While all of us as children have blown on the dandelion puffs and watched as the parachutes of seeds took flight for far away destinations, we might not have realized we were looking at one of nature’s most powerful diuretics. The stubborn and ubiquitous Dandelion has been used for medicinal purposes since the 10th century. For many people, dandelions are simply a yard pest. It is ironic that the power of advertising has caused humankind to react by spending millions of dollars waging chemical warfare on the “deadly” dandelion while risking everyone’s health rather than embracing them on their lawns.
Dandelion is a member of the sunflower family, native to Europe and naturalized in North America. The name dandelion is a corruption of the French ‘dents de lion’, meaning “teeth of the lion.” Dandelion is a member of the Asteraceae/Compositae family closely related to chicory. They are native to Europe and Asia, and two species, T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, are found as weeds worldwide. The common name Dandelion is given to members of the genus and like other members of the Asteraceae family; they have very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret. Many Taraxacum species produce seeds asexually by apomixis, where the seeds are produced without pollination, resulting in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant. The dandelion is known for its yellow flower that is actually made up of many small individual flowers. The stem is slender and hollow, with the plant being 1-4 inches tall. However, dandelions are very rich in nutrients. The plants are considered invasive weeds by many people but they are also an excellent source of potassium, calcium and vitamin A. What a wealth of benefits this humble plant offers, all without effort on our part, and right at our doorstep. Bentley, on the other hand, contended that it is more bitter in March and most of all in July, but that as in the latter month it would generally be inconvenient for digging it, it should be dug in the spring, when the yield of Taraxacin, the bitter soluble principle, is greatest for optimal maceration.
Most gardeners detest them, but the more you try to weed them up, the faster they grow.
The taproot is deep, twisted, and brittle.
Unless you remove it completely, it will regenerate. If you break off more pieces than you unearth, the dandelion wins. “What’s a dandelion digger for?” a dandelion asked.
“It is a human invention to help us reproduce,” another dandelion replied.
If you have any of the following health problems, consult physician or qualified health care professional before using this plant: gall bladder problems (e.g., gallstones, bile duct blockage), diabetes, stomach problems (e.g., ulcers or biliary or urethral blockage). Avoid antacids and other medicines that lower stomach acid, such as Nexium, Pepcid, Prilosec, Prevacid, Tagamet, Zantac, and others. Dandelion may increase the HCL hydrochloric acid of the stomach since this effect may worsen ulcers or heartburn, gastritis. Some individuals experience stomach pain because of hyperacidity. The liquid preparation of this product does contain sugar and alcohol. Dandelion may also reduce the effectiveness of agents that decrease stomach acid or may increase the toxic effects associated with herbs such as foxglove or supplements that lower blood pressure such as Hawthorn – Crataegus. Caution is advised if you have diabetes since it can greatly influence your glucose level and may require less insulin intake if insulin dependent other diabetic drugs. Also be careful if giving this to an alcoholic or when having serious liver disease or hematomacrosis due to dandelion high iron content.
Lithium — Animal studies suggest that dandelion may worsen the side effects associated with lithium, a medication used to treat bipolar disorder. Dandelion may reduce the effects of the quinolone antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, and levofloxacin) due to reduced absorption of the drug and diuretic effect flushing it out of the body too quickly. In theory, dandelion may reduce the absorption of other drugs taken at the same time. As a general rule of thumb never mixed any antibiotics with herbs of any kind nor take vitamins while taking a course of antibiotic not even probiotic just bifidus factor if prone to Candida not wide broad spectrum probiotic. The reason for this is that the antibiotic does not have a brain it does not know the differences between good or bad bacteria. The antibiotic becomes overwhelmed with too many bacteria’s to fight all at once that is why often in people taking wide broad spectrum probiotic there is failure to the antibiotic. Vitamins also flush out of the body the antibiotic preventing saturation for effective eradication.
Cu, Co, Cr, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Ni, P, Se, Si, Sr, Su, Ti, Zn.
Vitamins and Minerals:
A, B-Complex B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, Biotin, Boron, C, Calcium, Choline, D, E, Inositol, Lecithin.
Sesquiterpene Abscisic acid (AB), Auxins (IAA), Beta-Carboline alkaloids, Indole alkaloids Aneurine, Arnidiol, Beta-Amyrin, Beta-Carotene third richest source of Vitamin A of all foods after cod-liver oil and beef liver, Beta-Sitosterol, Thirteen Benzenoids Caffeic Acid, predominant compound isChicoric acid (dicaffeoyltartaric acid), Brassinosteroids (BR), Caleosins, Chlorine, Chlorophylls, Coumestrol, Crytoxanthin, Cycloartenol, Cytokinins (CK), Faradiol, Fructose, Gibberellins (GA), Glucose, Glutamic Acid, Glutathione, Glycerol, Homoandrosterol, Homotaraxasterole, Immunoglobulin,Jasmonates-Jasmonic acid (JA), Levulose, Ligand, Linoleic Acid, Lipids phospholipid composition Exporters, Lutein, Luteolin-7-Glucoside, Mannitol,Meristems PSC, Mucilage, Nicotinic Acid, Oleic Acid, Oleosins, P-Coumaric Acid, Palmitic Acid, Pectins, Polysaccharides; Glucans and Mannans and Inulin, Quercetin glycosides, Polyamines, Proteins, and Peptides, Rho-hydroxyphenylacetic acids, Sesquiterpene lactones of the Eudesmanolideand Germacranolide, Stigmasterol, Sucrose, Tannin, Taraxasterol, Taraxerol, Tartaric Acid, Tyrosinase, Violaxanthin, Xanthophyll.
