Dandelion Leaf

Plant Part Used

Leaf

Introduction

Dandelion leaf has historically been used as a valuable food and medicinal agent. The leaf contains a high content of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and potassium. It is also commonly used as a diuretic.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

Capsule: 250-500mg, 2 to 3 times a day taken with food.

Liquid extract: (1:1w/v fresh leaf, 1:4w/v dried leaf) 1-2 teaspoonfuls (5-10ml) mixed with a favorite beverage, 2 to 3 times a day taken with food.

Tea: The dried leaf of dandelion can also be prepared as a tea. Place 1 to 2 teaspoonfuls in a cup of boiling water. Allow this to steep or sit for at least 10 minutes; strain. Drink one cupful, 2 to 3 times a day as needed for excess fluid.

Most Common Dosage

Capsule: 500mg, 3 times a day taken with food.

Liquid extract: (1:1w/v fresh leaf, 1:4w/v dried leaf) 1 teaspoonful (5ml) mixed with a favorite beverage, 3 times a day taken with food.

Tea: The dried leaf of dandelion can also be prepared as a tea. Place 1 teaspoonful in a cup of boiling water. Allow this to steep or sit for at least 10 minutes; strain. Drink one cupful, 2 times a day as needed for excess fluid.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

Not applicable.

Reported Uses

While dandelion leaf can function in the body as a diuretic, scientists say that unlike many other diuretics, it does not strip the body of valuable potassium. (1) Rather, dandelion leaf is high in potassium content and can help replenish the body’s supply of the nutrient. (2) , (3) This could be good news for people who take conventional diuretics to control high blood pressure or who have electrolyte imbalances. Remember, though, to seek the advice of a physician who is familiar with alternative therapies before you begin using dandelion leaf to treat any disorder.

Animal studies indicate that dandelion may increase the function of the immune system. (4)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines. (5)

Allergy

Some individuals experience an allergic reaction when taking this dietary supplement. An allergic skin reaction may occur. (6) Call your doctor or seek medical attention if you have fast or irregular breathing, skin rash, hives or itching.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

References

  1. Newall CA, et al. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press;1996:96-97.
  2. Bradley PR, ed. British Herbal Compendium. vol.1. Bournemouth: British Herbal Medicine Association; 1992:73-74.
  3. Popov AI, et al. Mineral Components of Dandelion Leaves. Vopr Pitan. 1993;3:57-58.
  4. View Abstract: Luo ZH. The Use of Chinese Traditional Medicines to Improve Impaired Immune Functions in Scald Mice. Chung Hua Cheng Hsing Shao Shang Wai Ko Tsa Chih. 1993;9:56-58.
  5. Bisset NG, ed. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Stuttgart: Scientific Publishers; 1994:213.
  6. Davies MG, et al. Contact Allergy to Yarrow and Dandelion. Contact Dermatitis. April 1986;14(4):256-57.