaf is an excellent diuretic which promotes frequent urination.

Why Does It Work

Its disinfectant properties eliminate toxic substances from the urinary system and inhibit bacterial growth, thus preventing urinary tract infections (11).

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14. Prevents Anemia

Dandelion is a rich source of iron, protein, and vitamin. Thus it can fight anemia.

Why Does It Work

Iron is a major component of hemoglobin in the blood while vitamin B and protein are vital for the formation of red blood cells and other components of blood. Thus, Dandelion helps keeps a check on anemia (12).

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15. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Dandelion can have a soothing effect on all kinds of aches.

Why Does It Work

The healthy fatty acids and phytonutrients in dandelion reduce inflammation throughout the body. This property is beneficial in relieving pain and swelling (13).

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16. Bone Health

16.-Bone-Health

Image: iStock

Want stronger and healthier bones like Popeye—the sailor man? Make Dandelion a part of your diet.

Why Does It Work

Dandelion is a rich source of calcium which is vital for the growth and strengthening of bones while antioxidants like vitamin C and Luteolin protect bones from age-related damage. These herbs are also exceptionally rich in vitamin K, which builds bone mass by promoting osteotropic activity in the bones. Free radicals damage your body including your bones, leading to bone weakness and loss of density. Regular intake of dandelions in any form can prevent these conditions (14).

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17. Promotes Weight Loss

Shedding pounds was never this easy. Dandelion is super-effective in our little expedition against weight loss.

Why Does It Work

Our urine comprises nearly 4% fat. By promoting frequent urination, dandelion aids in the removal of water and fats from the body. Thus, it encourages the loss of water weight without any side effects. Moreover, like most leafy greens, dandelions are low in calories. They are sometimes even used as sweeteners as they do not contain unhealthy sugars (15).

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18. Treatment Of Jaundice

Jaundice can be cured by curbing production of bile, eliminating excess bile from the body and treating viral infection. Dandelion is useful in both the cases.

Why Does It Work

As stated earlier, it regulates bile production. Secondly, being diuretic in nature, dandelion helps in the elimination of excess bile through frequent urination. Thirdly, its antioxidant and disinfectant properties because of the presence of vitamin C and luteolin, help fight viral infections. To reap greater benefits of dandelion, it should be taken with sugarcane juice to replace the sugar which has been drastically lowered due to excess bile. Dandelions also help boost energy levels after infection thus preventing extreme fatigue and weakness caused due to lack of sugar (16).

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19. Helpful In Diabetes

Dandelion juice is found to be effective in regulating the blood sugar levels as it stimulates the production of insulin from the pancreas. It also facilitates elimination of excess sugar from the body by increasing urination.

Why Does It Work

Dandelion prevents deposits of sugar in the kidneys through frequent urination. By keeping blood sugar levels consistently low and regulating insulin release, dandelion prevents dangerous spikes and plunges in sugar levels (17).

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20. Prevents Cancer

Dandelion leaves are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients which can discourage the growth of cancer cells.

Why Does It Work

Antioxidants like vitamin C and luteolin reduce the free radicals, thus lowering the risk of cancer. Being a detoxifier, dandelion prevents the development of tumors and cancers. Luteolin, on the other hand, poisons the essential components of cancer cells, thus rendering them ineffective and unable to reproduce. This property is particularly beneficial in the prevention of prostate cancer (18).

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21. Boosts The Immune System

Give your immune system a boost by using dandelion.

Why Does It Work

Certain studies have shown that dandelion boosts immune function and prevents infection by fighting off microbes and fungi (19).

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22. Improves Brain Health

Dandelion is pretty much the best in making your brain work properly.

Why Does It Work

It is a rich source of Vitamin K. Dandelion provides more than 600% of the recommended value of Vitamin K. The high levels of Vitamin K in the roots tackles neuron damage in the brain, preventing Alzheimer’s disease (20).

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23. For A Better Vision

Don’t we all desire better eyesight?

Why Does It Work

Dandelion contains zeaxanthin, a carotenoid that protects the retina from the UV rays. Regular consumption of dandelion juice also prevents macular degeneration (21).

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24. Natural Detoxifying Agent

Get rid of all the harmful toxins in your body with the help of dandelions.

