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Dandelion Leaf

Plant Part Used

Leaf

Active Constituents

Resin (taraxacin), terpenoids (sesquiterpene lactones -taraxacerin), polysaccharides (primarily fructosans and inulin), coumarins, carotenoids (luteolin and violaxanthin), hydroxycinnamic acids, chicoric acid, and chlorogenic acid, furan fatty acids, vitamins A, B, C and D, minerals (including a high content of potassium). (1) , (2) , (3) [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 valuable food and medicinal agent. The leaf contains a high content of vitamins and minerals, including: vitamin A (14,000 IU/100gm fresh leaf) and potassium (297mg/100gm dried leaf). (4) , (5) Dandelion leaf is reported to possess diuretic properties. (6)

The leaf is commonly used as a diuretic that has potassium sparing qualities. There have not been human clinical studies to support these uses, but many years of positive use by physicians around the world warrant further research.

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.

Uses

Frequently Reported Uses

  • Diuretic
Other Reported Uses
  • Skin Disorders
  • Mineral Source
  • Support Of The Immune System

 

Toxicities & Precautions

General

No toxicity is reported. (7)

Allergy

Some individuals may experience contact allergic reactions to dandelion. (8)

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

Use with caution in pregnancy or nursing.

Age Limitations

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

Pharmacology

In experiments on laboratory animals, a fluid extract (1:1w/v) of dandelion leaf (corresponding to 8gm of dried leaf/kg body weight) was reported to possess diuretic activity comparable to that of furosemide (80mg/kg body weight). (9)

Dandelion may also be effective in increasing immune function. Evidence indicates dandelion may restore experimentally-induced suppressed immune function in animals by enhancing cell-mediated, humoral, and non-specific immunity. (10) Studies have also suggested that dandelion influences nitric oxide production (important in immune regulation), primarily a result of the extract's ability to induce the secretion of tumor necrosis factor-alpha. (11) Antitumor action of the aqueous extract of dandelion have also been reported. (12)

References

  1. Taraxacum officinale. Altern Med Rev. Apr1999;4(2):112-4.
  2. Bradley PR, ed. British Herbal Compendium. vol.1. Bournemouth: British Herbal Medicine Association; 1992:73-74.
  3. View Abstract: Williams CA, Goldstone F, Greenham J. Flavonoids, Cinnamic Acids and Coumarins from the Different Tissues and Medicinal Preparations of Taraxacum officinale. Phytochemistry. May1996;42(1):121-7.
  4. Bradley PR, ed. British Herbal Compendium. vol.1. Bournemouth: British Herbal Medicine Association; 1992:73-74.
  5. Popov AI, et al. Mineral Components of Dandelion Leaves. Vopr Pitan. 1993;3:57-58.
  6. Newall CA, et al. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press;1996:96-97.
  7. Bisset NG, ed. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Stuttgart: Scientific Publishers; 1994:213.
  8. Davies MG, et al. Contact Allergy to Yarrow and Dandelion. Contact Dermatitis. April 1986;14(4):256-57.
  9. Racz-Kotilla E, et al. The Action of Taraxacum officinale Extracts On the Body Weight and Diuresis of Laboratory Animals. Planta Med. Nov1974;26(3):212-17.
  10. 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.
  11. View Abstract: Kim HM, Oh CH, Chung CK. Activation of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase by Taraxacum officinale in Mouse Peritoneal Macrophages. Gen Pharmacol. Jun1999;32(6):683-8.
  12. Baba K, Abe S, Mizuno D. Antitumor Activity of Hot Water Extract of Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale? Correlation Between Antitumor Activity and Timing of Administration. Yakugaku Zasshi. 1981;101:538-543.

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