Dandelion Herb Profile

dandelion uses

Did you know you’ve probably pulled, stomped or sprayed a natural superfood that grows in your backyard? Dandelion is mostly known as a backyard weed, but it has amazing nutrient quality and health promoting properties.

All the parts of the dandelion plant can be used in various ways though the roots and leaves are the most commonly used as herbs.

Dandelion Root/Leaf

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

The leaves and root of the dandelion plant contain impressive levels of vitamins A, C, D, and B as well as minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, choline, calcium, boron, and silicon.

Though we often consider it a week in modern times, it has been used in virtually every area where it grows naturally as an herbal remedy and for promoting health. In fact, hundreds of years ago, it was used by various native cultures for supporting liver and gallbladder health.

Dandelion root and leaf are often listed as the ingredients of  teas and poultices for abscesses and sores, especially on the breast and in female health remedies as they can help support lactation and remedy urinary issues.

Dandelion root is tougher and more hardy than the leaf and is often used in decoctions and tinctures for this reason. The powder is often added to coffee substitutes (my favorite is Dandy Blend). The root is considered a natural diuretic and is sometimes used for this purpose.

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

Chopped dandelion root can be combined with myrrh to make a poultice for boils and abscesses, with honeysuckle flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat boils and abscesses, with skullcap and/or chrysanthemum flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat sore eyes, or with heal-all to treat hard phlegm in bronchitis. Can also be administered in capsule or extract form for convenience.

According to the How To Herb Book, this backyard superfood is:

  • Supportive of healthy blood levels and may help purify the blood and support the body’s natural detoxification systems
  • A good natural source of vitamins and minerals, especially calcium.
  • A natural source of important compounds called nutritive salts that help the blood. Some theories suggest that a deficiency of these salts can lead to an imbalance that causes anemia.
  • There are anecdotal reports of those with low blood pressure using dandelion to help restore energy.
  • Dandelion has a long history of use for supporting the liver and the body’s natural process of detoxification.  Evidence shows that it increases the activity of the liver and the flow of bile into the intestines.
  • For this reason, some people with hepatitis take dandelion to help support their liver.
  • These same supportive properties make it beneficial for the female organs and naturopaths often recommend supplements or teas that contain dandelion for helping balance hormones and reverse hormone related problems .
  • Its effect on the blood and liver may also help it alleviate urinary problems. A friend of mine struggled with constant recurring urinary tract infections for years and a dietary change of removing sugar and adding in more plant foods including dandelion has helped her remain UTI free.
  • Many people also notice improved skin from consuming dandelion, possibly because it supports the liver, which is tied to skin health.

The University of Maryland Medical Center also reports that:

Preliminary animal studies suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic mice. Researchers need to see if dandelion will work in people. A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation.

The Many Ways to Use Dandelion

The entire dandelion plant can be used and if you have a safe (non-sprayed) source in your yard or community, you can consider harvesting it yourself.

The flower can be used to make tea and even to make some types of wine.

The leaves can be consumed fresh on a salad or in recipes as well as substituted for greens like kale and collards in recipes or cooking. The antioxidant rich leaves are the most diuretic part of the plant so while they can be consumed regularly, it is important to maintain hydration too.

The root may help improve digestion and relieve mild upset stomach, making it a great alternative to coffee for those who don’t tolerate it well.

Important Notes:

It is important to check with a doctor before taking this or any herb, especially in large amounts or if taking any other medicine or supplement. Though it is generally considered safe, those allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine may not be able to consume it.

 

Ever used dandelion? How did you use it? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. GREAT JOB. YOUR INFORMATION IS SUPERB. GREAT JOB DONE DUDE N THNKX FOR SHARING YOUR KNOWLEDGE WITH US…….NICE POST…KEEP POSTING

  2. My favorite way to eat dandelion is is Dandy Blend beverage.  It’s a nice alternative to coffee and I like it with cream.  I knew that it had some diuretic properties, but a lot of the information in your article is new to me.  Thanks for sharing!

  3. My Dad would make a dandelion salad and juice (the leaves and root) it too, when I was a teenager.  The leaves only taste good in the early spring, after that, the leaves are bitter.

  4. Wonderful information, however, from a Mom’s point of view ….the MOST important use of a dandelion:  IT IS THE FIRST FLOWER CHILDREN GIVE THEIR MOM!   A most cherished memory!   Thanks for so much great info.
    Helen Mary

  5. I make dandelion root tea in the mornings and put it over ice with fresh lemon juice. During the work day or long drives for work, this is much more thirst-quenching and refreshing than just plain water.

  6. I’ve been wanting to try dandelion, specifically The Dandy Blend that Hannah mentioned but have hesitated. On one of my last check ups I had an ultra sound for my liver (I had cancer in my liver in my 20s) and they noticed that my gallbladder has “sludge” in it. This sounds like an easy way to help move that sludge along! Thanks Wellness Mama!

  7. When I was little I would get warts all the time on my knees, so I’d use the milky juice in the stems on them. After about three days of applying the sap the warts would be gone. Bonus was the flowers are tasty. :) Just had to be careful not to do that when Dad had gone nuts with the fertilizer/herbicides.

  8. I have recently found that dandelion root is contraindicated for use by someone who has an intestinal blockage/bowel obstruction. This is true also for those with gallstones and ulcers. Important info, as we try to balance our health issues naturally without making ignorant decisions that may impact health negatively.

