Dandelions are a commonly found plant and are frequently considered to be weeds. However, their leaves and roots are rich in vitamins and can be eaten. Dandelions have been used for centuries as an herbal treatment for many ailments, among them kidney and liver problems, stomach upset, and diabetes.
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Dandelion herbs and roots are available in a variety of forms ranging from liquid extracts to capsules and tablets. Dried dandelion roots or leaves can be made into tea by steeping them in hot water. When using dandelion supplements or tea, take three times daily or as directed. You should always consult your doctor before beginning a new treatment or supplement.
Dandelion may normalize blood sugar levels and improve cholesterol, both of which can improve diabetic symptoms. In 2001, a study by scientists Petlevski, Hadzija, Slijepcevic, and Juretic at the University of Zagreb published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” reported that treatment with an extract containing dandelion lowered blood sugar in diabetic mice. However, although dandelion supplements have traditionally been used to help treat diabetes, more scientific evidence is needed to support this claim.
Dandelion may increase heartburn or irritate the skin. Overuse of dandelion supplements may result in gastrointestinal upset as dandelion is thought to have a laxative and diuretic effect.
Some people may have allergic reactions to dandelion. Dandelion can also interact with certain prescription drugs, including lithium, antibiotics, and antacids. Consult your doctor before beginning to take dandelion supplements.