Health Benefits Of Dandelion


Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), a member of the Asteraceae family, is an incredibly common wild plant and is considered an invasive weed found throughout Europe and beyond. Dandelion can be found growing almost anywhere in lawns, meadows and wasteland.. This plant has long, green, pointed leaves, and a tall round stem topped with a bright yellow flower.. Following the flower is a fluffy, round seed head loved by children for blowing into the air and often called a ‘dandelion clock’. Dandelion seeds spread easily, always ensuring there is plenty of this plant around. The plant has a long-established tradition of being used for its health benefits in folk medicine and is still used extensively today in herbal medicine. Dandelion has a long history of use in traditional medicine practices around the world, including China, Europe, Mexico and North America.

About bell dandelion

Health benefits of bell dandelion

Dandelion has many health benefits and two parts of the plants are used medicinally for different conditions. The leaf is used mainly as a diuretic remedy (which means it increases how often you urinate), the root is mainly used to treat liver problems, and has many uses associated with improving digestive processes and aiding the elimination of waste products from the body.

Dandelion root and leaf actions:

Urinary conditions

Dandelion leaf is mainly used in herbal medicine to treat urinary conditions through its diuretic and urinary antiseptic action. This herb would be used in the treatment of urinary infections like cystitis, or where fluid retention (known as oedema) occurs for any reason including heart failure.

Gastrointestinal conditions

Constituents found in dandelion root have demonstrated benefits in treating the following gastrointestinal conditions:1 

The root is used for liver and digestive disorders, as a bitter tonic the root may enhance digestive processes by stimulating the production of gastric juices. Any liver disorder might benefit from the action of dandelion – to stimulate its detoxifying capabilities and protect it from damaging, toxic substances. 

Inulin, which is found in the root of dandelion, is beneficial for gut health and has been shown to promote the development of normal intestinal microflora in the gut.2 

Skin conditions

Due to the detoxifying action of 1) dandelion leaf on the urinary system and 2) dandelion root on the liver and bowel, this herb is useful for treating chronic skin conditions such as acne vulgaris and eczema. The detoxifying action could help to enhance the clearance of any toxic substances that may contribute to skin conditions and through improving liver function, might help to balance hormones that may affect the skin.

Blood sugar 

Dandelion extract has been shown to prevent complications of diabetes due to its role in preventing metabolic syndrome, and the way the body metabolises sugar.2 Dandelion has cholesterol-lowering effects, blood sugar-lowering effects, anti-obesity effects, and anti-platelet activity that indicates a potential role in preventing cardiovascular complications such as strokes or heart attacks.2 Due to the ability of dandelion leaf to help the body lose excess fluids as a diuretic, it may help with any problems associated with high blood pressure or hypertension.2

Antioxidant activity

High antioxidant levels are found in the leaves and roots of dandelion, which demonstrate free radical scavenging activity. This helps the body deal with the process of aging by reducing the damage caused by reactive oxygen species. Antioxidants help the body combat many diseases associated with the aging process and it is important to include as many antioxidant-rich food sources in the diet, and take additional supplements if necessary.

Anti inflammatory activity

Dandelion can lower inflammation by mediating the inflammatory response and reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This action has been shown to be valuable in inflammatory bowel disease.3

Anti cancer activity

Some studies have shown that dandelion extract may inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells.3 

Nutritional value of bell dandelion

Every part of the dandelion plant is edible, and analysis of its nutrient levels shows it contains high levels of the following 3

  • Vitamins – such as A, C, D, E and B
  • Minerals – such as calcium, sodium, magnesium and potassium
  • Fibre
  • Trace elements – such as iron, copper and zinc

High antioxidant levels are found in the roots of dandelion and vitamin C is found in high levels in the leaves.1 

Ways to use dandelion for health

The leaves of dandelion can be added to cooking, or eaten as a salad ingredient – and the roots can be roasted to make a coffee-like drink when simmered in water and strained. Dandelion coffee can also be bought from supermarkets and health shops. The coffee made from roasted dandelion root is very pleasant to taste and does not have the stimulating effects of caffeinated coffee, so it makes an excellent substitute for those wanting to limit caffeine. Dandelion tea can be made from the fresh or dried leaves or bought either loose or in teabags. Dandelion can also be found as a juice drink or added to a smoothie. Some people like to make wine out of dandelion parts, and it can be added to beer for its bitter flavouring.

