The dandelion leaves we talking about are the young leaves and stems of dandelion, a perennial herb in the Asteraceae family. They are rich in vitamins, dietary fiber, minerals, amino acids and so on. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion is used to detoxify the liver and gallbladder, improve constipation, and reduce blood sugar and loss of appetite. Fresh dandelion leaves can be eaten or boiled for cooking while dried dandelion leaves can be used to make tea. People collect fresh dandelion leaves and after washing, cutting, steaming, drying and other steps, can be made directly drinkable dandelion tea, with a fragrant and rich taste, can be a substitute for coffee.

It was found that dandelion leaves contain more than 50 kinds of active substances, including flavonoids, terpenoids, Taraxasterol, polysaccharides, phenolic acids, coumarins, organic acids, volatile oil, etc. Its medicinal benefits are closely depend on the active components. You may be a bit skeptical about dandelion leaf extract, but there are some positive signs. Here are some benefits of dandelion leaf extract.

This herb has been used by humans for thousands of years and has positive effects in treating anemia, scurvy, and skin disorders. Dandelion is rich in vitamins and minerals, it is a good source of calcium, magnesium and is the richest source of beta-carotene, which is important for the production of vitamin A. Other benefits of dandelion leaf include anti-rheumatic, anti-carcinogenic, and diuretic effects which may help the liver flush toxins and reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. Furthermore, dandelion-derived compounds have shown promise in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Studies have suggested that dandelion leaf extract may protect against the damage caused by UV rays. When applied after exposure to UVB rays, dandelion flower and leaf extract prevented the skin from developing age spots. Despite the fact that dandelion flower and root extract didn’t offer the same protection, they were found to promote the formation of new skin cells, which may support the skin’s appearance as it ages. In addition, dandelion leaf extract has been shown to reduce inflammation and promote the movement of food through the digestive system.
Dandelion leaf extract was also found to protect against CCl-4-induced hepatitis. Studies also suggested that dandelion leaf extract may prevent cancerous cells in the liver. Although further research is needed to confirm these findings in humans.

Dandelion leaf extract is also known to have antioxidant properties, which is an added bonus. In a study conducted on rats, dandelion leaf extract showed an anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effect. The polyphenols and luteolin in dandelion leaf extract were found to inhibit the synthesis of adipose tissue sterols, a precursor to cellular damage.

The dandelion leaf may be useful for weight management, its ability to boost carbohydrate metabolism has also been suggested to help with weight loss. This plant also contains a number of bioactive components, which may affect blood glucose levels and may be beneficial for diabetics. Some of these compounds are able to inhibit a-glucosidase, which are enzymes that are involved in the breakdown of starch. In addition, dandelion leaf extract enhances insulin secretion activity in b-cells. Furthermore, it appeared to improve insulin sensitivity, this may help prevent T2D and other diabetic complications. Further research is needed to identify the bioactive components and standardize their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles. Then, it will be important to study their effects in vivo. And once this is accomplished, dandelion-derived compounds may find a way to become pharmaceuticals. And if the research works, this herb could prove to be a useful remedy for patients suffering from T2D.

Ye Tao