Dandelion greens are edible and are a rich source of vitamin A. Dandelion has been used in many traditional medical systems, including Native American and traditional Arabic medicine.
Common Names—dandelion, lion's tooth, blowball
Latin Name—Taraxacum officinale
What Dandelion Is Used For
Historically, dandelion was most commonly used to treat liver diseases, kidney diseases, and spleen problems. Less commonly, dandelion was used to treat digestive problems and skin conditions.
Today, dandelion is used by some as a liver or kidney "tonic," as a diuretic, and for minor digestive problems.
How Dandelion Is Used
The leaves and roots of the dandelion, or the whole plant, are used fresh or dried in teas, capsules, or extracts. Dandelion leaves are used in salads or as a cooked green, and the flowers are used to make wine.
What the Science Says
There is no compelling scientific evidence for using dandelion as a treatment for any medical condition.
Side Effects and Cautions
Dandelion use is generally considered safe. However, there have been rare reports of upset stomach and diarrhea, and some people are allergic to the plant.
People with an inflamed or infected gallbladder, or blocked bile ducts, should avoid using dandelion.