To many, dandelions are an annoying weed, but to guinea pigs, they're wonderful! Guinea pigs know what's good! In fact, the entire plant is good eating - for people too. A quick internet search can turn up all kinds of recipes for teas, wines, honey, jams, and salads. Not only are the leaves great in salads for humans, but they're perfect for guinea pig salads too. Guinea pigs also take pleasure in nibbling on the flowers. The stems look like funny fake worms, which your guinea pigs will make disappear in the blink of an eye! Even roots can be eaten by guinea pigs. Be sure the dandelions have not been sprayed with pesticides or contaminated with other chemicals. I recommend washing them as a precaution if you've picked some for your guinea pigs.
Most studies done regarding the health benefits dandelions offer are done with humans in mind, however I have every reason to believe they may have a similar effect in guinea pigs. Although I don't agree with it, the reality is that guinea pigs are used for testing of human products because their bodies react similarly to how ours might. With that in mind, take a look at these health benefits dandelions offer:
- The leaves tend to be a little bitter, especially in the fall, but the bitterness symbolizes a digestive stimulant that will help control both diarrhea and constipation by regulating bowels. It's a good source of fiber. In addition to stimulating digestion, it can stimulate an appetite.
- Dandelions, particularly the leaves and roots, support liver function by acting as a tonic, cleansing the body system, possibly even preventing liver diseases, and dissolving kidney stones. Dandelions are a diuretic, cleansing the kidneys and urinary system. It is even believed the compounds in dandelions may inhibit the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract. It contains potassium, aiding bladder health as well.
- Dandelions are also known to the be the green vegetable richest in the antioxidant beta-carotine translating to vitamin A, offering a boost in the immune system and vision.
- This power plant also contains B6, building up the immune system, red blood cells, and promoting mental health while reducing stress.
- Dandelions are a source of Vitamin E, promoting healthy skin and hair.
- That's not all. Dandelions are a source of other things like niacin, riboflavin, choline, iron, vitamin K, thiamine, magnesium, and protein. This plant has been used to help prevent or treat diseases like diabetes and cancer.