Dandelion leaves contain abundant amounts of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamins A, C and K, and are good sources of calcium (0.19% net weight), potassium (0.4% net weight) and fair amounts of iron and manganese, higher than similar leafy greens such as spinach. They contain 15% protein and 73% carbohydrates, 37% of which is fiber (27% of the leaves are fiber). The leaves also contain smaller amounts of over two dozen other nutrients, and are a significant source of beta carotene (0.03% net weight), lutein (an antitoxidant) and zeaxanthin (combined 0.066% net weight). A cup of dandelion leaves contains 112% daily recommendation of vitamin A, 32% of vitamin C, and 535% of vitamin K and 218 mg potassium, 103 mg calcium, and 1.7 mg of iron.
Dandelions, flowers, roots and leaves, have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine & medicinal teas, most notably for liver detoxification, as a natural diuretic and for inflammation reduction. Unlike other diuretics, dandelion leaves contain good amounts of potassium, a mineral that is often lost during increased micturition. There is also evidence that this property of dandelion leaves may normalize blood sugar.
Dandelion contains Caffeic acid, as a secondary plant metabolite, which some studies have shown to exhibit antiocarcinogenic properties, at low doses but carcinogenic properties at high doses. There have been no known ill effects of caffeic acid in humans.
Dandelions are important plants for bees. Not only is their flowering used as an indicator that the honey bee season is starting, but they are also an important source of nectar and pollen early in the season. Dandelion pollen is a common allergen and is a common component in bee pollen. This allergen may be commonly responsible for asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals.
Is Dandelion an unwanted weed or a beautiful healing flower that pops up in your yard every spring?
Hawk With Seven Eyes
Daniel Hawk With Seven Eyes Hoffman is a founding member of the Taylorville Black Horse Powwow, Inc,' a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization. He has given presentations at schools in Central Illinois area on the history, culture and religious beliefs of the Native American people for over 27 years. Hawk and members of his group present dance demonstrations for children who along with their teachers are invited to dance. Hawk believes children are the future.