Dandelion: Natural Weight Loss Remedies

Well known as a natural diuretic, dandelion may be a helpful weight loss supplement as part of a sensible eating and exercise plan

More often used as a food or beverage than a weight loss supplement, or in natural weight loss remedies, most people think of the dandelion as that pesky garden weed that takes over the garden. Also known as blowball, milk gowan, lion’s tooth, fairy clock, swine’s snout, priest’s crown or wild endive, dandelions generally end up as fodder for the lawnmower.

Over the centuries, dandelion has been used for medicinal purposes and in food and drinks. Its leaves can be eaten raw in salads and sandwiches and it makes an excellent tea. The roots make a good coffee substitute, often found in health food stores, and dandelion flowers are used in wine and schnapps.

Dandelion is a Natural Diuretic

Medicinally, dandelion has been used as a diuretic to treat fevers, boils, diarrhea, fluid retention, heartburn, and various skin problems. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to treat breast cancer, inflammation, lack of milk flow, liver disease and digestive problems. In natural weight loss remedies, dandelion is thought to be a natural diuretic. Theoretically, it can produce significant weight loss by decreasing body water. However, side effects can be allergic reactions and heartburn.

Natural weight loss remedies are becoming more and more in demand in the US, as nearly two-thirds of the adult population is overweight and one third is classified as obese. The herbal weight loss market is now huge and offers hundreds of weight loss supplements and weight loss products. However, have they been properly tested and are they safe to use?

Dandelion in Natural Weight Loss Remedies

Little scientific research has been done on dandelion in natural weight loss remedies. However, it has been used for a long time, so there is some sort of historical “evidence” to support these claims. Those who support the use of dandelion for weight loss claim it can flush out the kidneys, boost metabolism and cut cravings for sweets. This is achieved by eating the leaves raw in a salad, or making tea and drinking it three times a day. There may be some truth in this due to its diuretic properties; however, long-term use can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

Check with a doctor or health care professional before starting any weight loss regime especially if you plan to take any weight loss supplements, herbal or otherwise. Always remember, safe weight loss is best achieved by sensible eating and exercising more.

Sources:

  • Davies MG, Kersey PJ. Contact allergy to yarrow and dandelion. Contact Dermatitis. 1986;14 (ISS 4):256-7.
  • Hu C, Kitts DD. Antioxidant, prooxidant, and cytotoxic activities of solvent-fractionated dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) flower extracts in vitro. J Agric Food Chem. 2003;51(1):301-10.

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