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Herb Reference Guide

Dandelion

History

This wonderful plant is one of the most common weeds on Earth. The ubiquitous dandelion’s ingenious seed-spreading adaptation is one of its most well known features. Is Mother Nature suggesting a need for this plant almost everywhere man dwells? Who among us has not blown the downy top of a dandelion and watched the tiny seedpods carried away in the wind? There are many different common names for the Taraxacum genus throughout the world originating from how the plant looks to what type of action it produces in the body. The French “dent-de-leon” meaning, “tooth of the lion” seems to be the derivation of our North American common name, Dandelion. The leaves do indeed resemble sharp teeth. Dandelion greens and roots have both been consumed by many different cultures as a food source and are both nutritionally dense and healthy choices.

Function

Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, and C, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Dandelion leaves are used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The roots are used in some coffee substitutes, and the flowers are used to make wines. Traditionally, dandelion roots and leaves were used to support the liver. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to support healthy excretion from the urinary tract, skin health, and upset stomach. In Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as European herbal Medicine Dandelion was and still is used to support the liver and gall bladder, to promote digestion and to support the detoxification process. The leaves have more of a noticeable effect for supporting healthy fluid elimination.

Uses of Dandelion

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Bitter glycosides, triterpenoids, tannins, volatile oils, inulin, vitamins A, B complex, C, Calcium, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein, Selenium, Silicon, Sodium, Zinc.

Parts Used

  • flower, leaf, root

Important precautions

If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.

Additional Resources

Benigni, R., Capra, C. and Mascolo, N. (1987) biological screening of Italian medicinal plants for anti-inflammatory activity. Phytother res. 1,1,pp. 28-31
Clare, Bevin A., Conroy, Richard S., Spelman, Kevin. The Diuretic Effect in Human Subjects of an Extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day.
J Altern Complement Med. 2009 August; 15(8): 929–934. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0152