Dandelion, the ally herb for over 60s: the benefits

Who would have thought that a wild plant as widespread as the dandelion could contain so many beneficial properties ?. Yet this colorful flower is a real ally for health, especially for the over 60, always attentive to their well-being.

The dandelion boasts a widespread diffusion throughout Italy, thanks to its rustic nature and almost ubiquitous spontaneous growth. Yet this herb, with serrated leaves and yellow inflorescence, is a true ally of well-being, so much so that it finds space in both the medical and food fields. Here are its amazing properties.

Dandelion, characteristics and origin

Herbaceous plant perennial, the dandelion can settle everywhere, even inside the cracks of the pavements where it grows with tenacity and resistance. Native to Europe and Asia, it is widespread in Mediterranean countries – including Italy – where it proliferates undisturbed. Its yellow flower is an undisputed presence of green areas, able to color lawns and gardens, and then evolve into the characteristic shower heads.

Also known as dandelion, due to the particular indented shape of the leaves, it boasts a series of nicknames that alternate from region to region. Seniors will know the stories and alternative names of this lively plant, such as the romantic “meadow sunflower”, for its ability to orient itself according to sunlight. But also “shepherd’s clock”, for the ability to open the petals in the morning and close them at sunset, or “shepherd’s barometer”, because the flight of its seeds can predict the arrival of the storm.

The dandelion is not only a colorful and fascinating plant to observe, it is also aedible herb and a very good one officinal remedy. The dandelion has been traced since ancient times, both as a decoction and as a purifying product: the Arabs used it to cleanse the blood, while the Chinese used it to detoxify the organs.

Properties and use of the plant loved by the over 60s

Known as Taraxacum officinale, and an integral part of the Composite or Asteraceae family, it is also known as a dandelion. As mentioned, it is widely used both for food use and as a herbal remedy and is particularly suitable for those over 60.

Not surprisingly, the plant is edible in all its parts and ensures a good quantity of fibre, vitamins A and C and carotenoids, potassium, magnesium, phytosterols useful for lowering cholesterol and natural antioxidants. A valid product both raw and cooked, both in decoction and infusion and dried version, or taken as a supplement or herbal tea. Between property and the benefits of dandelion:

  • stimulates the diuresis when taken as a steamed side dish;
  • using the root improves liver capacity and adequate bile production;
  • decongests and detoxifies the liver;
  • reduces the cholesterol and promotes biliary elimination;
  • stimulates pancreatic activity;
  • improves the well-being of the intestinal flora;
  • lower the pressure;
  • acts on water retention and cellulite;
  • facilitates good digestion;
  • enhance the immune system.

Dandelion can consume fresh during the spring or dried as a substitute for coffee, while with the flowers you can make a tasty jam or a sweetening syrup. It can be taken as an infusion, decoction or herbal tea, but it is contraindicated for those suffering from gastric acidity, gallstones, reflux, gastritis, kidney problems and in association with some drugs. It could also promote allergic phenomena, so it is better not to improvise but ask your doctor and your herbalist for advice.

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