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Dandelion

General Information

Dandelions are a perennial plant found in temperate regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. They are a great source of vitamin A. They also contain vitamin C and B, and are a source of calcium, potassium, iron, and manganese.

Common Name(s)

dandelion, lion's tooth, blowball

Scientific Name(s)

Taraxacum officinale

Scientific Name(s)

The leaves, flowers, and roots are used in traditional medicine. The leaf, root, and whole plant are used in capsules, tablets, gummies, liquids, powders, and strips. The leaves, root, and whole plant are traditionally used as a diureticdiuretican agent that increases urine flow, laxativelaxativean agent that stimulates bowel movement and relieves constipation, digestive aid, and to increase bile flow. The root can also be used to help stimulate appetite and as a skin toner.  

Doses:

  • Leaf: 1.2-30g dried leaf, per day
  • Root: 1.5-24g dried root, per day
  • Whole plant: 3-30g dried whole plant, per day

What is this product used for?

Dandelion has been used for different conditions, including:

  • upset stomach
  • heart failure
  • flatulence
  • arthritis
  • gallstones
  • joint pain
  • eczema
  • bruises
  • cancer

It has also been used as an appetite stimulant, laxativelaxativean agent that stimulates bowel movement and relieves constipation, diureticdiuretican agent that increases urine flow, and for antiviral purposes.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

There is currently no reliable evidence available for the effectiveness of dandelion for the above uses.

When using dandelion as a diureticdiuretican agent that increases urine flow it should be for occasional use only. When used for flushing of the urinary tract, indigestion, and loss of appetite, you should contact your healthcare provider if symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks.

Dandelion is generally well-tolerated. It may cause stomach upset and heartburn in some people.

Do not use dandelion without consulting your healthcare provider if you suffer from liver disease, gallbladder disease, or intestinal obstruction.

Do not use dandelion in doses of 10g per day or more of dried leaf or dried root if you:

  • have heart disease
  • have high blood pressure
  • have low blood pressure
  • have kidney disease
  • have liver disease
  • have diabetes
  • have edema (swelling of the feet, face, and hands)
  • are currently using a diuretic medication

Dandelion can slow blood clotting. When it is taken with other medications that affect your body's ability to clot blood, dandelion can increase the chance of bleeding.

You should avoid dandelion if you are allergic to it or to any plants in the Asteraceae/Compositae family, such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies. 

There may be an interaction between dandelion and the following medications:

  • lithium
  • blood-thinning medications (e.g., warfarin, clopidogrel, ASA)
  • potassium-sparing diuretics (e.g., spironolactone, amiloride, triamterene)
  • quinolone antibiotics
  • medications that are affected by certain liver enzymes (e.g., amitriptyline, haloperidol, ondansetron, propranolol, theophylline, verapamil)

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

 


*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

 

Source(s)

  1. Dandelion (monograph). Natural Medicines. (Accessed online May 4, 2015)
  2. Health Canada. Licensed Natural Health Products database. Dandelion. http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=dandelion.pissenlit (accessed May 4, 2015)
  3. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Herbs at a Glance. Dandelion. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/dandelion/

 

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