Featured herb:  Dandelion

 

Common Names:  dandelion, lion’s tooth, blowball

Latin Name:  Taraxacum officinale

Background

  • Dandelion greens are edible and are a rich source of vitamin A. Dandelion has been used in traditional medical systems, including Native American, traditional Chinese, and traditional Arabic medicine.
  • Dandelion has a long history of use for problems of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. Today, dandelion as a dietary supplement is used as a blood “tonic,” as a diuretic, for minor digestive problems, and for other purposes.
  • The leaves and roots of the dandelion, or the whole plant, are used fresh or dried in capsules or extracts. As a food, dandelion is used as a salad green and in soups, wine, and teas.

How Much Do We Know?

  • We know very little about dandelion’s health effects. There’s little scientific evidence on this herb.

What Have We Learned?

  • There’s no compelling scientific evidence supporting the use of dandelion for any health condition.

What Do We Know About Safety?

  • The use of dandelion as a food is generally considered safe. However, some people are allergic to dandelion; allergic reactions are especially likely in people who are allergic to related plants such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies. The safety of using dandelion supplements for health-related purposes is uncertain.

Keep in Mind

  • Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

 

 Source:  National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health