With the beginning of spring, many parts of the Northern Hemisphere get covered by low-growing yellow-colored flowers, the dandelions. Although it is associated with the beginning of the warm season and readily grows with warmth and moisture, it is also an excellent health supplement. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine.1 and It is a good source of vitamin A or beta-carotene, riboflavin, dietary fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients.3
However, when used for health benefits, people are more interested in its content of bioactive compounds. Its flowers are rich in caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid. Its roots contain taraxasterol, ixerine, caffeic acid, and much more. Its leaf and stems are equally good due to their content of quercetin glycosides, B-sitosterol, terpenes, and many other beneficial compounds.4
Numerous phytocompounds in the plant are responsible for its multiple health effects. Below are its eight amazing health benefits:
1. Provides antioxidants
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the antioxidants. These compounds help counter free radicals produced due to metabolic activity. If antioxidants are not neutralized, they cause much damage to body cells and genetic material. Antioxidant-rich foods can thus help slow down aging, help prevent cancer, and reduce the risk of various chronic ailments.2,5
Although antioxidants may help fight diseases, they are particularly good for preventing health disorders, slowing down aging and longevity. Thus, one does not have to live with some ailments to consume dandelion fresh or as a health supplement.
2. Promotes liver health
The liver is the largest internal organ and the body’s chemical factory. It also plays a vital role in the body’s detoxification. However, this also makes it prone to damage due to toxins. Hence, supporting the liver with herbals like dandelion extract is crucial. Studies suggest that it is pretty good for the liver. When used regularly, it protects the liver and boosts immunity.6
3. Helps fight inflammation
Inflammation is a protective mechanism. However, sometimes inflammation may cause more damage than good. Chronic low-grade inflammation is especially harmful to health. Dandelion leaves and extracts are good for localized inflammation, like in the case of joint disorders and systemic inflammation. It means that it can help prevent diseases associated with chronic low-level inflammation like heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and more.5
4. Reduces cholesterol
If the cholesterol level is left unchecked, it considerably increases the risk of atherosclerosis, consequently, heart disease and stroke. Dietary measures often fail to reduce blood cholesterol levels due to their high liver production. Thus, when living with high cholesterol, it is vital to use herbs known to reduce cholesterol levels. There is increasing evidence from clinical studies that dandelion can help lower blood cholesterol.7
5. Modulates immune responses
Dandelion extract is not just good for fighting inflammation. It appears that dandelion can modulate immune responses and thus help reduce inflammation. Hence, it can be of help to those living with joint pains and even rheumatoid arthritis.8
6. Controls Blood Pressure and Reduces Hypertension
Dandelion is an herb with wide-ranging health effects. It is quite good for metabolic health. Additionally, it has some diuretic action. It may also help lower blood pressure due to its beneficial impact on vascular health. Further, it helps enhance insulin sensitivity. Thus, it is not only good for reducing blood pressure but good for metabolic health, too.9
7. Aids weight loss
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in dandelion for weight loss. It may help in multiple ways, like reducing insulin resistance. It is also known to boost metabolism. Some people may experience weight loss after using dandelion due to increased water elimination. It may also help prevent water retention, which may be good for certain health conditions.10
8. Improves Digestive Health
Dandelion is also rich in digestive enzymes and promotes digestion. It may be particularly good for managing functional gastrointestinal issues that are challenging to treat with drugs. Dandelion helps overcome dyspepsia, bloating, gastritis, and even enteritis. It is also good for gut health and even helps prevent inflammatory bowel disease.11
To sum up, it is time to start looking at dandelion in a new light. It is not merely a weed but a nutritious herb and functional food. All the plant parts are edible. To enjoy its health benefits around the year, using dandelion extract may be a good idea.
- Kour J, Sharma R, Nayik GA, et al. Dandelion. In: Nayik GA, Gull A, eds. Antioxidants in Vegetables and Nuts - Properties and Health Benefits. Springer; 2020:237-248. doi:10.1007/978-981-15-7470-2_12
- Türkmen BM, Teyin G, Lokman U, Memis Kocaman E. Functional Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and Its Use in the Traditional Cuisines. Journal of Culinary Science & Technology. 2023;0(0):1-22. doi:10.1080/15428052.2022.2163733
- Dandelion greens, raw nutrition facts and analysis. Accessed June 2, 2023. https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Dandelion_greens%2C_raw_nutritional_value.html
- Wirngo FE, Lambert MN, Jeppesen PB. The Physiological Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) in Type 2 Diabetes. Rev Diabet Stud. 2016;13(2-3):113-131. doi:10.1900/RDS.2016.13.113
- Hu C. Taraxacum: Phytochemistry and health benefits. Chinese Herbal Medicines. 2018;10(4):353-361. doi: 10.1016/j.chmed.2018.08.003
- Pfingstgraf IO, Taulescu M, Pop RM, et al. Protective Effects of Taraxacum officinale L. (Dandelion) Root Extract in Experimental Acute on Chronic Liver Failure. Antioxidants. 2021;10(4):504. doi:10.3390/antiox10040504
- Choi UK, Lee OH, Yim JH, et al. Hypolipidemic and Antioxidant Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) Root and Leaf on Cholesterol-Fed Rabbits. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2010;11(1):67-78. doi:10.3390/ijms11010067
- Wen Z, Han K, Yang G, et al. Effects of dandelion tea on type II collagen induced arthritis in mice by regulation of ROR-γt/Foxp3 signaling. Food Science and Technology. 2022;42.
- Kania-Dobrowolska M, Baraniak J. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale L.) as a Source of Biologically Active Compounds Supporting the Therapy of Co-Existing Diseases in Metabolic Syndrome. Foods. 2022;11(18):2858. doi:10.3390/foods11182858
- Saper RB, Eisenberg DM, Phillips RS. Common Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss. afp. 2004;70(9):1731-1738.
- Li Y, Chen Y, Sun-Waterhouse D. The potential of dandelion in the fight against gastrointestinal diseases: A review. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2022;293:115272. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2022.115272