You will have certainly seen dandelion leafs before as they really look striking when in the field. But did you know they have many health benefits too?
This is why you’re seeing dandelion leaf extract appearing in many health products as they could provide a simple addition to your healthy and wellness routine.
In this article, however, we will be narrowing our focus on dandelion leaves, there benefits and why it’s one of core ingredients in Supergreen TONIK.
What is Dandelion Leaf Extract?
Taken from the leaves of the dandelion plant, the dandelion leaf extract is often used in dietary supplements as a diuretic for digestive problems. These yellow florets are also known as Taraxacum spp. and Taraxacum officinale is the most common species of dandelions.
Although dandelions have gained a bad reputation for being a pesky garden weed, these white puffballs are surprisingly beneficial to your health. Renowned and widely used in traditional herbal medicine, dandelions have long been used to treat liver, gallbladder and bile problems.
What are the Benefits of Dandelion Leaves?
Don’t let these tiny golden flowers fool you, they are not just stubborn garden weeds. People have used dandelions for centuries, administered as a natural remedy used in tea, juice or tonic. Recently, its multitude of health benefits has become more well-known and it is now being added in various health supplements such as supergreen powders.
Dandelion leaf extract are full of Vitamin A, an essential nutrient in regards to maintaining your eye health. Dandelions contain a red-orange pigment, also known as beta-carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A in our bodies.
Vitamin A promotes healthier skin, boosts our immune systems and most significantly, aids in eye health and vision. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 5,836 older adults showed a link between a higher intake of Vitamin A and a significantly lower risk of macular degeneration caused by aging.
A rich source of vitamins and minerals, this includes Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. Dandelion leaves can be useful in boosting your intake of minerals.
Although packed full of nutritious goodness, one of the most nutrient dense ingredients is still Spirulina. We check out this powerhouse greens and protein nutrient in our benefits of Spirulina article.
As mentioned previously, dandelions are full of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is in fact, also a form of carotenoids that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants are important as they neutralize or protect you from the effects of free radicals in your body.
Free radicals are toxic by-products of metabolism that can cause “oxidative stress”, leading to cell damage. Thus, the body requires antioxidants to counter the negative effects of free radicals.
Dandelions are also high in polyphenols, another type of antioxidant. The flowers contain the highest concentration of polyphenols, but it can also be found in the leaves of the dandelion.
Decreases Water Weight
Dandelion greens are a natural diuretic; they increase urination, reducing bloating and levels of water retention in the body.
According to a study conducted by the Department of Herbal Medicine at the Tai Sophia Institute of Maryland (1), consuming dandelion extract has been shown to significantly increase the frequency of urination for up to 5 hours. It’s diuretic properties can help the liver to flush toxins out of the body and also reduce the risk of urinary tract infections.
However, the study was conducted with only 17 participants, over a short period of time. More research has to be done to prove its effectiveness.
Aid in Weight Loss
Consuming dandelion greens can inhibit fat absorption in the body, by disrupting enzyme activity. According to a study in the Nutrition Research and Practice (2), dandelion leaves showed strong inhibitory behavior towards pancreatic lipase, the digestive enzyme that breaks down fat molecules in the body. Results showed that the dandelion extract had a drastic effect on the pancreatic lipase activity, reducing it by a whopping 86%, excreting larger amounts of fats.
Furthermore, lipase is also the digestive enzyme that breaks down triglycerides into fatty acids. The fall in lipase activity due to dandelion leaves can lead to increased excretion of triglycerides, hence, reduce the risk of heart disease.
Promotes a Healthy Liver
Studies on animals have found that dandelions are able to protect the liver from damage in the presence of toxic substances and stress. In a 2010 study (3), when mice were exposed to dangerous levels of acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol, the dandelion leaf extract prevented and protected the liver from oxidative damage and inflammation.
May Boost your Immune System
Although research has not been conducted extensively, some studies have shown links that dandelion extract has reduced the ability of viruses to reproduce and replicate. The antimicrobial and antiviral properties of dandelions could be able to protect the body against bacteria and fight against infections.
More in-depth research has to be done in order to draw more definite conclusions about the medicinal properties of the dandelion.
What are the Side-effects of Dandelion Leaves?
Some people can have an allergic reaction to dandelion if it is consumed or applied to the skin. If you are sensitive to flowers from the same family such as ragweed, daisies, chrysanthemums or marigolds, it’s safer for your health to not consume dandelion leaves. When consumed or applied, please discontinue immediately if symptoms such as redness of the skin, itching, or swelling occur. Bring the suspected product and talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Dandelion leaves might also interact with other medications, such as certain diuretics and antibiotics. If you’re on any prescribed drugs, speak to your healthcare provider before consuming and dandelion-related products.
Do note that the exact amount safe to consume is still not certain. Research is still lacking in this area. The effectiveness and strength vary according to each product, hence it is always best to follow the recommended doses written on the bottle. Speak to your nutritionist if you have any concerns.
Where Can I Buy Some?
You can find dandelion leaves in a salad bowl at times, but it is not widely available. It is definitely not the safest to simply pick the plant from your garden either, due to the potential use of pesticides, or the presence of animal excretion.
But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that dandelions are generally safe to use in food products.
Due to its array of health benefits, the dandelion leaf extract is included in various health supplements, often found in Supergreen powders.
This is why it is one of the key ingredients in SuperGreen Tonik. Each 12g serving contains 500mg of dandelion leaf extract. SuperGreen Tonik contains a safe amount of dandelion leaf extract that can give your body an extra boost, along with an abundance of healthy superfoods that can supplement your daily nutrient intake.