Plant Family:

Asteraceae

 

Habitat & Cultivation: 

The common dandelion is considered a weed that easily grows in temperate environments. Taraxacum officinale is native to Europe and Asia, and was originally imported to America as a food crop. Dandelion can be found in backyards, sidewalks, near water, or anywhere that the soil is damp.

 

Parts Used/Collection: 

Roots and Leaves

Dandelion is rich in pregnancy-beneficial minerals including iron and potassium, and supports digestive and liver function. It has diuretic effects and can be used for its hypoglycemic action, as well as its anti-jaundice properties. Dandelion has been shown to be beneficial in reducing viral DNA in people who are Hepatitis-B positive (Yarnell & Abascal, 2009)

 

Combined with Chicory root or burdock root can help decrease pitta (Frawley & Lad, 1986, p. 115).  It was also found that both chicory and dandelion supported bifidobacterial growth in the large intestine (Rada, Trojanova, V, Kokoska, & Vlkova, 2004).

 

Herbal Actions: 

  • Diuretic (more specific to the leaf)

  • Hepatic

  • Cholagogue

  • Antirheumatic

  • Laxative

  • Tonic

  • Bitter

 

Indications: 

  • Edema

  • Pruritus/PUPPPs

  • Improve digestion

  • Relieve nausea and vomiting

  • Improve appetite

  • Difficult glycemic control

 

Contraindications: 

Romm states that there is no scientific literature of dandelion being contraindicated during pregnancy (2010).

Rarely, you will find a client who is very sensitive to the bitter stimulation and it can result in an irritable uterus.  

 

Plant Constituents: 

 

 

System Affinities:

 

Mechanisms:

  • Hepatic

  • Prebiotic

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Hypoglycemic

  • Immuno-modulating

 

Energetics: 

  • Bitter

  • Sweet

  • Cooling

  • Pungent

  • Dandelion would decrease Pitta moving towards balance

    • S: Moderate activity, fearful, speaks fast, constipated, low appetite, dry skin

    • O: fast pulse, low BMI

  • Dandelion root would increase Vata creating more imbalance

    • S: Very Active, irritable, loose stool, excessive appetite, oily appetite

    • O: moderate pulse, increased temperature, medium BMI

 

Dosage/Preparations:

  • Dandelion root tincture (1:5 in 60% alcohol) would be indicated for active liver issues in pregnancy, such as congestion and inflammation (Hoffman, 2003). Perhaps this would be along the lines of a PUPPS treatment.

  • Dandelion root decoction (2-3 tsp of root in 1 cup boiling water) could be drank 3 times a day for a more gentle form of liver and GI support (Hoffman, 2003). In cleansing and strengthening the liver, could it potentially help prevent preeclampsia?  It can help prevent many inflammation-related issues, including preeclampsia.  Preeclampsia is a condition in which the disease process begins early in pregnancy with abnormal early pregnancy placental formation, and if the body is supported well throughout pregnancy with nourishment, liver, kidney, and cardiovascular support often the organ and wider systemic issues that we see in late pregnancy can be held off longer.  Taraxacum has an appropriate place in this support.

  • Because in this case we would be using the root, we need to prepare a decoction. Per Hoffman (2003), to prepare a dandelion root decoction we should do it in the following way:

    • 2-3 teaspoons of root into 1 cup of water

    • Bring to a boil

    • Let simmer gently for 10-15 minutes

    • Drink 3 times a day

  • The standard dose for dandelion root tincture

    • Dandelion root tincture dosage according to Hoffman (2003):

    • 2.5-5 mL 3 times/day (1:5 in 60%)

 

Safety: 

According to the AHAP Botanical Safety Handbook, safety categories for dandelion leaf and root include (pp. 854):

Safety Class 1 (herbs that can be safely consumed when used appropriately)

Interaction Class A (no relevant interactions are expected)

“No information on the safety of dandelion in pregnancy or lactation was identified in the scientific or traditional literature. Although this review did not identify any concerns for use while pregnant or nursing, safety has not been conclusively established.”

 

Other safety considerations include (Hoffman, 2003): may cause allergic reaction in people sensitive to plants in the Asteraceae family and there has been rare reports of contact dermatitis in people with frequent contact with the latex found in the stem of dandelion.

 

Personal Experience:

I made a dandelion root decoction for one hour and drank as a tea. It was earthy and milk and cooled down my palate.

Research: 

 

Frawley, D., & Lad, V. (2001). The yoga of herbs. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press

 

Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Healing Arts Press: Vermont.

 

Mills, S., & Bone, K. (2005). The essential guide to herbal safety. Elsevier Health Sciences.

 

 

Rada, T. V., Trojanova, I., V, R., Kokoska, L., & Vlkova, E. (2004). The bifidogenic effect of Taraxacum officinale root. Fitoterapia, 760-763.

 

Romm, A. (2010). Botanical medicine for women's health (p.18-19). St. Louis, Mo: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

 

 

 

 

Dandelion (Taraxacum officnale)

3663 College St SE, Suite A, Lacey, WA 98503    |    P 360.481.0105    |     F 360.764.2724