Dandelion. It grows everywhere, its seed is carried by the wind, it cannot be domesticated, it has a will of its own and it cannot be found in shops. But it is all over the place, all around us. We walk on it, we pick it, we blow its over-ripe flowers and watch as its feathery seeds hover in the air in front of our eyes. In the spring it is among the first plants to flower, breaking through the gloom of winter. When we have something in abundance, we are usually unaware of its value. Do we really know how beneficial to our health dandelion is?

Ancient nations have been well aware of it; oldest records about dandelion date back to the 10th century manuscripts of Arabic doctors. All parts of taraxacum oficinale Weber, a plant in the family of Asteraceae, are edible, it is very healthy and has therapeutic properties. Dandelion contains vitamins: K, A, B6, C, riboflavin and thiamine, folic acid; minerals: iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, copper, zinc and magnesium. Since time immemorial it has been used for stomach issues and numerous studies have proven its positive effect on the urinary tract, bile and the liver.

Dandelion has a diuretic effect, it stimulates bile secretion, cleanses toxins from the liver, but also helps with allergies, soothes inflammations, joint and muscle pain, raises energy levels, lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Since it regulates digestion, prevents constipation and boosts metabolism, it is also good for weight loss; as it has antibacterial properties, it helps with skin infections and acne. Even if we do not suffer from any of these problems, dandelion can strengthen our immunity and improve the general condition of the body.

Dandelion root has been used for centuries in China to cure certain types of cancer, and the latest research conducted in 2011 at the University of Windsor in Canada proved its ability to selectively destroy malignant melanoma cells without damaging healthy cells. Studies were also done on pancreatic and liver cancers, and dandelion proved equally effective. Its powerful ingredient is luteolin, a flavonoid with extremely strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour effects.

Dandelion root is dug out in the spring or autumn in fields away from city pollution; the best time to dig it is immediately after it flowers. It can be used fresh or dried; a herbal infusion can be made from it. It can also be baked, ground and used to make a drink as a substitute for coffee. Dandelion flowers can be used to make a syrup which improves digestion, soothes coughs and strengthens the whole body. Dandelion leaf, which is richer in useful ingredients than spinach, is best picked in the spring, and is delicious served as a salad with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice.

The dandelion root extract can be found in three Herba Svet products: Nefrovit, Hipoprostat and Disan. In Nefrovit, it is effective in combating urinary problems, it has a diuretic effect; in Hipoprostat, it helps soothe symptoms of infections and an enlarged prostate; in Disan it calms coughs. Dandelion is accessible to us everywhere, but in its best form it can be found in Herba Svet products.