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Dandelion


Introduction

Dandelion greens are edible and a rich source of vitamin A. Dandelion has been used in many traditional medical systems, including Native American and traditional Arabic medicine.

Common Names—dandelion, lion's tooth, blowball

Latin NameTaraxacum officinale

What It Is Used For

  • Historically, dandelion was most commonly used to treat liver diseases, kidney diseases, and spleen problems. Less commonly, dandelion was used to treat digestive problems and skin conditions.
  • Today, dandelion is used by some as a liver or kidney "tonic," as a diuretic, and for minor digestive problems.

How It Is Used

The leaves and roots of the dandelion, or the whole plant, are used fresh or dried in teas, capsules, or extracts. Dandelion leaves are used in salads or as a cooked green, and the flowers are used to make wine.

What the Science Says

There is no compelling scientific evidence for using dandelion as a treatment for any medical condition.

Side Effects and Cautions

  • Dandelion use is generally considered safe. However, there have been rare reports of upset stomach and diarrhea, 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. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

Sources

  • 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.




last update: October 2011


Source : National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine



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