Weed Like to Talk About Dandelions

by Tab Moura

Spring is here! I’ve been watching the landscape closely over the last few weeks; the weeds are coming and the bees aren’t the only ones happy to see them. 

One of the most common weeds that I come across locally is the dandelion. Far from being the only wildflower native to Oklahoma, it’s certainly one that everyone recognizes. Traditionally considered a nuisance to the token American lawn, for decades we have dumped weed killer on our lawns when the flowers at our feet are so useful. There are a few weeds I want to share with you, but today let’s discuss Dandelions.

1. Dandelion herb tea

Dry the flowers and stems, steep in hot water with local honey to support the kidneys and increase urine output.

2. Dandelion root coffee

Buy pre-prepared dandelion root coffee from a local store, or roast the roots yourself, before steeping them in hot water to make coffee.

3. Supports weight loss

By mimicking effects seen in a common weight loss drug, dandelion can inhibit pancreatic lipase, an enzyme released during digestion. 

4. May help treat cancer 

A Canadian study conducted a decade ago, noted that dandelion root causes cell death in melanoma and pancreatic cancer cells, without affecting the healthy cells around them.

5. Antioxidants

Able to help manage the effects of free-radicals, Dandelions are able to help protect cells from harm with beta carotene. Carotenoids and polyphenols are both noteworthy antioxidants in the Dandelion plant.

6. Various benefits

Too many to list! Dandelion has shown promising results with managing things like type 2 diabetic blood sugar levels, blood pressure, overall inflammation and also boosts the immune system.

7. Bees

This time of year, Dandelions are the primary food source for bees in most suburban areas! Dandelions have both pollen and nectar, making them important during early Spring, until more flowering plants and trees are available to feed them. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of Dandelion, hop on Google to search Dandelion+benefits and see the studies yourself. I like to take time to appreciate the medicines that have been around the longest. No medicine is one size fits all, so if you are interested in giving any of these ideas a try, I recommend making sure you aren’t already taking medications that interact with your kidney or liver, to avoid interactions. More weeds coming soon!

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