Friday, 19 March 2010

Should I Take Dandelion (Taraxacum)?

Dandelion (Taraxacum) is used in Germany as treatment for dyspepsia, an appetite stimulant, bile stimulator and diuretic. Dandelion roots are utilized for flatulence as well as the feeling of fullness and loss of appetite. Dried dandelion roots can also be used as a coffee alternative. Dandelions can be mixed in wines and salads.

Dandelion was traditionally used fro treating ailments in gallbladder, spleen and liver. It can be used as anti diabetic as well as a mild laxative.

Since dandelion contains potassium, it is helpful for kidney treatment as well as prevention of kidney stones. It is also known to have solvent and disinfectant properties that are effective on urinary calculi.

Dandelion roots have taraxalisin enzyme, which has hypoglycemic effects that may affect the immune system and the glucose level in the blood. It also fuels the production of nitric oxide that is necessary for the defense and regulation of the immune system.

According to researches, the use of dandelion is effective and safe, though if you have serious medical conditions, you must consult your doctor before taking dandelion. Numerous animal laboratory examinations recommend that dandelion have anti- inflammatory substances. The extract from dandelion flower has antioxidant properties and reports have shown that some patients who used herbal preparations with dandelion enhanced chronic pain connected with colitis. In addition, dandelion has effects in the levels of blood sugar in animals. Dandelion is proven to be effective in the improvement of the liver function for people who suffer in hepatitis B.

Usually, dandelion root is mixed with other herbs. Due to this fact, the medical effects of dandelion are not clear.

Several reactions regarding dandelion are GI or biliary tract blockage, GI discomfort, gallstones, certain allergic reactions, contact dermatitis and gallbladder inflammation. There is a higher risk of bleeding when dandelion is used together with other medications including anticoagulants or anti-platelet prescriptions such as heparin, aspirin, clopidrogrel, NSAIDs, warfarin and ticlopidine. The use of dandelion combined with anti diabetics may cause hypoglycemia and when it is used with anti hypertensive, it may cause addictive effects. The levels of blood ciprofloxacin may also decrease.

People with dandelion allergies, bile obstruction, ileus or empyema as well as those who have photosensitive dermatitis must avoid using dandelion.

The leaves, flowers, roots and stems of the dandelion plant are edible and can be used as herbal medication. Tinctures of dandelion may include fifteen to sixty percent alcohol that may not be suitable for alcoholic patients, people with liver disease and children. Those who are taking medications such as disulfiram or metronidazole should prevent dandelion usage.

Some people that have dandelion dermatitis may experience allergic reactions to sesquiterpene lactones. Gastric discomfort may also be experienced due to the bitter essence present in the dandelion leaves. It is recommended not to collect dandelion from lands that are treated with fertilizer or weed killer. Patients must not have dandelion therapy as a substitute for a diuretic that is prescribed by the doctor. If a person is using a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, it is best not to take dandelions due to possible decrease in the antibiotic levels in blood.

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