Jamaican dandelion bush

Does Jamaican Dandelion Have Health Benefits?

What is Jamaican dandelion? It is one of the many plants that grow naturally in Jamaica. The biological name of Jamaican dandelion is Cassia occidentalis.

Senna occidentalis is also a scientifically recognized name for the plant.

The Jamaican dandelion should not be confused with the regular dandelion that grows in your lawn.

Cassia occidentalis grows in warmer climates and can be or an annual a perennial plant, based on where it grows. 

The Jamaican dandelion blooms small bright yellow flowers. The jamaican dandelion coffee produces long, slender brown pods.

The plant is considered a nuisance in many places including seven States in the United States of America.

However, Jamaica, China, and India are three countries that use it for medicinal purposes.

Common Names for Senna Occidentalis

Numerous research has been done on this plant. 

Some studies report that the polychemicals found in Senna coffee vary depending on where the samples were collected from. 

There is no available record of Jamaican dandelion samples being studied.

However there are some compounds that are common among all the plants studied.

 There is no available record of Jamaican dandelion being.  However in general these are the most beneficial chemicals isolated in a number of studies of the Cassia occidentalis plant.

7 Potential Jamaican Dandelion Health Benefits

Among the many chemicals identified in Cassia occidentalis are anthraquinones. These are compounds that show anticancer, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiviral and other activities.

Antibacterial: In one study one of the natural compounds in Cassia occidentalis roots-emodin-was isolated and tested.

The study was done to determine what effect emodin had on bacteria.

The results proved that the extracted cassia occidentalis compound, emodin, inhibited the activity of Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis bacteria. 

Antimutagenic– compounds in senna coffee have the ability to reduce the frequency of genetic mutation.

Anticarcinogenic-Emodin is a natural anthraquinone derivative found in the Jamaican dandelion plant.

Emodin has been traditionally used for treating cancer, osteoarthritis, hepatic diseases and diabetes among other conditions.

Recent studies found that when emodin is used with different chemotherapeutic agents, it eliminates the growth of cancer cells.

Antimalarials-Antimalarial agents are used to treat malaria. 

Laxative: Senna occidentalis  has been studied as a laxative preparation to be used before surgeries or colonoscopies.. 

Some studies report that the senna occidentalis preparation was highly effective in cleansing the intestines prior to the procedures.

Diuretic: A number of things may cause the body to retain water. A diuretic is a drug that is used to help the body get rid of excess fluid.

Senna occidentalis is one of those plants that is believed to be a natural diuretic.  Plants that are considered natural diuretics help the body rid itself of excess water by promoting frequent urination.

Antidiabetic: Chrysophanol is another natural compound found in senna coffee. Studies have reported that it helps alleviate the progression of diabetes.

Diabetic nephropathy is a form of complication that results from diabetes. One study reported that Chrysophanol significantly alleviated the progression of Diabetic nephropathy.

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Jamaican Dandelion Uses

So what is Jamaican dandelion good for? Traditionally the plant is used as medicinal treatment for several conditions in various cultures.

The ailments it is used to treat depends on location.

All sections of the plant can be used, however the seeds are the most widely used in Jamaica. They are roasted, ground and consumed as a substitute for coffee. 

The flowers are steeped in hot water to make a herbal tea for treating bronchitis.

In other cultures both the leaves and roots of the plant are used as traditional medicinal treatment for a number of ailments.

Senna occidentalis is used as treatment for gouts, hemorrhoids, asthma, coughs, edema and urinary tract disorders.

Jamaican Dandelion Nutritional Benefits

 In addition to health benefits, Jamaican dandelion provides nutritional values. These include several vitamins and minerals some of which are listed below. 

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Dietary Supplement Gentle on The Stomach*

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Iron being the mineral with the highest level at 11.00 percent. This implies that Jamaican dandelion could potentially be used as a treatment for anemia.

Side Effects of Senna Coffee

All sections of the Cassia occidentalis plant are known to be toxic to both humans and animals. So one should exercise caution when using products made from this plant.

There have been several reports associating the death of children with the consumption of Senna coffee seeds.

Pregnancy Precaution. There is no data regarding the effects Jamaican dandelion use has on pregnant or lactating women.

Therefore it may be wise to err on the side of caution and avoid Senna coffee if you are pregnant or breast feeding.

Conclusion

Jamaican dandelion is biologically known as Cassia occidentalis or Senna occidentalis. The plant has a pleasant aroma and a bitter taste.

All sections of Jamaican dandelion are used as traditional medicine.  However the seeds are widely roasted and brewed as a substitute for coffee. 

The leaves and flowers are also used to make a tea which is taken to relieve a number of common ailments.

Scientific investigation has identified bioactive chemicals in Senna occidentalis that are potentially useful in the treatment of some disease.

In the meantime, the Jamaican dandelion is known to be toxic to both humans and animals. Therefore exercise care when using this plant or its by-products.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated on this website should be viewed as medical advice. Please consult with a Professional healthcare provider for medical advice.

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