Dandelion are a family of flowering plants that grow in many parts of the world .
They’re also referred to as Taraxacum spp., though Taraxacum officinal is the utmost usual species.
You may be most conversant in dandelion as a stubborn weed that never seems to go away your lawn or garden.
However, in traditional herbal medicine practices, dandelion are illustrious for their varied array of medicinal properties.
For centuries, they’ve been used to treat a myriad of physical ailments, including cancer, acne, disease and digestive disorders.
Here are some potential health benefits of dandelion, and what science has got to say about them.
In terms of nutritional content, the dandelion patch in your garden can join the rankings with the remainder of your vegetable garden..
From root to flower, dandelion are highly nutritious plants, loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Dandelion greens are often eaten cooked or raw and function a superb source of vitamins A, C and K. They also contain vitamin E , folate and little amounts of other B vitamins (1).
What’s more, dandelion greens provide a considerable amount of several minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium (1).
The root of the dandelion is rich within the carbohydrate inulin, which may be a sort of soluble fiber found in plants that supports the expansion and maintenance of a healthy bacterial flora in your intestinal tract (2Trusted Source).
Dandelion root is usually dried and consumed as a tea but also can be eaten in its whole form.
The nutritional substance of dandelion extends to each portions of the plant. It’s a rich foundation of many vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Contain Potent Antioxidants
Dandelion is filled with potent antioxidants, which can clarify why this plant has such broad applications for health.
Antioxidants are molecules that support neutralize or prevent the negative effects of free radicals in your body.
Free radicals are a product of standard metabolism but are often very destructive. The presence of too many free radicals contributes to disease maturity and accelerated aging. Therefore, antioxidants are an elemental for keeping your body healthy.
Dandelion contains high levels of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is understood to supply strong defense against cellular damage and oxidative stress (3Trusted Source).
They’re also rich in another category of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are found within the highest concentration within the flower but are present within the roots, leaves, and stems as well.
Dandelion are a rich source of beta-carotene and polyphenolic compounds, both of which are known to have strong antioxidant capabilities that can prevent aging and certain diseases.
Help Fight Inflammation
Dandelion could also be effective in reducing inflammation caused by disease thanks to the presence of varied bioactive compounds like polyphenols within the plant.
Inflammation is one among your body’s natural responses to injury or illness. Over time, excessive inflammation can cause permanent damage to your body’s tissues and DNA.
Some test-tube studies have revealed significantly reduced inflammation markers in cells treated with dandelion compounds (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
A study in mice with artificially induced inflammatory lung disease showed a big reduction of lung inflammation in those animals that received dandelion (7Trusted Source).
Ultimately, more research is required to obviously define dandelion’s role in reducing inflammation in humans.
Small animal and test-tube analyses suggest that dandelion have a substantial anti-inflammatory capacity, though more research is needed to better cognise how dandelion affect inflammation in humans.
Aid Blood Sugar Control
Chicoric and chlorogenic acid are two bioactive compounds in dandelion. They’re found altogether parts of the plant and should help reduce blood glucose .
Test-tube and animal studies show that these compounds can improve insulin secretion from the pancreas while simultaneously improving the absorption of glucose (sugar) in muscle tissue.
This process results in improved insulin sensitivity and reduced blood glucose levels (8Trusted Source).
In some animal analyses, chicoric and chlorogenic acid partial the digestion of starchy carbohydrate foods, which can also contribute to dandelion’s potential ability to scale back blood glucose (4Trusted Source).
While these early study results are encouraging, more research is required to work out if dandelion work an equivalent way in humans.
The dandelion plant encloses bioactive compounds that have been shown to reduce blood sugar in animal and test-tube studies. More research is needed to determine if the same effect would be seen in humans.
Some of the bioactive compounds in dandelion may lower cholesterol, which can decrease heart condition risk.
One animal study resulted in dramatically reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels in mice that were treated with dandelion extract (9Trusted Source).
A rabbit study evaluated the impact of adding dandelion roots and leaves to a high-cholesterol diet. Rabbits that received dandelion had noticeably reduced cholesterol levels (10Trusted Source).
Though these outcomes are intriguing, more research is required to work out dandelion’s potential effects on cholesterol in humans.
