Plant Based Diet
Plant Based Diet
By | January 21st, 2013 | Modified - October 4th, 2014

Dandelion Root For Herbal Benefits
Dandelion Root For Herbal Benefits

I used dandelion root capsules as part of my three month herbal cleanse when I first started on my plant based vegan diet. The capsules consisted of dandelion root and dandelion leaves.

Herbalists use dandelion root to detoxify the liver and gallbladder, and dandelion leaves to support kidney function. Dandelion leaves act as a diuretic and increase the amount of urine produced by the body, supporting kidney function. Dandelion leaves are also used to stimulate the appetite and aid digestion.

Dandelion Root Aids Liver And Gallbladder Functioning

Herbalists use dandelion root to increase bile production to break down fats and remove cholesterol from the body. Studies support that dandelion root extract fights liver fibrosis by inactivating hepatic stellate cells, the the major cell type involved in liver fibrosis, and by supporting liver health by enhancing hepatic (liver) regenerative capabilities.

The bitter compound taraxacin of dandelion root possesses cholagogue properties which cause the gallbladder to contract to increase bile flow. The buildup of harmful material in the gallbladder can reduce gallbladder contraction which results in less bile being released to break down fats and to remove cholesterol from the body.

Dandelion Root Aids Digestion

With dandelion root’s ability to increase bile production in the liver and bile release from the gallbladder, fats and cholesterol are broken down and removed from the body more efficiently, which improves the digestive process.

Dandelion root is also a mild laxative which helps to soften stool, which takes pressure of the intestine’s muscles in moving stool out of the body. When the intestine’s muscles have to work extra hard to move waste out of the body, the extra pressure can cause pouches called diverticula to form, which will fill with and trap stool and cause a buildup of toxins in the digestive track.

Dandelion Leaf Aids Kidney Functioning

Having proper kidney functioning is essential for healthy living. The sesquiterpene lactones (bitter) compounds found in both dandelion leaf and dandelion roots have diuretic effects. This diuretic effect of dandelion leaf is important in cleansing the kidney because it increases urination which helps to remove toxins from the kidney.

Since the sesquiterpene lactone found in dandelion root and dandelion leaf are diuretics and increase the excretion of water from the body, it is important to drink adequate amounts of water to compensate for the water loss. Diuretics cause the body to remove excess sodium and chloride from the body, which also eliminated from the body through the urine.

The high amount of vitamins, calcium, potassium and other trace minerals in dandelion root and dandelion leaf balances the nutrients removed from the body as a result of dandelion root and leaf’s diuretic effects. While on my three month herbal cleanse I made sure to drink a gallon of water a day, to fight dehydration which can occur because of the water loss caused by the diuretic.

Please take precautions using any herb and follow the manufacturers serving size. Women who are pregnant should consult with their physician before taking any herb or medicine.

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About Author:

I obtained a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University. I eat a plant based diet and I am an avid researcher of the benefits of a whole food, plant based alkaline diet. I obtained a BA in Organizational Behavior and Communications from NYU, worked as an elementary school teacher, and have studied social work. I am a web designer/developer and I enjoy boxing, kick boxing, cycling, power walking, and basically anything challenging. Eating a plant based diet and exercising is a great way to achieve healthy living. ~ Natural Life Energy

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