If you find the taste of dandelion in drinks unpleasant, due to its bitterness,adding honey can help to sweeten your dandelion tea, juice or coffee.

Dandelion leaf and root can be found in tincture, liquid extract and powder, tablet or capsule form from health shops. Medical herbalists frequently use some form of dandelion root and leaf as part of their prescribing and formulations.

How much is enough?

Dandelion is a very safe herb unless you happen to be allergic to it. Those with allergies to plants from the same family (Asteraceae), including marigolds, daisies and ragweed, may also be allergic to dandelion. Skin reactions have been reported from contact with the plant in those known to have a sensitivity.

Caution with using the root of dandelion is advised for those with gallstones, due to its potential stimulating effect on bile production and gallbladder activity.

Although no adverse effects are expected from using dandelion root or leaf during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is best to consider consulting with a medical practitioner before consuming dandelion during these periods.

Unless someone is allergic to dandelion, no side effects are expected from consuming it in normal quantities or recommended therapeutic amounts. If you are unsure of how to take dandelion or how much to take then consult a qualified medical herbalist or another health professional.

Therapeutic dosage5

The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia recommends the following doses of dandelion in its various forms:

  • Fresh or dried leaves: 4-10 g a day
  • As a leaf tincture: 2-5 mL (up to 1 teaspoon), three times a day
  • As fresh leaf juice: 5 mL (1 teaspoon), twice a day
  • As fluid extract: 5-10 mL (1-2 teaspoons) a day
  • Fresh roots: 2-8 g a day
  • Dried powder: 250-1000 mg, four times a day


The dandelion plant is a readily available and safe plant that is often underestimated for its health benefits. As with many herbs, research into the health benefits of dandelion are limited, but centuries of medicinal use support many of the health claims made for it. As a simple vegetable, it can easily be included in the diet in many ways and is as nutritious as many other green leafy vegetables – such as spinach or kale. The antioxidant levels of the plant make it well worth considering as an addition to a healthy diet or as an herbal tea. Dandelion coffee is very pleasant and makes an excellent caffeine replacement drink. Overall, the dandelion plant is very versatile and nutrient-rich and not to be overlooked as just another nuisance weed.


  1. Li, Yanni, et al. “The Potential of Dandelion in the Fight against Gastrointestinal Diseases: A Review.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 293, July 2022, p. 115272. (Crossref),
  2. Kania-Dobrowolska, Małgorzata, and Justyna Baraniak. “Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale L.) as a Source of Biologically Active Compounds Supporting the Therapy of Co-Existing Diseases in Metabolic Syndrome.” Foods, vol. 11, no. 18, Sept. 2022, p. 2858. (Crossref),
  3. González-Castejón, Marta, et al. “Diverse Biological Activities of Dandelion.” Nutrition Reviews, vol. 70, no. 9, Sept. 2012, pp. 534–47. (Crossref),
  4. Clare BA, Conroy RS, Spelman K. 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.). 2009;15(8): 929–934.
  5. Wirngo FE, Lambert MN, Jeppesen PB. The physiological effects of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) in type 2 diabetes. The Review of Diabetic Studies : RDS. 2016;13(2–3): 113–131.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Victoria Ward

BSc, Herbal Medicine,University of Lincoln

Experienced Medical Herbalist BSc (Hons) and former nurse, highly knowledgeable about healthcare and medicinal plants. I’m especially interested in skin care and gut health. Regular blogger for my own website and freelance article writer. I enjoy writing both creative, ghostwriting and medical writing. Passionate about country life, have two horses and a collie dog. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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