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(Last edited: Monday, 30 March 2015, 8:09 PM)
Also known as: Blowball, Common Dandelion, Dent-de-Lion (Lions tooth).
Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale radix.
Botanical Family: Asteraceae/Compositae.
Part used: Root (dandelion leaves are also used but this profile relates to the root).
Dandelion is used for loss of appetite, dyspepsia, flatulence, gallstones, bile stimulation, rheumatism, arthritic joints, muscle aches, eczema, and bruises. Dandelion is also used as an alterative, laxative, diuretic, circulatory tonic, skin toner, blood tonic, and digestive tonic. It is also used to treat infection, especially viral infections.
In foods the roasted root is used as a coffee substitute.
Nutrients: dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. The root is generally richer in minerals than the leaf which is rich in vitamins.
There are no concerns regarding safety when used orally in amounts commonly found in foods. Dandelion has Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status in the US.(1)
There are no concerns regarding safety when used appropriately in medicinal amounts, see dosage information for guidance.(2)
Pregnancy: There are no scientific studies available, so avoid using greater than dietary amounts.
Breastfeeding: There are no scientific studies available, so avoid using greater than dietary amounts.
Sesquiterpene lactones; tataxoside, taraxinic acid, dihydrotaraxininc acid and others.
Polyphenols including caffeic acid
Triterpenes; tataxol, taraxerol, tataxasterolbeta-amyrin, stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol (a phytosterol)
Carbohydrates especially inulin when harvested in Autumn)
Vitamins A, B, C, D
Minerals especially potassium and calcium
There is insufficient scientific data to comment on most traditional uses.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs). A specific oral combination of dandelion root and uva ursi leaf extracts seems to help reduce the recurrence rate of UTIs in women.(3) In this combination uva ursi is used for its antibacterial properties and dandelion is used to increase urination.
Mechanism of action.
Dandelion root contains quercetin, luteolin, p-hydroxyphenylacetic acid, germacranolide acids, chlorogenic acid, chicoric acid, and monocaffeyltartaric acid. In addition it has a high potassium content. The roots contain caffeic acid, taraxacoside, taraxasterol, and large amounts of the polysaccharide, inulin.(4)
Dandelion root promotes bile production and bile flow and urinary flow. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, analgesic, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-coagulatory and has prebiotic effects.
Based on a small study using an alcohol extract of dandelion leaf in human volunteers, this herb elicits a significant diuretic effect in humans.(5
Emerging evidence suggests that dandelion and its constituents have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities that result in diverse biological effects.(6,7,13)
Animal studies show that dandelion has effects on detoxifying enzymes in the liver.(9)
Preliminary evidence indicates a beneficial effect on cardiovascular risk factors mediated by oxidative stress, inflammation, and cholesterol profile. (13)
Dandelion root contains high concentrations of inulin. Oligofructans, such as inulin, are used as food sources by beneficial intestinal bacteria. Dandelion root enhances the growth of bifidobacteria and may be useful as a "prebiotic".(8)
Dandelion extracts were effective for facilitating the gastrointestinal motility in animal studies.(12)
Anti-cancer effects on melanoma, breast and prostate cancer cells have been demonstrated. (10,11)
No reported side effects.
Possible interactions with herbs and supplements.
Interactions with drugs.
Lithium; Seek professional advice when combining any herbs, spices or foods that have a diuretic effect so that accommodation with the monitoring and dosage of Lithium can be adjusted.
Interactions with foods.
Interactions with laboratory tests.
Recommended dose: 5-10mls per day 1:5 tincture 30% alcohol.
Decoction: range from 3-6 tsps. per day.
Tincture; 5-10 mls per day 1:5 25% alcohol
Raw herb: 3-5gms per day
Juice from fresh root: 3-8mls per day.
The recommended dose of Dr Clare’s Joint Support Tea provides ⅙
of a tsp. three times a day or ½ a tsp. per day.
Dr Clare’s Blend: 1gm per day
Liquid extract: 2-8 mL / day
Tincture: 1:5, 5-10 mL / day
Root tincture (1:2) fresh root in 45% alcohol: 30 - 60 drops, 3 times daily.
Usual dose; 2-8gms/day.
Dried root decoction: 1/2 - 2 teaspoonfuls, 3 times daily. Place throot into boiling water for 5 - 10 minutes. Strain and drink the ‘tea’. You can add the roots to soups or stews, they are very nourishing.
1. FDA. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Premarket Approval, EAFUS: A food additive database. Available at: vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/eafus.html.
2. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.
3. Larsson B, Jonasson A, Fianu S. Prophylactic effect of UVA-E in women with recurrent cystitis: a preliminary report. Curr Ther Res 1993;53:441-3.
4. Williams CA, Goldstone F, Greenham J. Flavonoids, cinnamic acids and coumarins from the different tissues and medicinal preparations of Taraxacum officinale. Phytochemistry 1996;42:121-7.
5. Bevin A. Clare, Richard S. Conroy, Kevin Spelman. The Diuretic Effect in Human Subjects of an Extract of Taraxacum officinale Folium over a Single Day. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. August 2009, 15(8): 929-934.
6. Gonzalez-Castelon M, Visioli F, Rodriguez-Casado A.
Diverse biological activities of dandelion. Nutr Rev. 2012 Sep;70(9):534-47.
7. Mascolo N, Autore G, Capassa G, et al. Biological screening of Italian medicinal plants for anti-inflammatory activity. Phytother Res 1987:28-9.
8. Trojanova I, Rada V, Kokoska L, Vlkova E. The bifidogenic effect of Taraxacum officinale root. Fitoterapia 2004;75:760-3.
9. Maliakal PP, Wanwimolruk S. Effect of herbal teas on hepatic drug metabolizing enzymes in rats. J Pharm Pharmacol 2001;53:1323-9.
10. The Efficacy of Dandelion Root Extract in Inducing Apoptosis in Drug-Resistant Human Melanoma Cells
11. Sigstedt SC, Hooten CJ, Callewaert MC, Jenkins AR, et al. Evaluation of aqueous extracts of Taraxacum officinale on growth and invasion of breast and prostate cancer cells. Int J Oncol. 2008 May;32(5):1085-90.
12. S. J. Chatterjee, P. Ovadje, M. Mousa, C. Hamm, and S. Pandey. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2011.Research on the gastrointestinal propulsive motility and chemical constituents of Dandelion extraction
WU Yan-ling, PIAO Hui-shan.
13. Jinju Kim , Kyunghee Noh , Mikyung Cho , Jihyun Jang and Youngsun Song. Anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) extracts in C57BL/6 mice fed atherogenic diet
Jinju Kim , Kyunghee Noh , Mikyung Cho , Jihyun Jang and Youngsun Song. Journal of Fed. of American Societies for Experimental Biology 2007;21:862.7