• Jasmine Blake Hollywood, MS, HHP

Dandelion Greens for Detoxification and NAFLD

Updated: Sep 18

What is Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?


Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is defined as hepatic steatosis, which is the accumulation of fat cells in the liver. [2]. The difference between Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is the alcohol factor, in which alcohol is consumed or not consumed. [2]. Inflammation can co-exist with hepatic steatosis. [2]. Other diseases may be present such as obesity, mitochondrial dysfunction, insulin residence issues, and overload of oxidative stress. [2]. Some researchers say that Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease may be directly correlated with Metabolic Syndrome or Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, in addition to cardiovascular disease (CVD). [2].


The Bitters and Mediterranean Diet Intervention


Incorporating Dandelion Greens or Dandelion Root into the daily diet of a person who has been diagnosed with NAFLD, is highly recommended as a dietary protocol. [6]. It is also highly recommended that the Mediterranean diet be adopted, detoxification strategies of incorporating antioxidant type foods, along with optimal weight loss or some of the movement daily. [2]. The reduction of alcohol, saturated fatty acids, and trans fats, elimination of food allergies or sensitivities, and reduction of the abundance of refined and processed carbohydrates are also highly recommended.  [2].


Dandelion and Medicinal Uses 


Dandelion Root or Leaf is considered a hepatic. Hepatics in holistic medicine are meant to aid in working with the liver to tone and strengthen the organ. [4]. Hepatics also increase the flow of bile. [4]. In addition to acting as a hepatic, Dandelion also acts as a cholagogue or choleretic. [4;5]. Cholagogue's aid in bile production and flow, reduces inflammation, as it reduces congestion of the liver. [3;4]. As well, Dandelion can act as a diuretic where there may be water retention, an anti-rheumatic for muscular complications, a laxative due to its potent nutrient content, and a tonic. [4].


Dietary Consumption

Dandelion Root or Leaf can be utilized in many different ways to get benefits. one way, it can be utilized is as a tea. [3;4]. Seep leaves in boiling water or place two to three teaspoons of the root in a cup of boiling water. [4]. As a tea, Dandelion can be consumed three times a day. [4]. Also, it can be used in soups, steamed, or even consumed fresh as a salad leaf. [3]. Another way to incorporate Dandelion into one's diet is to supplement in tablet form. These should be taken as directed.


Dandelion Root and Leaf in Clinical Studies


Various articles have researched the effects of Dandelion root as a hepatic antioxidant type herb.  Dandelion has been shown to reduce peroxidation of the liver and promote healing. [1]. Dandelion root has also been proven to reduce cholesterol levels and lipid peroxidation in the liver by reduction of oxidative stress. [1]. Another study found that dandelion root was able to produce a protection reaction to alcohol-induced toxicity of the liver and was able to promote anti-oxidant effects and decrease lipid peroxidation in the liver. [7].


Dandelion Tea Recipe


Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Chop Dandelion root into equal portions and spread evenly into a baking pan.

  • Bake roots for about 30 to 40 minutes and remove.

  • Grind in a blender.

  • Place about 3 to 4 oz of blended roots in 1 quart of fresh water and bring to a boil.

  • Let simmer.

  • The longer the simmer the more potent.  

  • Strain and drink.


(Adopted from Rosemary Galdstar's Medicinal Herbs; A Beginners Guide). [2].

References:

  1. Choi, U. K., Lee, O. H., Yim, J. H., Cho, C. W., Rhee, Y. K., Lim, S. I., & Kim, Y. C. (2010). Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root and leaf on cholesterol-fed rabbits. International journal of molecular sciences, 11(1), 67–78. doi:10.3390/ijms11010067

  2. Gaby, A. (2017). Nutritional Medicine (2nd ed.).  Concord, NH: Fritz Perlberg Publishing.

  3. Gladstar, R. (2012). Rosemary gladstar's medicinal herbs; a beginner's guide. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing. 

  4. Hoffmann, D. (1998). The herbal handbook: A users guide to medical herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

  5. Schütz, K., Carle, R., & Schieber, A. (2006). Taraxacum--a review on its phytochemical and pharmacological profile. Journal of  Ethnopharmacology,107,313–323.

  6. Wirngo, F. E., Lambert, M. N., & Jeppesen, P. B. (2016). The Physiological Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) in Type 2 Diabetes. The review of diabetic studies: RDS, 13(2-3), 113–131. doi:10.1900/RDS.2016.13.113 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5553762/ (Links to an external site.)

  7. You, Y., Yoo, S., Yoon, H. G., Park, J., Lee, Y. H., Kim, S., Oh, K. T., et al... (2010). In vitro and in vivo hepatoprotective effects of the aqueous extract from Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) root against alcohol-induced oxidative stress. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 48,1632–1637 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20347918

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