Some animal studies have shown reduced cholesterol levels after consuming dandelion. More research is needed to apprehend how this plant affects levels in humans.
Lower Blood Pressure
Some people claim that dandelion may condense blood pressure, but supporting evidence is restricted .
Traditional herbal medicine practices use dandelion for their diuretic effect supported the assumption that this will detoxify certain organs.
In Western medicine, diuretic medications are used to rid the body of excess fluid, which may cause lowered blood pressure.
One human study found dandelion to be an efficient diuretic. However, this study was done over a brief period and involved only 17 people (11Trusted Source).
Dandelion contain potassium, a mineral related to lowered blood pressure in those with previously elevated levels. Thus, dandelion may have an indirect effect on blood pressure due to their potassium content (12Trusted Source).
It’s important to stay in mind that this effect isn’t unique to dandelion but applies to any potassium-rich food consumed as a part of a healthy diet.
Dandelion may lower blood pressure due to their diuretic effect and potassium content. However, very little formal research has been conducted to support this claim.
Promote a Healthy Liver
Animal studies have found that dandelion features a defending effect on liver tissue within the presence of toxic substances and stress.
One study revealed significant protection of liver tissue in mice exposed to toxic levels of acetaminophen (Tylenol). Researchers attributed this finding to dandelion’s antioxidant content (13Trusted Source).
Other animal studies have shown that dandelion extract may reduce levels of excess fat stored within the liver and protect against oxidative stress in liver tissue (4Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
However, an equivalent results shouldn’t be expected in humans thanks to differences in human and animal metabolism.
Further research is required to work out how dandelion impacts liver health in humans.
Animal studies have shown that dandelion protect liver tissue from toxic substances and oxidative stress, but more research is needed to determine their effect on liver health in humans.
May Aid Weight Loss
Some research indicates that dandelion and their bioactive components may support weight loss and maintenance, though the info isn’t entirely conclusive.
Some researchers theorize that dandelion’s ability to enhance carbohydrate metabolism and reduce fat absorption may cause weight loss. However, this notion has yet to be scientifically proven (14Trusted Source).
One study in mice showed weight loss related to dandelion supplementation, though it should be noted that this was an accidental finding and not the most focus of the study (9Trusted Source).
Another study in obese mice revealed that chlorogenic acid, a compound found in dandelion, was ready to reduce weight and levels of some fat-storage hormones (15Trusted Source).
Yet again, this research didn’t specifically evaluate dandelion’s role in weight loss and obesity prevention.
More focused, human-based research is required to work out a transparent cause-and-effect relationship between dandelion and weight management.
Some animal studies have shown that bioactive components in dandelion may support weight loss, but no human studies have evaluated this effect.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating health claims of dandelion is their potential to prevent the expansion of cancerous cells in many various organ systems.
One test-tube study revealed significantly reduced growth of cancerous cells that were treated with dandelion leaf extract. However, extracts from dandelion flower or root didn’t cause an equivalent result (16Trusted Source).
Other test-tube studies have shown that dandelion root extract has the capacity to dramatically slow the expansion of cancer cells in liver, colon and pancreatic tissue (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).
These findings are encouraging, but more research is prime to completely understand how dandelion could also be useful in treating or preventing cancer in humans.
Several test-tube studies have found that dandelion is effective in reducing the growth of cancer cells in various organ tissues. More research is needed to draw conclusions about its efficacy for preventing or treating cancer in humans.
Support Healthy Digestion and Treat Constipation
Traditional herbal medicine consumes dandelion to treat constipation and other symptoms of impaired digestion. Some early research seems to support these claims.
One animal study revealed a large increase within the rates of stomach contractions and emptying of stomach contents into the tiny intestine in rats who were treated with dandelion extract (20Trusted Source).
Additionally, dandelion root may be a rich source of the prebiotic fiber inulin. Research indicates that inulin features a strong capacity to reduce constipation and increase intestinal movement (21Trusted Source).
Research indicates that dandelion may increase contractions and movement of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, acting as a treatment for constipation and indigestion. This effect is likely due to the prebiotic fiber inulin.
