Dandelion Root

Plant Part Used

Root

Active Constituents

Triterpenes (including taraxasterol), sterols (including stigmasterol and B-sitosterol), inulin (ca. 25%), sugars (including fructose, glucose, sucrose), choline, pectin, phenolic acids. (1) [span class=alert]

This section is a list of chemical entities identified in this dietary supplement to possess pharmacological activity. This list does not imply that other, yet unidentified, constituents do not influence the pharmacological activity of this dietary supplement nor does it imply that any one constituent possesses greater influence on the overall pharmacological effect of this dietary supplement.[/span]

Introduction

Dandelion has historically been used as a food source and medicinal agent. Dandelion is reported to possess diuretic, laxative, cholagogue, and antirheumatic properties. (2) The root has been used for cholecystitis, gallstones, jaundice, atonic dyspepsia with constipation, muscular rheumatism, and oliguria, but the main uses have been for dyspepsia and cholecystitis. (3)

Dandelion root products are commonly used in Europe, especially Germany, for disorders of bile secretion (choleretic), appetite stimulation, and dyspeptic complaints. There have not been human clinical studies to support these uses.

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

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

Liquid extract: (1:1w/v fresh root, 1:4w/v dried root) 1-2 teaspoonfuls (5-10ml) in orange juice or other beverage, 2-3 times a day.

Most Common Dosage

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

Liquid extract: (1:1w/v fresh root, 1:4w/v dried root) 1 teaspoonful (5ml) in orange juice or other beverage, 3 times a day.

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]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 20% taraxasterol per dose.

Uses

Frequently Reported Uses

  • Dyspepsia
  • Choleretic
Other Reported Uses
  • Hepatobiliary Disorders
  • Appetite Stimulant
  • Skin Disorders
  • Mild Antirheumatic
  • Mild Laxative
  • Potential in Diabetes Support

 

Toxicities & Precautions

General

No toxicity is reported in recommended dosages. (4)

Allergy

Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to dandelion. (5)

Health Conditions

Based on pharmacology, use with caution if biliary obstruction or gallstones are present. (6)

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

If pregnant or nursing, consult a physician before use.

Age Limitations

Do not use in children under 2 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

Pharmacology

The principle bitter components (sesquiterpene lactones) in the root were reported to increase bile secretion in rats by more than 40 percent, along with increasing gastric secretions. (7) These bitter principles also aid in increasing appetite. Moderate anti-inflammatory activity against carrageenan rat paw edema was reported for dandelion root extracts in laboratory animals. (8)

Also, a laboratory animal study reported the use of dandelion in blood glucose control. (9) The findings are probably a result of the high inulin content of the plant, as inulin is a polysaccharide fiber composed of long chains of repeating fructose molecules which is thought to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar levels. (10) Another laboratory animal study reported no glycemic control when using dandelion. (11)

References

  1. Leung A, et al. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics. New York: Wiley-Interscience Publication;1996:25-26.
  2. Newall CA, et al. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press;1996:96-97.
  3. Newall CA, et al. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press;1996:96-97.
  4. Bisset NG, ed. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Stuttgart: Scientific Publishers; 1994:213.
  5. Davies MG, et al. Contact Allergy to Yarrow and Dandelion. Contact Dermatitis. Apr1986;14(4):256-57.
  6. McGuffin M, et al. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press;1997:114.
  7. Bradley PR, ed. British Herbal Compendium. Vol.1. Bournemouth: British Herbal Medicine Association;1992:73-74.
  8. Newall CA, et al. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press;1996:96-97.
  9. Akhtar MS, Khan QM, Khaliq T. Effects of Portulaca oleracae (Kulfa) and Taraxacum officinale (Dhudhal) in Normoglycaemic and Alloxan-treated Hyperglycaemic Rabbits. J Pak Med Assoc. 1985;35:207-210.
  10. View Abstract: Roberfroid MB. Concepts in Functional Foods: The Case of Inulin and Oligofructose. J Nutr. Jul1999;129(7 Suppl):1398S-401S.
  11. View Abstract: Swanston-Flatt SK, Day C, Flatt PR, et al. Glycaemic Effects of Traditional European Plant Treatments for Diabetes. Studies in Normal and Streptozotocin Diabetic Mice. Diabetes Res. Feb1989;10(2):69-73.