Mom at home scientist

Ecology of my motherhood; analyzed, frugal, and (mostly) natural.

Real Science and Natural Wonder; Dandelion to Prevent Atherosclerosis

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Dandelion Flower from Wikimedia

Sometimes I come across a study that is too good not to share! Just a heads up disclaimer though; these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any real merit though, just that dandelions aren’t a regulated drug. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t AS effective, or more so, than drugs you may be prescribed, but only that they aren’t a patentable creation that would garner enough profit to pay for the regulatory system and the expensive studies needed for their rubber-stamp of approval.

So, the study I stumbled across is from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences and is titled, “Hypolipidemic and Antioxidant Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) Root and Leaf on Cholesterol-Fed Rabbits.” You can find the article here.

In a nutshell, there were 4 groups of animals. The control group (the normal one) received a regular rabbit diet, a high-cholesterol group, a high-cholesterol and dandelion leaf supplemented group, and a high-cholesterol and dandelion root supplemented group.

What they found was that dandelion greatly affected the rabbits by reducing artery damage by cholesterol, lowered “bad” cholesterol, raised “good” cholesterol and acted as a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants are known to be beneficial by protecting dietary lipids from oxidation, suppressing the onset and development of atherosclerosis, and reducing the progression of atherosclerosis lesions .

So there you have it! Eat dandelions!!!

So, how do you go about it? Dandelions taste best in the spring but are still beneficial to eat throughout the year. This spring, I dug up a lot of dandelions. I chopped up roots finely, dried them and then ran them through a blender. This created a great medium for use as tea, or to add to your broth that you make as a base for meals.

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I used the tops as greens in salads and on sandwiches in place of lettuce. I threw the greens, flowers and roots into broths and into the freezer for future stock making. I chopped the leaves up and sauteed them with the goodies for omelets. My mother in-law even suggested battering and frying up the flowers, but it was too late in the season by the time I thought I’d try that. Next year I plan to make dandelion wine and dandelion chocolate too! 🙂

 

 

Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2010, 11(1), 67-78; doi:10.3390/ijms11010067

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Author: Jenn

A busy at home scientist and mom with hypothyroid Hashimoto's, Jenn tries to make the best decisions for her family based on science, frugality, religion, health, sustainability and time management (not necessarily in that order). She occasionally writes poetry or goes ballroom dancing. Jenn regularly attends both church and mass. She also has a zoology degree from one of the most prestigious science universities in the country, more research experience than many PhD grads and a love-hate relationship with toxicology. Jenn cloth diapers mostly, but practices "elimination communication" as well. She has lived in three countries and speaks several languages. Jenn also sews, cooks, bakes, gardens, spins (wool) and loves calculus, even though she may be a bit rusty at it by now. With many food intolerances in her family, Jenn is constantly looking at dietary bypasses and evaluating food choices taking into account her education in metabolism, cell and molecular biology and biochemistry. To add to the complexity, she has started following the Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP), which is for healing the gut and putting auto-immune disease into remission.

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