Dandelion – "lion’s tooth"

Health Benefits of Dandelion
Active ingredients:
bitters, tannins, some essential oils, flavonoids.
 
Dandelion has been growing in my parent’s garden since I can remember. My Mum use to make winter syrup from the flowers, which I and my sister enjoyed collecting so much in the summer.
 
Here is what I found interesting, with the links to full articles included:
Perhaps dandelion is more popular as an ornamental flowering plant than as a medicine. The flowers of dandelion look brilliant and can be seen in various gardens and parks. There are many varieties of dandelion, but the common dandelion is scientifically known as Taraxacum Officinale. Dandelion literally translates into “lion’s tooth” in French.
Dandelion greens are my number one choice for a smoothie green. Not only do they provide a higher amount of calcium and iron than most cultivated greens, they have a wide array of health benefits that make them the perfect all around nutritional boost.
Here are ten reasons you should use dandelion greens in your next smoothie.
1 – High in Calcium: Dandelion greens are loaded with calcium. Just one cup of chopped dandelion greens has 103 milligrams (10% of the recommended daily value) of calcium! That’s slightly more than kale! Add two to three cups of dandelion to a smoothie with calcium-rich fruits like orange, kiwi, fig or papaya and you’ll have a green smoothie that has more calcium than any dairy product!
2 – Rich in Iron: Next to fresh parsley, dandelion greens have a high iron content. One cup contains 1.7 milligrams of iron.
3 – Low Calories: Like all leafy greens, dandelions are low in calories. One cup of chopped dandelion greens has only 25 calories. While leafy greens are a low calorie food, I actually prefer to use dandelions because they have more calories than other greens. Since I try to get as many calories as I can into my morning smoothies, I add up to 4 cups of dandelion which adds 100 calories of nutrient-rich food!
4 – Loaded With Antioxidants: Dandelion greens are high in vitamin A in the form of antioxidant carotenoid (beta-carotene) and vitamin C. Vitamin C also helps facilitate iron absorption.
5 – The Ultimate Detox & Cleansing Green: If your goal is detoxification and cleansing, dandelion greens should be the ones you use in green smoothies! They are said to help cleanse the liver and many detox recipes call for them.
6 – Lots Of Minerals: Dandelion greens are rich in minerals. Besides calcium and iron, they are a good source of copper (10% RDA), manganese (8% RDA), phosphorus (5% RDA), potassium (5% RDA) and magnesium (5% RDA).
7 – 14% Protein: Dandelion greens have more protein per serving than spinach. The greens themselves are 14% protein and contain all essential amino acids so it’s a complete protein. One chopped cup contains 1.5 grams of protein.
8 – Multivitamin Green: Besides vitamin A as beta-carotene (186% RDA) and vitamin C (21% RDA), each cup of chopped dandelion greens are also good sources of vitamins B1 (9% RDA), B2 (11% RDA) and B6 (11% RDA), vitamin E (13% RDA) and especially abundant in vitamin K (357% RDA).
10 – Health Benefits of Dandelion Greens: The nutrients in dandelion greens may help reduce the risk of cancer, multiple sclerosis, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and stroke. Dandelion contains anti-inflammatory properties which may provide benefit to those with asthma and other inflammatory diseases.
By Tracy Russell:
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