Modern Indications Based on Traditional Use and Knowledge:
Dandelion stimulates the release of bile from the liver into the gallbladder. The herb is used to support treatment of a variety of liver and gallbladder disorders, especially the incomplete digestion of fats. The release of bile is laxative, and accelerates the breakdown of various steroid hormones, causing an indirect, favorable effect on eczema and other skin conditions.
Dandelion is one of the best herbal diuretics. It stimulates urination but also replaces the potassium lost to the increased volume of urine.
The roasted root is used as a blood-purifying beverage and coffee substitute, rich in nutrients, with diuretic and liver-cleansing qualities. Excellent tonic for the liver, gallbladder, and the adrenal glands
Additional Information: Among dandelion's important constituents are sesquiterpene lactones, believed to exert anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects; phenylpropanoids, believed to have inflammation-modulating effects; triterpenoid saponins that in other herbs are adaptogenic; polysaccharides, and inulin, a dietary fiber.
Safety: Allergy to dandelion, while rare, may occur, particularly in patients sensitized to other members of the Asteraceae plant family (artichokes, lettuce, daisy, sunflowers, burdock). No negative effects have been reported in pregnancy or lactation, in children, or when used with pharmaceutical drugs. Because it is a bitter, dandelion should be used cautiously in persons with acute GI problems or reflux may be aggravated by bitters. Seek professional opinion if using in the presence of gall stones.
1. Yarnell E, Abascal K. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale and T. mongolicum). Integrative Med. April-May 2009;8(2):3 34-38.
2. Culpeper N. Culpeper's Complete Herbal. London, UK: Bloomsbury Books; 1992