Latin Name – Taraxacum officinale
Dandelion has been used in many traditional healing systems, including Native American and traditional Arabic medicine. The leaves and roots of the dandelion, or the whole plant, are used fresh or dried in teas, capsules, or extracts. Dandelion leaves are also cultivated for use in salads or as a cooked green.
Historically, dandelion was used as an herbal remedy for liver and kidney problems. Less commonly, dandelion was used for digestive problems and skin conditions.
Today, dandelion is used as an herbal remedy as a liver or kidney "tonic," as a diuretic, and for minor digestive problems. Dandelion greens are a rich source of vitamin A.
There is no compelling scientific evidence for using dandelion as a treatment for any medical condition.
Side Effects and Cautions Summary
- Do Not pick dandelion from a lawn or garden, it could be contaminated by toxic and dangerous pesticides.
- There have been reports of upset stomach and diarrhea from use of dandelion, and some people are allergic to the plant.
- People with an inflamed or infected gallbladder, or blocked bile ducts, should avoid using dandelion.
- Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health to help ensure coordinated and safe care. Complementary or alternative therapy should not be used in place of conventional medical care or to delay seeking that care.
- Dandelion. Natural Standard Database Web site. Accessed on July 2, 2007.
- Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Accessed on June 28, 2007.
- Dandelion root with herb. In:Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckman J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2000:359–366.
For More Information
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) Clearinghouse
The NCCAM Clearinghouse provides information on CAM and NCCAM, including publications and searches of Federal databases of scientific and medical literature. The Clearinghouse does not provide medical advice, treatment recommendations, or referrals to practitioners.
NIH Office of Dietary Supplements
Web site: ods.od.nih.gov
NIH National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Dandelion Listing: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-dandelion.html
Source: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Dandelion fact sheet Created January 2006, Updated April 2008