Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinalis), the common garden weed that produces a beautiful yellow flower and eventually a stalk with seeds that is scattered in the wind, producing a colourful field of Dandelion flowers. This common garden weed is probably my favourite herb of all time because it contains carotenoids, sesquiterpene lactones and has powerful diuretic properties. It contains taraxacerin which is a bitter tonic which can be helpful as a pancreatic stimulator, a liver cleanser and helps to lower triglyceride levels in the blood, making it not only an excellent cholagogue but also helps to get rid of the bad cholesterol in your blood. It is helpful for fatty liver. It contains vitamins A, C, D, K and vitamin B complex and many minerals, all helpful in maintaining a healthy skin.

It stimulates the flow of bile, helping to prevent gallstones, although it should not be taken if one has a blocked bile duct. Dandelion root also acts as a digestive stimulant and a mild laxative. Because it has diuretic properties, it is also recommended for oedema of heart origin and helps to regulate high blood pressure. It is often prescribed by health practitioners for the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism and joint health because it is able to eliminate toxins that cause inflammation in the joints.

Although it is not recommended that you go and pick all your dandelion weed out of your garden to produce your own stash of Dandelion, it is readily available in Tincture and Tea form in the Phyto-Force Herbal range, which has been produced only from organic or wildcrafted herbs, free from fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

Taken as a tincture, it acts quickly and seems to be a good all-round tonic for when one is feeling off colour. It is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women and patients on a potassium-sparing diuretic therapy as it may aggravate potassium toxicity. The dandelion herb can also induce allergic contact dermatitis in some sensitive individuals, so it is recommended that you try it in small doses first.

It is very affordable and available in Health Shops, selected specialist Health Pharmacies and Dis-Chem Pharmacies countrywide. You can also purchase online at www.phyto-force.co.za

This unregistered medicine has not been evaluated by the SAHPRA for its quality, safety or intended use.

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