Strong evidence supports the use of dandelion root for water retention, but you may know of the dandelion flower for a different reason.
When the yellow flower is blooming, dandelion is well known for being the gift of choice among toddlers. Toddlers all over the world (or at least in temperate regions) have shown their affection by picking this wildflower (or weed) and lovingly handing it to their moms, dads, teachers, and grandparents.
When the white seed head is showing, the dandelion looks like a white fluffy ball. When the dandelion transforms into this white puffy ball, those same children will begin making wishes as they blow the seeds into the air. But the dandelion has many other uses besides warming our hearts.
The dandelion root can be taken in supplement form and according to research, provides plenty of health benefits.
What is a Dandelion and what Nutrients does it provide?
Dandelion is a flowering plant also known as the Taraxacum officinale. Other common names for the dandelion flower include lion’s tooth, blowball, puffball, and Irish daisy. You can find dandelions in lawns, on roadsides, and in fields in temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere. All parts of the dandelion are edible from the flowers and leaves to the roots and stems. Dandelions contain many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid (1).
Specifically, dandelions are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and manganese (2).
Dandelion is often taken in the form of a supplement. The flower, root, stem, and leaves can be taken in supplement form, but the dandelion root appears especially beneficial. Dandelion root supplements are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
What Does the Research Say About Using Dandelion Root for Water Retention?
One way dandelions help reduce water retention is by acting as a natural diuretic. In a human study, there was a significant increase in urination frequency in the 5-hour period after taking dandelion supplements (3).
Dandelion may also help with swelling from water retention by acting as an anti-inflammatory. The dandelion’s strong anti-inflammatory properties come from the antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, and polyphenols (2).
In one animal study, dandelion supplements improved lung inflammation and edema in rats with lung injury compared to the control group (4). An in vitro study found similar anti-inflammatory results (5).
Other food and herb sources of antioxidant anti-inflammatories are spinach, kale, chia seeds, flaxseeds, salmon, tuna, parsley, turmeric, green tea, apples, broccoli, and asparagus. You can find out more about the benefits of anti-inflammatories here.
Other Benefits of Dandelion Root
Dandelion root is not only an anti-inflammatory and natural diuretic, but evidence also suggests dandelions provide many other benefits.
The following are Possible Health Benefits of Dandelion Root:
According to a review published in The Review of Diabetic Studies, chlorogenic acid, found in dandelion, reduces hyperglycemia and plays a role in obesity and chronic inflammation prevention. Studies show that chlorogenic acid increases glucose uptake into cells while simultaneously stimulating insulin secretion from the pancreas. Both processes decrease glucose levels in the blood (2, 6).
In one animal study, rats with obesity lost significant weight after consuming components of dandelion. The researchers also observed improvements in obesity-related hormones and lipid metabolism (7).
In several in vitro studies, dandelion significantly slowed cancer cell growth. Other in vitro studies suggest that dandelion has antiviral and antibacterial properties as well (8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14).
In vitro studies also showed that dandelion root could slow the aging process in our skin by promoting new skin cell proliferation (15).
Dandelion also contains prebiotic fiber. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria in our gut. Good bacteria are important for optimal gut health. Optimal gut health has been linked to improved brain health and mood as well as chronic disease prevention. Prebiotics and probiotics may even help with asthma and seasonal allergies.
Mangoes, blueberries, bananas, tart cherries, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip greens, collard greens, carrots, and Brussel sprouts are also good food sources of prebiotics.
SwellNoMore is a good option if you are looking for a supplement that contains dandelion root. Along with dandelion root, SwellNoMore supplements contain a combination of other significantly beneficial anti-inflammatories and natural diuretics. Other anti-inflammatories included in SwellNoMore are rutin, quercetin, bromelain, Boswellia Serrata, green tea extract, parsley, ginger, and turmeric. The natural diuretics in SwellNoMore are green tea, dandelion root, parsley, juniper berry, and cornsilk. This combination of ingredients is designed to help reduce swelling and puffiness caused by water retention and chronic inflammation.
*Please schedule an appointment with your doctor if you are suffering from chronic edema. You should also talk with your doctor about any possible interactions your supplements might have with your specific medications or medical conditions.
About the Author
Lacy Ngo, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian with a Master of Science in Human Nutrition. She is also the author of several books, including The Nourishing Meal Builder, and The Nourishing Meal Builder: The Pescatarian Edition. Ngo has been featured and quoted in Media Outlets like Parade Magazine, The Healthy, Eat This, Not That!, VeryWell Fit, Byrdie, and Authority Magazine.
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