WHAT IS DANDELION?
‘Dandelion’- though the name seems rather unfamiliar, most of us have come across this herb and ignored it considering it 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. Here are some of the skin, hair and health benefits of dandelion.
Dandelion is a flowering plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. It is mostly found scattered in lawns, meadows, gardens and even on pavements. It has its origin in Central Asian regions and grows naturally in temperate and semi-tropical regions. It is a hardy plant with long taproots and long dark green leaves that rise directly from the ground, radiating in all directions. It is known by strange names such as priest’s crown, monk’s head, Irish daisy and even lion’s tooth. Dandelion root is fleshy and dark brown in colour with white pulp inside. This is the bitter milky latex which is also found in the stems and leaves but more concentrated in the root. This plant also bears golden yellow flowers which rise straight from the roots at the end of the hollow stalks. These flowers bloom in late spring to early autumn. More than food, dandelion is used as an ornamental plant for the purpose of decoration.
However, this herb is highly nutritious with almost all the parts of the plant including leaves, flower tops and root providing several health benefits. 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. 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 dandelion tea, capsules and tinctures. Apart from its culinary uses, it is beneficial in the treatment of several medical conditions.
The rich plethora of nutrients in dandelion helps in maintaining skin health and preventing skin problems. Thus, incorporating dandelion in your diet can provide various benefits to your skin given below.
TREATMENT OF ACNE
As stated earlier, dandelion juice is a great detoxifier, diuretic and antioxidant. These properties make it effective for the treatment of acne. This disorder is caused due to hormonal imbalance and mostly occurs during teens when the body undergoes physiological and hormonal changes. This leads to the accumulation of toxic substances which tend to come out through the sweat glands or sebaceous glands on the skin and when mixed with dead skin, block the pores and cause acne. Microbial infections in the affected area further aggravate this condition.
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. Vitamin C in it 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 1 to 2 teaspoons of dandelion root or leaves in a cup of water. This will rid your body of toxins that cause acne.
TREATMENT OF SKIN DISEASES
Dandelion sap known as dandelion milk is effective in treating skin diseases caused by microbial and fungal infections. This is because dandelion sap is highly alkaline in nature and exhibits powerful germicidal, fungicidal and insecticidal properties. It can be used for the treatment of itchiness, eczema, warts, athlete’s foot, ringworm and other similar conditions without any side effects. However, you need to be careful while using it so as to avoid any contact with the eyes.
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. The leaves and roots of this plant have been used in Chinese medicine to treat poison ivy, sunburns and hives.
Being rich in antioxidants, dandelions provide anti-ageing benefits, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines, age spots and wrinkles around the eyes and lips. Besides nourishing your skin, this herb helps tone and firm up sagging and unbalanced skin.