It is the middle of summer here in the Minneapolis area, and warm air and summer fun surrounds us. Do you know what else is in abundance in Minnesota? Those pesky, irritating, no good dandelions. They continue to creep up throughout our lawns like a bad habit that won’t go away. If you find one, you are sure to find more. But before we talk about how to get rid of this obnoxious yellow eyesore, did you know that dandelion is used as a medicinal herb in many other countries? It is also completely edible and extremely nutritious.
Yes, as crazy as it sounds, dandelions are edible. Not only are they edible, but they are also nutritious! The entire dandelion is edible and can be eaten cooked or raw. The leaves can be added to soups, salads, put on sandwiches, and used in teas for flavor. Dandelions can also be used to make honey and jelly. The dandelion plant contains a large number of vitamins including K, A, B, C, and E, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. They are also full of antioxidants, the substances that prevent or slow damage to our body’s cells.
Some of the Nutritional Benefits Dandelions Offer Include:
There are bioactive compounds found in dandelions that may help lower cholesterol, decreasing your risk for heart disease.
Lower Blood Pressure
The leaves of a dandelion plant act as a natural diuretic and have been used throughout history to help control one’s blood pressure naturally. They also contain a lot of potassium which helps lower blood pressure.
Support Healthy Digestion
Many people believe that the roots act as a mild laxative aiding in gastrointestinal health. Those who practice herbal medicine have been using dandelion tea to treat constipation and other digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and general digestive discomfort for many years. Dandelion roots are full of gut-friendly fiber. Research has found that the plant contains large amounts of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, two of the most common species used as probiotics.
Helps in Controlling Blood Sugar
Dandelions have been shown to help diabetic episodes, such as enhancing insulin secretion and sensitivity. In one study, using dandelion root powder significantly reduced blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes. More research is needed, but the results received so far are promising.
May Help Reduce the Risk of Obesity
Lose weight? You have to be kidding me. Now I may start eating dandelions. According to one study, dandelions react to our body’s metabolism similar to how the weight loss drug, Orlistat, does. Pancreatic lipase is the body’s primary way of absorbing fat, so reducing this enzyme may result in improved weight maintenance. Of course, this was just one study. Therefore, I will need a few more of these studies before I am convinced.
Support Healthy Bones
Dandelions have a ton of calcium, the mineral that your body uses to build healthy bones and teeth. They are also full of vitamin K, another factor in supporting healthy bones. With almost every cell in the body using calcium, your body requires a lot of it to stay functional. Add a few dandelion leaves to your salad, add a few roots to your tea and strengthen that bone structure!
Boost Immune System
Dandelions have antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which act as agents fighting off infections and bacteria naturally. After we’ve all witnessed a global pandemic, everyone is looking for a way to stay healthier and avoid illness. This powerful super-plant is also packed with antioxidants, which also help our bodies fight off diseases including cancer, heart disease, immune deficiencies, and inflammation.
Several studies have shown that leaf extract from dandelions leads to the slowing of cancer cells in the liver, colon, and pancreatic tissue. While more research is needed, this could be ground-breaking for cancer patients.
Inflammation is one of your body’s natural responses to injury or illness. Dandelions may be effective in reducing inflammation caused by disease due to various bioactive compounds like polyphenols within the plant.
Rich in antioxidants, dandelions have anti-aging benefits for the skin. The dandelion extract can help to nourish the skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles and toning unbalanced skin.
Stop This Obnoxious Weed From Invading Your Minnesota Yard With Showcase Lawn Care
I don’t know about you, but this has not convinced me to yet go out and start pulling dandelions and eating them. If it has, there are tons of recipes online to help you get started. For those of us who are not there yet, your friends at Showcase Lawn Care offer a highly effective weed control program. Our weed control program provides the prevention and control needed to stop dandelions and other weeds in their tracks. We will treat your lawn, as well as your rock beds, mulch beds, driveways, and sidewalks.
Give us a call at (763) 425-1200 or contact us online now to learn more about our exceptional weed control program. Then, check out our other blog articles for more tips and ideas regarding all things lawn care.