dandelion (generic name)
- Auto Immune Conditions
- Bladder & Kidney Health
- Brain & Nervous System
- Care Transitions
- Dental Health
- Emotional Health
- Eye Health
- Falls Prevention
- Financial Planning
- General Safety
- Health Care Basics
- Healthy Living
- Hearing Loss
- Heart Health
- High Blood Pressure
- Life Transitions
- Lung Health
- Men's Health
- Nutrition & Weight Management
- Pain Management
- Preventive Health
- Sexual Health
- Stomach & Digestive Health
- Stress & Anxiety
- Women's Health
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Abscess, acne, age spots, AIDS, alcohol withdrawal, allergies, analgesia, anemia, anorexia, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral, aphthous ulcers, arthritis, benign prostate hypertrophy (enlarged prostate), bile flow stimulation, bladder irritation, blood purifier, boils, breast augmentation, breast cancer, breast infection, breast inflammation, breast milk stimulation, bronchitis, bruises, cardiovascular disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, circulation, clogged arteries, coffee substitute, congestive heart failure, dandruff, diarrhea, dropsy (swelling), dyspepsia (upset stomach), eye problems, fertility, fever reduction, food uses, frequent urination, gallbladder disease, gallstones, gas, gastrointestinal inflammation (appendicitis), gout (painful inflammation), headache, heartburn, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, HIV, hormonal abnormalities, immune stimulation, increased sweating, jaundice, kidney disease, kidney stones, laxative, leukemia, liver cleansing, liver disease, menopause, menstrual period stimulation, muscle aches, nutrition, obesity, osteoarthritis, pneumonia, pregnancy (including postpartum support), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, skin conditions, skin toner, smoking cessation, spleen problems, stiff joints, stimulant, stomachache, urinary stimulant, urinary tract inflammation, warts, weight loss.
Adults (18 years and older)
There is no proven effective dose for dandelion in adults. However, doses of 2-8 grams of dried root taken by mouth in an infusion or decoction have been used.
Doses of 4-8 milliliters of a 1:1 leaf fluid extract in 25 percent alcohol have been used.
Doses of 1-2 teaspoons of a 1:5 root tincture in 45 percent alcohol have been used.
Children (younger than 18 years)
There is not enough scientific research to recommend dandelion for use in children in amounts greater than those found in food.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Dandelion should be avoided by individuals with known allergy to honey, chamomile, chrysanthemums, yarrow, feverfew, or any members of the Asteraceae/Compositae plant families (ragweed, sunflower, daisies).
The most common type of allergy is dermatitis (skin inflammation) after direct skin contact with dandelion, which may include itching, rash, or red/swollen or eczematous areas on the skin. Skin reactions have also been reported in dogs.
Side Effects and Warnings
Dandelion has been well tolerated in a small number of available human studies. Safety of use beyond four months has not been evaluated.
The most common reported adverse effects are skin allergy, eczema, and increased sun sensitivity following direct contact.
According to traditional accounts, gastrointestinal symptoms may occur, including stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and heartburn.
Parasitic infection due to ingestion of contaminated dandelion has been reported, affecting the liver and bile ducts, and characterized by fever, stomach upset, vomiting, loss of appetite, coughing, and liver damage.
Dandelion may lower blood sugar levels based on one animal study, although another study notes no changes. Effects in humans are not known. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or low blood sugar, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Serum glucose levels may need to be monitored by a healthcare professional, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
In theory, due to chemicals called coumarins found in dandelion leaf extracts, dandelion may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Dandelion may be prepared as a tincture containing high levels of alcohol. Tinctures should therefore be avoided during pregnancy or when driving or operating heavy machinery.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Dandelion cannot be recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding in amounts greater than found in foods, due to a lack of scientific information. Many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol and should be avoided during pregnancy.