Dandelion is a herb with the botanical name of Taraxacum officinale. It is also known as Priest's Crown, Lion's Tooth and Wild Endive.
The name Dandelion comes from the French dent-de-lion, referring to the plant's lion tooth leaves. The plant has a dark brown-to-black thick taproot on the outside, but is white inside. Dandelion develops long jagged leaves that form a rosette close to the ground. Rainwater is collected by these leaves and channelled to the taproot. Both the roots and leaves of the Taraxacum officinale are used in herbal medicine. Active constituents of Dandelion include complex bitter mixtures (triterpenoids and sterols), sesquiterpenes, essential oils, inulin, pectin, mucilage, flavonoids, coumestrol, saponins, fatty acids, amino acids and vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C , vitamin D and minerals; in particular, high amounts of potassium. The bitter substances are very sensitive to heat and light and Dandelion tends to lose its bitterness after being dried and stored for a long time. Dandelion is often considered a troublesome weed.
Herbal supplements can alter the effects of certain drugs, including prescription medications. Always tell your Doctor about any prescription medications, non-prescription medications, herbs or other dietary supplements you are taking. - Dandelion should not be taken with the quinoline class of antibiotic medications (those that contain ciprofloxacin, enoxacin or norfloxacin), as the absorption of these drugs may be reduced by Dandelion. - Dandelion should not be taken with diuretic drugs (those that increase urine output) and other antihypertensive medications. This is because Dandelion has diuretic and antihypertensive effects and taken together, the two substances could cause low blood pressure, dehydration and mineral imbalances.
Always consult your Health Professional to advise you on dosages and any possible medical interactions. - Dandelion is one of the oldest medicinal herbs and has been used in the management of many ailments. The herb has been used as a tonic and blood purifier for hundreds of years and is one of the best natural sources of potassium. Dandelion is considered a potassium sparing diuretic (potassium levels are highest in the leaves), which means potassium is not lost from the body in the process of eliminating excess fluid. It is an ideal diuretic for heart problems and hypertension (high blood pressure). - Bitters stimulate the body into reflex action, setting the glands to work, preparing the body for certain functions to take effect. Some bitter plants stimulate appetite and digestion; some are diuretic and others stimulate the liver to activate the secretion of bile and the excretion of urea. Dandelion has all of these properties. - Dandelion can be indicated for liver congestion and gallbladder problems, for jaundice and the primary stage of cirrhosis. It stimulates liver activity and encourages the elimination of toxins from the blood. Constipation can be relieved, due to the laxative and stimulating action of this bitter herb. - The active ingredient coumestrol has an oestrogenic action that circulates freely, interacting with oestrogen-sensitive tissue. It is thought that coumestrol may contribute to the hormone altering properties of Dandelion, making it useful in the health management of women's complaints. - Its dual kidney and liver action makes Dandelion a good detoxifying remedy for disorders such as rheumatism, gout and eczema. This herb may also be beneficial in the treatment of urinary tract disorders, urinary stones and fungal infections. The milky sap of the roots can be used locally to help remove warts. - Dandelion is used as a nutritious food and drink; leaves can be used raw in salads and sandwiches or lightly cooked as a vegetable; tea is made from the leaves, coffee substitute from the root and wine and schnappes from the flowers.
Mild laxative, cholegogue, increases sweating, pain relief, stimulant, tonic, blood glucose regulator.
NOTES- Patients with diabetes should use Dandelion with caution. - Dandelion may interfere with diuretics, drugs that lower blood pressure and drugs used to decrease blood sugar. - Possible side effects include contact dermatitis, stomach discomfort, gallbladder inflammation and gallstones.