Dandelion: Medical Uses Dandelion root is used most often for liver disease and to increase bile flow. The root is also used as a coffee substitute. The leaves are used primarily for their diuretic effect and for adolescent acne. Historical Uses Dandelion first appeared in the 10th century in Arabian medicine and has been used as a diuretic, a treatment for anemia, a blood tonic, a mild laxative, and an appetite stimulant. Europeans used dandelion to treat diabetes. It is reported that dandelion is more nutritious than spinach. It may have antiviral properties that help prevent herpes. It also has been used to treat premenstrual syndrome and hepatitis. It is also called lion’s tooth and wild endive. Growth Dandelions grow in lawns and fields throughout the spring and summer in the northern hemisphere and are usually considered weeds. The plant has “lion-toothed” leaves and a bright yellow upright flower. Parts Used • Leaves • Roots • All parts are edible Major Chemical Compounds • Chicoric acid • Monocaffeytartaric acid • Taraxacin (bitter) • Taraxacerin • Sesquiterpene lactones • Phytosterols • Iron • Vitamins A, B, and C One ounce of fresh dandelion leaves Read more […]
Archive for category Dandelion'
Taraxacum officinale Weber (Asteraceae) Synonym(s) and related species Lion’s tooth, Taraxacum. Leontodon taraxacum L., Taraxacum densleonis Desf., Taraxacum palustre (Lyons) Lam & DC. Taraxacum mongolicum Hand.-Mazz. is used in Chinese medicine. Constituents The root and leaf of dandelion contain sesquiterpene lactones including: taraxinic acid, dihydrotaraxinic acid, taraxacoside, taraxacolide and others; caffeic, chlorogenic and cichoric acids; the natural coumarins cichoriin and aesculin; and flavonoids based on luteolin. The phytosterols sitosterol, stigmas terol, taraxasterol and homotaraxasterol, the triterpenes beta-amyrin, taraxol and taraxerol, carotenoids, and vitamin A are also found. Use and indications Dandelion has been widely used as a diuretic, and also for its purported laxative, anti-inflammatory, choleretic (to increase bile secretion) and blood-glucose-lowering activity. Some of these activities have been demonstrated in some, but not all, animal studies, and no human studies appear to have been published. Dandelion has been used as a foodstuff (the leaf in salads, and the ground root as a coffee substitute). A prebiotic effect has been suggested for the root. Pharmacokinetics In Read more […]
Clinical Use The therapeutic effectiveness of dandelion has not been significantly investigated under clinical trial conditions, so evidence is derived from traditional, in vitro and animal studies. DIURETIC Dandelion has a long history of use as a diuretic in well-established systems of traditional medicines; however, the scientific and clinical evidence to support this use is limited to animal studies. The high potassium content of dandelion is considered to be partly responsible for any diuretic activity. A double-blind randomised study of 57 women with recurrent cystitis found that a commercial preparation known as Uva-E (a combination of Arctostaphylos leaves and dandelion root) significantly reduced the frequency of recurrence of cystitis compared with placebo. At the end of 12 months, none of the patients taking Uva-E had had a recurrence of cystitis, compared with 23% recurrence in the control group (P < 0.05). The role of dandelion in achieving this result is unknown; however, the researchers suggested that its diuretic effect was likely to have contributed to the positive results. LIVER TONIC Dandelion has a long history of use as a liver tonic; however, the scientific and clinical evidence to support Read more […]
Historical Note Dandelion grows throughout the world as a weed and has a long history of medicinal and culinary use. Dandelion leaves are added to salads, providing a good source of minerals, and the roasted root is used as a coffee substitute. Dandelion leaves are traditionally used as a diuretic, and the root is used as a liver tonic. Other Names Blowball, cankerwort, common dandelion, lion’s tooth, priest’s crown, puff ball, swine snout, taraxacum, wild endive, white endive Botanical Name / Family Taraxacum officinale; synonyms: Leontodon taraxacum, Taraxacum vulgare (family Compositae [Asteraceae]) Plant Parts Used Leaf and root Chemical Components Dandelion leaf and root contain slightly different constituents. Overall, dandelion is a rich source of minerals, particularly potassium, as well as iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, choline, selenium, calcium, boron and silicon, and a rich source of vitamins A, C, D and B complex (US Department of Agriculture 2003). The relatively high protein, fibre and linoleic acid content of dandelion leaves has led to suggestions that dandelion is a nutritious and underutilised food source. Dandelion’s constituents also include triterpenes, flavonoid Read more […]