Why Does It Work

The roots make a wonderful colon cleanser. It improves digestion and removes the wastes, detoxifying the body (22).

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25. Helps Remove Warts

Dandelion is highly recommended for removing warts.

Why Does It Work

The roots of dandelion, when opened, exude a sticky white resin. Apply the sticky resin to warts daily or several times a day to dissolve it (23).

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26. Natural Remedy For Constipation

The high levels of dietary fiber in dandelion root make it beneficial for digestion and intestinal health.

Why Does It Work

Regular consumption of dandelion root adds bulk to the stool, reducing the chances of constipation. It regulates bowel movement, preventing gastrointestinal problems. It is also useful in improving appetite, particularly after surgery (24).

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27. Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Dandelions are known to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.

Why Does It Work

Various studies have shown that dandelion improves cholesterol ratios by pushing up the HDL (25).

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29. Other Benefits

Dandelion greens are rich in nutrients which reduce the risk of cancer, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. Their anti-inflammatory properties are beneficial in asthma and other inflammatory diseases.

[ Read: Health Benefits of Dandelion Roots ]

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Safety Profile

  • Dandelion is generally considered safe for consumption, but some people may have allergic reactions to it. People allergic to chrysanthemum, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, ragweed and daisy should avoid consuming dandelion.
  • People taking blood sugar modulator should not consume dandelion root juice, as it can cause hypoglycemia, a far-reaching health condition. It may also cause potassium toxicity in the body.
  • The milk sap of dandelion can cause itchiness, irritation, and skin rashes. Inulin, a rare type of fiber in dandelion, can also cause allergy in some people.
  • Even though it was used for improving the breast milk secretion in ancient days, it is advisable for pregnant and nursing women to take the advice of their physician before adding dandelion to their diet.

How To Make Dandelion Tea

How-To-Make-Dandelion-Tea

Image: Shutterstock

Like any other green tea variety, dandelion tea too is easy to prepare. Take a look at the process of brewing it right.

What You Need
  • 1 teaspoon of tender dandelion leaves (dried and crushed)
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • Lemon/orange juice
  • Honey (to taste)
Process

Take the dried leaves and put them in a muslin cloth. Tie the top carefully. Drop this bag in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Take out the muslin cloth and squeeze half a lemon and honey to enhance the taste.

A Word Of Caution

Every ingredient has a good and bad side to it. Dandelion is no exception. Do remember these points when using dandelion tea.

A-Word-Of-Caution

Image: iStock

1. Ragweed Allergy

Dandelion might cause allergic reactions when taken internally or when applied to the skin. Individuals who are prone to have allergic reactions to ragweed and other related plants such as marigolds, daisies, chrysanthemums are also likely to be allergic to dandelion flowers. If you have such allergies, do consult your physician before having it.

2. Interaction With Antibiotics

Dandelion might also decrease the absorption of antibiotic in the body. The combination of dandelion and antibiotics might reduce the effectiveness of certain antibiotics. The antibiotics, such as Grepafloxacin, Enoxacin, Sparfloxacin, Ciprofloxacin, Norfloxacin, Trovafloxacin interact with dandelion.

3. Lithium Interaction

Dandelion can cause a diuretic-like effect on the body. Dandelion consumption might increase the amount of lithium in the body, resulting in chronic side effects. Consult your doctor before taking dandelion if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dosage has to be changed to ensure no adverse effect on the body.

4. Water Pills Interaction

Certain water pills might increase the potassium level in the body. Dandelion flower contains a significant amount of potassium. Taking dandelions with some water pills might result in excess quantities of potassium in the body, which can be dangerous. Water pills, such as Spironolactone, Triamterene, and Amiloride increases potassium level in the body.

5. Not Approved By FDA

Dandelion has not been approved and evaluated by FDA for purity, safety, and effectiveness. There are no regulated manufacturing standards for dandelion. Many cases have been reported where this herb supplements were found to be laced with toxins, such as drugs or metals. Thus, dandelion supplements should be purchased from trusted sources to reduce chances of such contamination.

6. Stomach Discomfort

Stomach discomfort is one of the most common side effects of drinking dandelion in the form of tea. This discomfort is due to the increase in gastric acid levels produced in the stomach. It causes persistent pain in the stomach similar to ulcer. This pain subsides by itself, but if it persists, you need to visit your doctor.

