Common Names: dandelion, lion’s tooth, blowball
Latin Names: Taraxacum officinale
- Dandelion is native to Europe but found throughout temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere. The leaves, flowers, and root of the plant have traditionally been used in Mexican and other North American medicine.
- Today, dandelion is promoted as a “tonic,” as a diuretic, and for a variety of conditions, including infections and digestive symptoms. As a food, dandelion is used as a salad green and in soups, wine, and teas. The roasted root is used as a coffee substitute.
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 in the amounts commonly found in food is generally considered safe. Less is known about the safety of taking it in larger amounts. Some people are allergic to dandelion; allergic reactions may be more likely in people who are allergic to related plants such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies.
- Little is known about whether it’s safe to use dandelion in amounts greater than those in foods during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Keep in Mind
- Take charge of your health—talk with your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Together, you can make shared, well-informed decisions.
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- Dandelion. Natural Medicines website. Accessed at naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com on October 10, 2019. [Database subscription].
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