Botanical Name:Taraxacum officinale
Common Uses:Detoxification, Bloating, Liver Function, Weight Management
Dandelion Root offers a vast range of therapeutic benefits, given its rich supply of nutrients and detoxifying properties.
Dandelion has been a prevalent component in traditional herbal medicine throughout the world. Historically, dandelion has been used in Russia, India, and China for its hepatic and hyperglycemic effects (Wirngo et al., 2016).Though there are various medicinal benefits to all parts of the dandelion plant (leaves, stem, and roots), the roots are often used to treat digestive issues such as constipation or bloating. Overall, dandelion is incredibly detoxifying and has natural laxative, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, diuretic, anti-rheumatic, and hypoglycemic properties.
Scientific studies have analyzed the therapeutic effects of dandelion root, substantiating its longtime usage in traditional medicine. Research has found that up to 45% of the roots are composed of the complex carbohydrate, inulin, which is effective at promoting the removal of pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing obesity, cancer, and osteoporosis.
Additionally, the reported diuretic properties of dandelion suggest its potential efficacy for reducing bloating. The results of a pilot study found that ingesting dandelion resulted in a unanimous increase in the frequency of urination. Another study has shown the positive effects of dandelion on liver function. This study specifically examined acetaminophen-induced liver injury and documented that two polysaccharides, DRP1 and DRP2, present in dandelion root could be useful in protecting the liver.
Furthermore, there are scientific findings which establish dandelion as a useful herb for stabilizing glucose levels. One particular research study analyzing the bioactive constituents in dandelion, suggests that various compounds, such as taraxasterol, function as target sites of certain glucose metabolizing pathways.
Interesting Fact: Comparable to carrots, dandelion is one of the greatest sources of beta-carotene, an important precursor to Vitamin A.
Clare, Bevin A, et al. “The Diuretic Effect in Human Subjects of an Extract of Taraxacum Officinale Folium Over a Single Day.”Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009.
Cai, Liangliang, et al. “Purification, Preliminary Characterization and Hepatoprotective Effects of Polysaccharides from Dandelion Root.”MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 25 Aug. 2017.
Wirngo, Fonyuy E, et al. “The Physiological Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) in Type 2 Diabetes.”The Review of Diabetic Studies : RDS, SBDR - Society for Biomedical Diabetes Research, 2016.