Dandelion is such a pest as a weed that its often forgotten for what it is - a nutritional healing herb, for more than a thousand years.
Animal studies show dandelion does indeed have diuretic action which may help relieve the bloated feeling of PMS and can help eliminate water weight.
Dandelion also may help reduce the amount of sugar in the blood. Some studies also suggest that dandelion root has anti-inflammatory properties, suggesting possible value in treating arthritis. A Japanese study showed some anti-tumor activity as well. All indications of the health benefits of herbs.
The bitter components in the roots is what gives it the smell and flavor of fresh brewed coffee. Dandelion coffee manages to activate the liver into producing more bile. It is an excellent "nutritional" source of coffee. It does not create havoc with your liver (because of the oils) or with your nerves (because of the caffeine).
German studies suggest that dandelion stimulates the flow of bile, which helps digest fats. In addition, dandelion contains the chemical compounds coumestrol, inulin and pectin. Coumestrol is a plant estrogen that may promote milk production in nursing mothers. Inulin converts to fructose in the body. The liver can convert fructose into glycogen without requiring insulin; thus, may be beneficial to those with diabetes. And pectin is a soluble fiber that is helpful in preventing constipation, controlling diarrhea and lowering blood cholesterol.
Using dandelion as a diuretic for weight loss can be dangerous; as with any diuretic, weight loss using diuretics almost always returns. Diuretics also deplete the body of potassium, an essential nutrient. People taking diuretics should be sure to eat foods high in potassium, such as, bananas and fresh vegetables. Fortunately, dandelion causes less potassium loss than other diuretics because this herb itself is high in potassium.
Dandelion flowers have a lecithin concentration of 29,700 parts per million; soybeans, the traditional source, came in with a count of 15,000 - 25,000 parts per million. Lecithin is a term used by scientist to denote phosphorus fatty acids produced inside the body by the liver. It helps in the metabolism of fats, so they don’t accumulate within the liver or heart, and is also concentrated in the myelin sheaths of our nerves, protecting them from stress and infection.
CHEMICAL & NUTRIENT CONTENT:
Caffeic acid, carbohydrates, coumestrol, fiber, inulin, lecithin, lutein, luteolin, pectin, protein, zeaxanthin, biotin (vitamin B7), calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, zinc and vitamins A, C and K.
Harvest young leaves as they develop. As the leaves mature, they become unpleasantly bitter. Harvest the root at the end of the second growing season. To prevent spreading, clip the flowers before seed tufts form.
The stem of the dandelion contains a milky fluid. When a little of this is rubbed onto a wart several times each day, the wart will usually begin shriveling up and soon disappear.
Other herbs with diuretic actions include alfalfa, angelica, astragalus, burdock, dong quai, fennel, garlic, gotu kola, hawthorn, horsetail, mint, psyllium, rhubarb, saw palmetto, stinging nettle, and white willow.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR PETS:
The flowers have weak but useful analgesic qualities that are safe and gentle pain relief for cats; which cannot endure salicylates, compounds found in aspirin. Using a handful of flowers, make a weak tea and administer with a dropper.