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16 Common and Not-So-Common Signs of Liver Problems

Valuable Herb: How Dandelions Benefit Your Liver


Appreciate the dandelion – the weed capable of reducing congestion in your liver.

A common sight growing in springtime lawns, through sidewalk cracks and in rolling fields across the globe, dandelions are much more than a common weed. For those with liver health concerns, dandelion’s fat-digesting, bile-promoting and detoxifying properties make it an extremely valuable herb.

Symptoms of a Congested Liver

As declarations of needing to detox are heard more and more frequently, people seem to be recognizing when a congested liver is slowing them down. Common symptoms of a congested liver include fatigue, headache, bad breath, irritability, mood swings, sugar cravings, skin irregularities, indigestion, abdominal bloating and excessive weight. While those affected are correct in guessing that detoxing will help them feel better, they likely don’t realize that it can be as easy as incorporating dandelion into their daily routine.

Dandelion Facts

A close relative of chicory, dandelion is a common meadow herb of the Asteraceae or sunflower family. Herbalists have revered dandelion for centuries; however, this weed’s potential benefit to the liver is especially valuable to the millions of people currently in need of liver detox and support.

While several different forms of the dandelion plant can be used medicinally, the leaves and root are particularly beneficial for the liver:

  • The Leaves – If picked fresh, be certain the leaves come from dandelion. In addition, avoid dandelions where pesticides or other toxic chemicals may lurk. The leaves can be used in salads, cooked or dried to brew tea.
  • The Root – More bitter than the leaves, dandelion root is typically found in herbal liquids, powders and capsules. Dandelion root is the most frequently used part of the plant in herbal medicine.

Liver problems ranging from Hepatitis C infection, to fatty liver disease, to gallstones to having a sluggish liver are becoming increasingly commonplace. While it could be the result of a blood-borne virus (like Hepatitis C), a majority of liver health problems are likely a result of our environment and lifestyle.

Most modern communities are inundated with toxins, with people’s routines being primarily sedentary and their diets consisting mostly of foods that congest their liver. Thankfully, eating, sipping or supplementing with dandelion can help clear out toxic sludge and contribute to losing the excessive weight that burdens the liver.

3 Reasons Why Dandelion Is a Liver Ally

  1. Taraxin is one of the active compounds in dandelion. Taraxin is a choleretic, meaning that it stimulates bile production by the liver. Besides improving circulation in the liver, the stimulation of bile helps with fat absorption and digestion.
  2. Other bitter constituents in dandelion root isolate toxins in the body and then help flush them out. The poisons gardeners typically use to eradicate dandelions are the same toxins this plant offers to eliminate from our bodies.
  3. Dandelion is a natural diuretic that helps remove excess toxins and water from the blood. Unlike other diuretics, dandelion contains vast amounts of potassium that restore the mineral balance in the kidneys as toxins are flushed out. In addition, using dandelion as a diuretic can safely get rid of bloating caused by excessive water weight.

The livers of people from every corner of the world could benefit from eating, sipping or supplementing with dandelion. A readily available – yet underrated herb – this weed can reduce liver congestion by detoxifying blood, digesting fat and promoting bile flow. By finding ways to incorporate dandelion into your schedule, you can triumph over the liver congestion that plagues so many of us., Dandelion, A Gentle, Effective Liver Herb, RobRalph, Retrieved May 17, 2015, Althernative Healthzine, 2015.,
The Gut, Liver and Mouth Detox, Kulreet Chaudhary, MD, Retrieved May 17, 2015, Harpo, Inc., 2015., Dandelions improve your overall health, including liver function and skin problems, Raw Michelle, Retrieved May 17, 2015, The Mind Unleashed, Inc., 2015., How Dandelion Benefits Your Liver, Retrieved May 17, 2015, Liver Doctor, 2015., 3 Powerful Herbs That Improve Liver Health, Natalie Robins, Retrieved May 17, 2015, Natural Health 365, 2015., Dandelion: The Liver Cleanser, Retrieved May 17, 2015, The Practical Herbalist, 2015.

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About the Author

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM is a long time advocate of integrating perspectives on health. With a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester and a Master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches Institute, Nicole has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2000. She has gathered acupuncture licenses in the states of California and New York, is a certified specialist with the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, has earned diplomat status with the National Commission of Chinese and Oriental Medicine in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology and is a member of the Society for Integrative Oncology. In addition to her acupuncture practice that focuses on stress and pain relief, digestion, immunity and oncology, Nicole contributes to the integration of healthcare by writing articles for professional massage therapists and people living with liver disease.

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