Scientific Name/Common Name: Taraxacum officinale / Dandelion
Part(s) Used: Leaf and Root
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Sesquiterpene lactones (taraxacoside), diterpenes (taraxacin), triterpenes (taraxasterol), sterols, carotenoids (lutein), flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin), polysaccharides (inulin), potassium (up to 4.5% in leaf).
Overview: Dandelion has been used traditionally as a medicine for many centuries in several different countries of the world including in Arabia, India, China, Europe, and North America. The genus name Taraxacum is derived from the Greek words for disorder (taraxos) and remedy (akos). The German Pharmacopoeia lists dandelion leaf and root for treating gastrointestinal complaints stemming from bile deficiency, as well as to stimulate appetite and diuresis. The tea reduces water retention and is considered a traditional blood purifier. The diuretic effect is also useful for reducing swelling. Dried dandelion leaf tea also acts as a mild laxative. German authorities recognize that ‘bitters’ stimulate bile flow, increase bile solubility, and cleanse the liver of fatty deposits. From ancient times on, bitter herbal drugs played a very important role in the therapy of patients with dyspeptic symptoms, liver congestion, hormonal imbalances, and skin disorders.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Traditionally used as a diuretic to increase urine production and flush the urinary system (leaf); traditionally used for digestive complaints, to stimulate bile flow, as a laxative, and for cleansing to relieve skin conditions.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Wichtl M (ed). 1994. Taraxaci Radix and Herba – Dandelion Root and Herb (English translation by Norman Grainger Bisset). In Herbal Drugs and Phyto-pharmaceuticals. CRC Press, Stuttgart, pp. 486-489.
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J 2000. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Pp. 78-80.
Hoffmann D. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press; 2003.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.