Click on a letter to see pictures and individual herb information with folklore usages.
Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.
DANDELION (TARAXACUM OFFICINALE)
The principal constituents responsible for dandelion's effect on the digestive system and liver are the bitter principles. Previously referred to as taraxacin, these constituents are sesquiterpene lactones of the eudesmanolide and germacranolide type and are unique to dandelion.
Dandelion is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals. The leaves have a very high content of vitamin A as well as moderate amounts of vitamin D, vitamin C, various B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc, and manganese.
The leaves are a rich source of potassium, which is interesting since the leaves are used for their diuretic action. This may make dandelion the only naturally occurring potassium-sparing diuretic, although its diuretic action is likely different from that of pharmaceuticals. At high doses, the leaves have been shown to possess diuretic effects comparable to the prescription diuretic frusemide (Lasix). Since clinical data in humans is sparse, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a physician trained in herbal medicine before using dandelion leaves for water retention.
The bitter compounds in the leaves and root help stimulate digestion and are mild laxatives. These bitter principles also increase bile production in the gallbladder and bile flow from the liver. This makes them a particularly useful tonic for persons with sluggish liver function due to alcohol abuse or poor diet. The increase in bile flow will help improve fat (including cholesterol) metabolism in the body
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Hepatic, aperient, diuretic, depurative, tonic, stomachic
Has beneficial effect on the female organs. Increases the activity of the liver, pancreas, and spleen, especially in enlargement of the liver and the spleen.
Lukewarm dandelion tea is recommended for dyspepsia with constipation, fever, insomnia, and hypochondria. An infusion of the fresh root is reportedly good for gallstones, jaundice, and other liver problems.