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Dandelion



Background

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

Dandelion has a long history of use for problems of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. Today, dandelion as a dietary supplement is used as a blood “tonic,” as a diuretic, for minor digestive problems, and for other purposes.

The leaves and roots of the dandelion, or the whole plant, are used fresh or dried in capsules or extracts. As a food, dandelion is used as a salad green and in soups, wine, and teas.

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 as a food is generally considered safe. However, some people are allergic to dandelion; allergic reactions are especially likely in people who are allergic to related plants such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies. The safety of using dandelion supplements for health-related purposes is uncertain.

Keep in Mind

Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

Key References

  • Dandelion. In: Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000:78-83.
  • Dandelion. Natural Medicines Web site. Accessed at naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com on April 3, 2015. 

-NIH



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