Boost Your Immune System
Some research indicates that dandelion may have antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which could support your body’s ability to fight infection.
Several test-tube studies found that dandelion extract significantly reduced the power of viruses to duplicate (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).
Research also indicates that a number of the active compounds in dandelion protect against various harmful bacteria (4Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).
Ultimately, more research is required to draw definitive conclusions about dandelion’s ability to fight viral and bacterial infection in humans.
Early research indicates that dandelion have antiviral and antimicrobial properties, though clear applications for medicinal use have yet to be determined.
Useful For Skincare Treatment
Animal and test-tube research indicate that dandelion may protect against skin damage from sunlight, aging and acne.
In one study, dandelion leaf and flower extract protected against skin damage when applied just before or immediately after exposure to UVB radiation (sunlight). Interestingly, the dandelion root wasn’t effective within the same way (27Trusted Source).
One of the characteristics of aging skin may be a decrease within the production of healthy, new skin cells.
One test-tube study showed that dandelion root extract increased the generation of latest skin cells, which could slow the aging process (28Trusted Source).
Additional research indicates that dandelion extract may reduce skin inflammation and irritation while also increasing hydration and collagen production. this might be useful in preventing and treating certain sorts of acne (29Trusted Source).
Reliable human research remains needed to raised understand how dandelion may support skin health.
Animal and test-tube studies indicate that dandelion may protect against harmful sun rays, aging and skin irritations, such as acne. Currently, reliable human studies are unavailable.
Support Healthy Bones
Very little research has been conducted on dandelion’s effect on bone health, though a number of its individual nutritional components contribute to the protection of strong, healthy bones.
Dandelion greens are a truthful source of calcium and vitamin K — both of which are related to the prevention of bone loss (30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source).
Inulin, a fiber found in dandelion root, can also support healthy bones through improved digestion and therefore the promotion of healthy gut bacteria (32Trusted Source).
Research directly relating dandelion to bone health is lacking, though some nutritional components of the plant are known to support the maintenance of strong bones.
Dosage and Supplement Forms
Dandelion leaves, stems and flowers are often consumed in their wild and may be eaten cooked or raw. the basis is typically dried, ground and consumed as a tea or coffee .
Dandelion is additionally available in supplemental forms, like capsules, extracts and tinctures.
Currently, there are not any clear dosage guidelines, as little or no human research has been conducted on dandelion as a supplement.
According to some available data, suggested dosages for various sorts of dandelion are
- Fresh leaves: 4–10 grams, daily.
- Dried leaves: 4–10 grams, daily.
- Leaf tincture: 0.4–1 teaspoon (2–5 ml), three times a day.
- Fresh leaf juice: 1 teaspoon (5 ml), twice daily.
- Fluid extract: 1–2 teaspoon (5–10 ml), daily.
- Fresh roots: 2–8 grams, daily.
- Dried powder: 250–1,000 mg, four times a day.
There are currently no clear dosage guidelines for dandelion supplements, as research is limited. Different forms of dandelion require different suggested doses.
Possible Risks and Side Effects
Dandelion have low toxicity and are likely safe for many people, exceptionally when consumed as a food in its whole form (4Trusted Source).
However, keep in mind that research remains very limited and its use isn’t 100% risk-free.
Dandelion can cause allergies, exceptionally in people with allergies to related plants like ragweed. dermatitis also can occur in people with sensitive skin (4Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).
Dandelion may interact disparagingly with some medications, especially certain diuretics and antibiotics (33Trusted Source).
If you’re taking any prescription medications, always consult your healthcare provider before taking dandelion.
Dandelion have low toxicity and are likely safe for most people. They can cause allergic reactions in some and may interact negatively with certain medications, particularly diuretics and antibiotics.
Dandelion aren’t a replacement for a diet and healthy lifestyle, especially with reference to disease prevention and treatment.
Yet, they might be a extraordinary and nutritious addition to your wellness routine.
Dandelion have the potential to supply some therapeutic health benefits — but don’t calculate it. Research on specific applications for dandelion is lacking, especially in human studies.
Dandelion are unlikely to cause harm, as long as you’re not allergic or taking certain medications.
Always consult a professional healthcare professional before adding a replacement herbal supplement to your diet.