The common dandelion, enemy of suburban lawns, is an unusually nutritious food. Its leaves contain substantial levels of vitamins A, C, D, and B complex as well as iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, choline, calcium, boron, and silicon.
Worldwide, the root of the dandelion has been used for the treatment of a variety of liver and gallbladder problems. Other historical uses of the root and leaves include the treatment of breast diseases, water retention, digestive problems, joint pain, fever, and skin diseases.
What Is Dandelion Used for Today?
Dandelion leaves are widely recommended as a food supplement for pregnant women because of the many nutrients they contain. The scientific basis for any other potential use of dandelion is scanty.
Dandelion root is also used like other bitter herbs to improve appetite and treat minor digestive disorders. When dried and roasted, it is sometimes used as a coffee substitute. Finally, dandelion root is sometimes recommended for mild constipation .
A typical dosage of dandelion root is 2 to 8 g, 3 times daily of dried root; 250 mg, 3 to 4 times daily of a 5:1 extract; or 5 to 10 ml, 3 times daily of a 1:5 tincture in 45% alcohol. The leaves may be eaten in salad or cooked.
Because the leaves contain so much potassium , they probably resupply any potassium lost due to dandelion's mild diuretic effect, although this has not been proven.
Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
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- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 09/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/18/2014 -