7. Gastrointestinal Effects

An upset stomach is another common side effect of dandelion consumption. Loss of appetite, nausea, bloating, and flatulence are the symptoms of an upset stomach. Some individuals might experience increased heartburn, stomach acid, diarrhea when consuming dandelion. If you are taking antacids or other medications to decrease the acid in the stomach, then avoid taking dandelion.

If these symptoms persist, rush to the doctor.

8. Lowers Blood Sugar Level

Dandelion can also lower blood sugar levels in the body. Blurred vision, cold sweat, shaking, dizziness, tingling sensation of hands or feet, fast heartbeat are some of the symptoms of low sugar level. If you have diabetes and are on medication to control the same, make sure you consume minimal amounts of dandelion to avoid your blood sugar levels from plummeting.

9. Pregnancy And Breast Feeding

The effect of dandelion during breastfeeding and pregnancy is not known. But, it is better to err on the side of caution and avoid using dandelion when pregnant or lactating.

10. Other Side Effects

Many individuals might also experience itching, rash, swelling, breathing trouble, severe dizziness post dandelion consumption.

Nutritional Value Of Dandelion

Dandelion is among the top four green vegetables concerning its nutritional value. Besides being the richest green vegetable source of beta-carotene, it is loaded with minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus.
The in-depth nutritional profile of dandelion is explained in the table given below.

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:Dandelion herb greens (Taraxacum officinale), Fresh, Nutrition value per 100 g (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
PrincipleNutrient ValuePercentage of RDA
Energy45 Kcal2%
Carbohydrates9.20 g7%
Protein2.70 g5%
Total Fat0.70 g3%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Dietary Fiber3.50 g9%
Vitamins
Folates27 µg7%
Niacin0.806 mg5%
Pantothenic acid0.084 mg1.5%
Pyridoxine0.251 mg19%
Riboflavin0.260 mg20%
Thiamin0.190 mg17%
Vitamin A10161 IU338%
Vitamin C35 mg58%
Vitamin E3.44 mg23%
Vitamin K778.4 µg649%
Electrolytes
Sodium76 mg5%
Potassium397 mg8%
Minerals
Calcium187 mg19%
Iron3.10 mg39%
Magnesium36 mg9%
Manganese0.342 mg15%
Phosphorus66 mg9%
Selenium0.5 mg1%
Zinc0.41 mg4%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-α363 µg
Carotene-β5854 µg
Crypto-xanthin-β121 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin13610 µg
  • Calories: Fresh dandelion leaves are low in calories with 100 grams serving just 45 calories.
  • Fiber: Dandelion is also a good source of dietary fiber with 100 grams serving contributing 9% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).
  • Vitamin A: Dandelion is an excellent source of vitamin A. A 100 grams serving of dandelion provides 10161 International Units (IU) which is equivalent to 338% of RDA of this vitamin.
  • Vitamin C: Dandelion greens is especially rich in vitamin C, providing 58% of the RDA per 100 grams.
  • Vitamin K: Dandelion is one of the richest herbal sources of vitamin K with 100 grams serving providing 650% of the RDA of this vitamin.
  • B-vitamins: In addition to vitamins A, C, and K, dandelion is also rich in B-complex vitamins like folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and niacin.
  • Calcium: Among the minerals, dandelions are particularly rich in calcium. A cup of chopped dandelion greens provides 103 mg of calcium, contributing 10% of the recommended daily value of this mineral.
  • Protein: A cup of dandelion greens contains 1.5 grams or 14% of the RDA of protein.

Phew, that was a long list to follow right! But, I just hope it was useful for you. Can you share your experience with dandelion by commenting in the box below?

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The one with a constant energy that can leave you awed, Tanya can jump around and talk for the whole day. If not found writing away the desired articles, she can easily be spotted glued to the youtube, eyes wide, spazzing over the perfection of her favorite singer. Functioning without music (Bollywood, Hollywood, Spanish, German, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and what not- Because music is music), and a big cup of tea is an impossibility for her. Ever heard of a totally weird soul that could go frenzy over the smell of a book, especially if it's a Dan Brown or Lee Child? Yep! That would be her.