Dandelion leaf is an effective herb to use for lowering blood pressure. It is a natural diuretic and contains many vitamins and minerals, especially potassium which can be lost while using a diuretic. This article describes dandelion leaf and how it can be used to lower blood pressure.
The dandelion, considered a pesky weed to gardeners, has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It grows wild all over North America, Europe and Asia but is also cultivated as a medicinal herb in France and Germany. The leaves, flower and root of the dandelion all have medical value and can also be eaten in its natural state for its vitamin and mineral content. Dandelion leaves are beneficial for many reasons, one of which is to lower high blood pressure.
How Dandelion Leaves Lower High Blood Pressure
The leaf of the dandelion acts as a natural diuretic and can help to lower the fluids in the body much like prescription diuretics for high blood pressure do. Diuretics work to lower blood pressure by lowering the amount of fluid in the bloodstream so there is less pressure flowing through the veins. Dandelion is a more effective diuretic than synthetic diuretics because it also contains the mineral potassium which is usually lost when using diuretics. In some cases, a patient can reduce the amount of prescription medications he is taking for high blood pressure by adding dandelion supplements to his regime. Of course, this should always be done under the supervision of a doctor.
Nutritional Value of Dandelion
The leaves of the dandelion are packed full of vitamins and minerals. The leaves contain high quantities of:
· Vitamin A
· Vitamin B-complex
· Vitamin C
· Vitamin D
Along with its health benefit of treating high blood pressure, the leaves of the dandelion are also used as an antiviral agent, digestive aid, appetite stimulate, liver detoxifier, to lower blood sugar, for gastrointestinal health and to promote a healthy gallbladder.
Dandelion has few side-effects and is very safe to use. An allergic reaction is the most common side-effect of dandelion. However, people with stomach ulcers, gallbladder inflammation or who have digestive problems should not take dandelion unless prescribed by a doctor.
Forms of Dandelion Available
Dandelion leaf comes in capsule, tincture, dried leaf and tea form. You can make your own tea by steeping several dried dandelion leaves in a cup of water for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain. Dandelion leaf tea can be bitter so you will probably want to add honey or spices to the tea. Dandelion leaves can also be eaten fresh in a salad or sandwich. If growing your own dandelions, pick the leaves before the plant flowers for the ultimate flavor and nutritional value.
Dandelion leaves are a safe alternative to aid in lowering blood pressure. If you are already taking medication for high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about taking dandelion leaf as part of your medication regime.
The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies by Mark Stengler, ND
Prentice Hall Press 2001 & 2010
The Complete Guide to Herbal Medicines
Pocket Books 2000