Herb Series: Dandelion, the all-powerful garden “weed”


When spring rolls around Dandelion seems to be a hot topic of conversation. Any time someone talks about weeding Dandelions I have to admit, I wince a little.

With its popular reputation as an overtaking weed, it’s not often recognized for its powerful medicinal properties.

Through my personal experience I find Dandelion to be one of the best herbs to use in supporting the liver. For that reason it is excellent herb to use to help with any skin issues, both topically and internally.

It is also great for digestion; it helps with bile production and helps to “get things moving”.

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes we hold emotions in our liver (1); Dandelion is a great herb to help release emotional stagnation that can hold us back.

One of my favorite ways to incorporate dandelion into my daily routine is through the greens. I add dandelion greens into a salad or my morning smoothie several times a week in the spring time.

Dandelion Green Salad recipe:


Material Medica: Dandelion

Latin name: Taraxacum officinale

Family: Asteraceae

Parts used: All (leaf, flower, root and sap)

Preparations and dosage:

Tea2 TBSP of Dandelion to 16oz water

SalveDandelion flowering tops, beeswax and oil

Tincture– 30 to 60 drops daily


Dandelion is known for being a liver and kidney tonic. It aids digestion, helps with breast tumors, abscesses, boils, fluid retention, stomach disorders and constipation. (1). It is one of the best remedies for hepatitis and potentially a preventative for breast cancer.

Emotionally releases tension, balances and puts one more in tune with self.

Studies have proven Dandelions effects on reducing inflammation and increasing bile production. A study done on mice has shown dandelion extract to up-regulate estrogen, progesterone and follicle-stimulating hormone receptors (3).  Another study showed a 32% success rate in curing Hepatitis B (3).


Dandelion has very few reported cases of contraindications. As with any plant there is the potential of an allergic reaction (2). Lower dose and use with caution while pregnant or nursing.

There have been few cases of Dandelion causing abdominal discomfort, loose stools, nausea and heartburn (2).



  1. Tierra, Michael, and David Frawley. Planetary Herbology: An Integration of Western Herbs into the Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Systems. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus, 1988. Print.
  1. Mars, Brigitte. The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine: The Ultimate Multidisciplinary Reference to the Amazing Realm of Healing Plants, in a Quick-study, One-stop Guide. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Pub., 2007. Print.
  1. Yarnell, E., and K. Abascal. “Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale and T Mongolicum).” Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal (2009): 34-36. Web.



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