Dandelion Health Benefits

Dandelion Herb Uses, Health Benefits and Side Effects

Dandelion is a flowering edible plant that is native from Europe and North America. It has many folkloric health benefits for kidney and liver problems...(more)

What is dandelion? Dandelion is a flowering plant that has long lance-shaped leaves that are deeply toothed and has orange flowers that matures into a whitish globe head...(more)

Dandelion Preparation Dandelion can be prepared as tea and wine but can also be eaten fresh or cooked. ...(more)

What is dandelion


Scientific Name: Taraxacun

Common Names: Dandelion, blowball

Dandelion (Taraxacum) is a member of large genus of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. Dandelion is a perennial or biennial herbaceous plant, native to Eurasia and North America but has since been found in other temperate areas worldwide along road sides, open fields lawns and gardens.

Dandelion is an edible plant with long, lance-shaped leaves. Dandelion leaves are so deeply toothed, they gave the plant its name in Old French: Dent-de-lion meaning lion's tooth. The leaves are 5–25 cm long and about and 1 to 2.5 com wide forming a rosette above the taproot.

Dandelion flower heads are yellow to orange about 2 to 5 cm in diameter. Several dandelion flowers can bloom from a single rosette rising above the leaves at the end of each hollow stem. Dandelion flower is usually open during the day and closed at night. At some point the dandelion flower heads mature into a globular seed head containing many single-seeded fruits attached to white parachute like hairs called pappus that enable the seeds to travel with wind for long distances.

Dandelion Nutritional Value and Constituents

Dandelion herb greens (Taraxacum officinale), Fresh,  Nutrition value per 100 g 
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 45 Kcal 2%
Carbohydrates 9.20 g 7%
Protein 2.70 g 5%
Total Fat 0.70 g 3%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 3.50 g 9%
Folates 27 µg 7%
Niacin 0.806 mg 5%
Pantothenic acid 0.084 mg 1.5%
Pyridoxine 0.251 mg 19%
Riboflavin 0.260 mg 20%
Thiamin 0.190 mg 17%
Vitamin A 10161 IU 338%
Vitamin C 35 mg 58%
Vitamin E 3.44 mg 23%
Vitamin K 778.4 µg 649%
Sodium 76 mg 5%
Potassium 397 mg 8%
Calcium 187 mg 19%
Iron 3.10 mg 39%
Magnesium 36 mg 9%
Manganese 0.342 mg 15%
Phosphorus 66 mg 9%
Selenium 0.5 mg 1%
Zinc 0.41 mg 4%
Carotene-α 363 µg --
Carotene-β 5854 µg --
Crypto-xanthin-β 121 µg --
Lutein-zeaxanthin 13610 µg --

Dandelion Uses And Preparation

Dandelion roots are roasted as coffee substitute.

Dandelion lotion used as cosmetic to clear the skin against freckles.

Dandelion has edible leaves, roots and flowers used for salad and cooking. Dandelion is very nutritious, having more vitamins and minerals than most vegetables. Young leaves are harvested before flowers appear.  To remove bitterness, the leaves and flowers are blanched with hot boiling water to mollify the bitter taste.

Dandelion leaves and flowers are used to make herbal dandelion tea.
How to make dandelion tea? Follow the following steps to  make a dandelion tea

  1. Add 1 to 2 teaspoon of dried dandelion parts for every cup of boiling water.
  2. Cover and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes (do not boil),
    add honey or other herbs for flavoring.
  3. Dandelion tea can be taken 3 times a day.

dandelion wineDandelion flowers are fermented to make dandelion wine
How to make dandelion wine? To make a gallon of dandelion wine, prepare the following:

7grams of brewing yeast
60 ml warm water
230 grams dandelion flowers petals
1 gallon of water (3.785 L)
240 ml orange juice
45 grams fresh lemon juice
45 grams fresh lime juice
8 whole cloves
1.25 grams powdered ginger
18 grams coarsely chopped orange zest;
6 grams coarsely chopped lemon zest;
1000 grams sugar

  1. Wash then soak in water for 2 days the dandelion petals
  2. Strain the petals and add to a gallon of water.
  3. Mix all the ingredients except for the brewing yeast.
  4. Boil for about an hour to make an infusion
  5. Remove from heat then strain solid parts
  6. Add the yeast while warm (about 37 deg C)
  7. Cover and let it seat for a day
  8. Transfer to bottles, cover and let it seat for 2 weeks
  9. Transfer to another bottle leaving the residue then cork
  10. Let it age for minimum 6 months before consuming dandelion wine

dandelion: Folkloric Health Benefits

Folkloric health benefits of fresh dandelion leaves, dandelion tea and wine included treatment of kidney problems and liver diseases.

Dandelion is also believed to offer health benefits for people with weak appetite, people with stomach and digestive problems, skin problems, muscle and joint pains, and as diuretic which promote urine production and as laxative for constipation.

Some people even claim that dandelion has health benefits against cancer, infection and heart diseases.

Dandelion Medicinal and Health Benefits

Antioxidant activity of Dandelion Leaves and Roots.

In a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2010, entitled “Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root and leaf on cholesterol-fed rabbits” showed that cholesterol fed rabbits treated with dandelion root and leaf exhibited changed plasma antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid profiles. This results suggests that dandelion extract may have potential hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects. Dandelion root and leaf could protect against oxidative stress linked atherosclerosis and decrease the atherogenic index.

Antiviral activity of Dandelion Extract

In a study published in the Virology Journal, 2011, entitled “Anti-influenza virus effect of aqueous extracts from dandelion” has shown that dandelion extracts have antiviral activity and indicated that a component or components of these extracts possess anti-influenza virus properties. Mechanisms of reduction of viral growth in MDCK or A549 cells by dandelion involve inhibition on virus replication. In a similar study entitled “Inhibitory effect of aqueous dandelion extract on HIV-1 replication and reverse transcriptase activity” published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, the dandelion extract showed strong activity against HIV-1 RT and inhibited both the HIV-1 vector and the hybrid-MoMuLV/MoMuSV retrovirus replication.

Where and How to Buy Dandelion Supplement

Many health food and nutrition stores also sell dandelion supplements in a capsule form, which simplifies the consumption process.

Dandelion is also available in online health stores and in amazon such as the Dandelion Root, 100 Capsules / 500mg

Dandelion use Side Effects, cautions and warnings

Dandelion use is generally considered safe.

There is not enough clinical studies to determine potential side effects of dandelion. Use during pregnancy and breast feeding is not recommended.

Dandelion can cause allergic reaction for people sensitive to ragweed plants and its relatives.

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