  9. I use dandelion leaves in my green smoothies along with kale, parsley and beet tops, rainbow chard or whatever happens to be in season from the garden. Another wonderful post Katie. Thank you!

  10. I recently had some medical issues that stressed the need for a healthier lifestyle . I love all the helpful info found here.

  11. Do you have a recipe for dandelion tea? How much dandelion root, how much water, any other herbs to add for a liver cleanse? Thank you so very much.

  12. I love dandy blend tea but I get such a weird brain fog after drinking it that I had to give it up! Do you think that means I have a sensitivity to an ingredient in it? Or is there a known sedative effect from one of the ingredients?

  13. I learned this receipe in the Middle East where dandelion leaves and stems are part of the normal diet greens. Soak the dandelion leaves and roots for about 5 mins in water that has boiled. Drain the dandelions and repeat this twice more (dandelion is extremely bitter and this removes the bitter taste). Chop the leaves as you would with spinach. Add a little olive oil to a frying pan and saute onions and garlic until golden. Add the chopped dandelion, salt and pepper, and other seasoning you may want to try. Serve on a pita as a vegetarian sandwich.

  14. I make a dandelion salve by infusing dandelion flowers (about 50) in warm olive oil for 2 days and then straining and adding bees wax. Melt together and pour into containers. Extraordinary for chapped hands and the brilliant yellow colour makes me smile.

  15. Since it helps in releasing bile, will it be harmful in patients having a bout of cholecystits (inflammed gallbladder) and in patients with gallstones? Will this also contract the gall bladder or help in releasing CCK which helps in contracting the gall bladder? Will it stimulate the release of gallstone into the ducts which can cause cholangitis (inflammation in duct) and stasis of bile and forming sludge/pus..which can then cause infection and lead to infection in blood stream(sepsis)? Is this also safe in fatty liver and acute pancreatitis on chronic pancreatitis? If you can, can you please share the mechanism of action and the source where you got this from? I want to be very careful in giving this to someone that has cholecystits or choledocholithiasis(gallstones) along with chronic pancreatitis and fatty liver. Thanks again!

  16. I have terrible, recurrent urinary tract infections, which is what turned me on to Dandelion Root tea. Nine times out of ten that my boyfriend and I are intimate, I get a urinary tract infection which (terribly enough) basically made me dread sex. My doctor prescribed an antibiotic (half of the normal dose of a sulfa antibiotic that is usually prescribed to treat UTIs) which I was supposed to take after sex as a way to prevent the UTI. However, taking an antibiotic so frequently just seems like it wouldn’t be that healthy, especially since I’m already allergic to Penicillin/Amoxicillin, so making ANOTHER antibiotic ineffective doesn’t make sense. So that’s when I started drinking Dandelion Root tea — I’ve definitely noticed a difference, as it makes me go to the bathroom more and makes sure I’m frequently flushing out my urinary tract. To anyone else having this same issue, I suggest you start drinking it!!

    Also, Wellness Mama – any tips on treating recurrent UTIs/even an article would be so greatly appreciated!!!

    • Hi Jordan, I have this same problem! Apparently my husband’s germs and mine just don’t like each other. I started taking cranberry extract capsules (I use Gaia brand) and I haven’t had a UTI since. I wasn’t sure if it was a coincidence but I ran out of the cranberry supplements and immediately got a UTI so it must be working.

    • Try Colloidal Silver as a natural antibiotic. Just taking it for one day after a night of….should cure the problem

    • I had the exact same problem years ago. The solution… wash with soap before and after you’re intimate. Darn you bacteria.

    • I don’t get UTI very often at all, however, when I do, I have found that an uncrushed clove of does the trick! Peal, cut off rough end, then insert into vagina. I generally insert before bed. In a day, two at the most…it’s gone!

  17. Hi! I’m trying to blend my own detox tea, i always see dandelion leaf in most of the ingredients…but I’ve not been so lucky to find it, is there a substitute leaf for dandelion?? I’ve bought lemongrass, Sencha Green Tea, Lotus Leaf, Yerba Mate, Hawthorn Berries, Cassia chips, Nettle Leaf, Burdock Root, Fennel Seed,Gymnema Sylvester, Celery Seed, Organic Goji Berries, Organic Maqui Berries and moringa leaf, all i need is dandelion leaf…I’m not sure if i can leave this one out due to already having so many great herbs to blend, but it seems like dandelion leaf its an important ingredient as well….what would you recommend? ? And are all of these herbs safe to blend in equal parts?? Thanks! I love your post btw! ?

  18. Hi, I’ve been wanting to try dandelion tea but I’ve read that the leaf and root have different benifets and I need them all. Where can I get a tea that has both the leaf and root or can I put one tea bag of each in the same cup?

  19. How to make tea with dandelion roots and leaves>?

    How much quantity for a cup?

    Shall we boil or just put in boiled water?

    Can we prepare it for several days? if yes , then how much days
    Thanks in advance and Best Regards
    Jahida

  20. My Whole Foods doesn’t carry the dried root but did have the extract. The tea recipe I have calls for 1 Tbsp of dried root; any idea how much extract would equal the tbsp of dried?

  21. In the summer we have loads of dandelions in the yard. How do I harvest it? Just pick and wash? So I need to clean it with anything or soak it? If I want to make it into tea, do I dry it upside down?

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