Taraxacum officinale contains an abundance of terpenoid and sterol bitter principles (principally taraxacin and taraxacerin), equally distributed in the roots, leaves, and flowers. Other terpene/sterol compounds include beta-amyrin, taraxasterol, and taraxerol, as well as free sterols (sitosterin, stigmasterin, and phytosterin) structurally related to bile. Contains an anti-allergic terpene, desacetylmatricarin. Harmonious combination of trace elements. Two new compounds, taraxafolide (1) and (+)-taraxafolin-B (2).
Antioxidant activity of three new compounds found in taraxacum officinale was assessed for their scavenging capacity on 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, and all of them showed potent activity.
References: School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China. 3 Sep 2008 Author/s: Shi, Shuyun (S); Zhao, Yu (Y); Zhou, Honghao (H); Zhang, Yuping (Y); Jiang, Xinyu (X); Huang, Kelong (K). Note : Who said that Taraxacum Officinale has not been barely research a lot of research is ongoing! See bottom of this section.
Liver cancer Koo HN et al from Kyung Hee University, South Korea, investigated the effect of Taraxacum officinale (TO) on the cytotoxicity and production of cytokines in human hepatoma cell line, Hep G2. Their results indicated that TO decreased the cell viability by 26%, and significantly increased the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interleukin (IL)-1alpha production. And also, they found that TO strongly induced apoptosis of Hep G2 cells.
References: Leu YL, Shi LS, Damu AG, Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2003 May;51(5):599-601 Life Sci. 2004 Jan 16;74(9):1149-57).
Plant Stem Cell Therapy Indications:
GI – Digestive – Hepatology:
P Detoxifies the entire digestive system. Dyspepsia. It is of wonderful help in cachexia, the severe wasting condition in severe illness. Laxative, shown to act as a cholagogue, promotes the flow of bile, reduces inflammation of the bile duct. Liver stasis or congestion in the blood vessels serving the liver. Congestion, Jaundice, Hepatitis B inhibits viral replication. Cirrhosis of the liver. Hepatogenous Edema (ascites). Reduces Cholesterol. Detoxifies the Liver an invaluable agent in the removal of Rx Drug toxicities reduce side effects of medications metabolized (processed) by the liver. Detoxifies the Gallbladder and biliary tract. Stimulate the appetite and for relieving stomach fullness and gas (dyspepsia). Reduce the risk of developing gallstones.
Dandelion should be avoided, however, if you have Acute Gallstones, since increasing the flow of bile could increase pressure against the stones. Also a great vermifuge for tape worm. Bipolar action working equally well to relieve both constipation and diarrhea. Effective in promoting weight loss. Pectin, which is anti-diarrheal and also forms ionic complexes with metal ions, which probably contributes to dandelion’s reputation as a blood and gastrointestinal detoxifying herb. Pectin is prescribed regularly in Russia to remove heavy metals and radioactive elements from body tissues. Pectin can also lower cholesterol and, combined with Vitamin C, can lower it even more. Dandelion is a good source of both Pectin and Vitamin C. One study found that dandelion inhibits the growth of Candida albicans. Dandelions are particularly known for strengthening the liver. it is generallycontraindicated in bile duct obstruction, empyema or ileus. People with an inflamed or infected gallbladder, or blocked bile ducts, should avoid using dandelion. Taraxacin, which is found in the whole herb, particularly the root, is what stimulates the bile secretion. Will double the bile output therefore reduced Direct and Total Bilirubin in the blood. Research has also shown that dandelion root contains a very high concentration—up to 40%—of an indigestible carbohydrate called inulin, which serves as a food source for colonic bacteria species Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus and promotes their growth. These bacteria crowd out other harmful bacteria, thus acting like a natural antibiotic and improving the health of the digestive tract. Dandelion can aid in the release of the enzymes that can break down carbohydrates, because these carbohydrates will be prevented from being stored as fats.
P Alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity. Blood sugar modulating activity bipolar action Hypoglycemia mainly but also Diabetes type II. High Inulin content thought to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Fructose forms glycogen in the liver without requiring insulin, resulting in a slower blood sugar rise. Coumestrol, an estrogen mimic which possibly is responsible, at least in part, for stimulating milk flow as a mild galactagogue excites lactation.
Also recently studied as effective in Acute Pancreatitis Dandelion may have a protective effect against CCK octapeptide-induced acute pancreatitis, additionally, the secretion of IL-6 and TNF-alpha decreased. Also increased the pancreatic levels of HSP60 and HSP72. Heat shock proteins are generally responsible for preventing damage to proteins in response to high levels of heat.
References: World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jan 28;11(4):597-9 There are recent studies showing that a few weeks cure with the use of dandelion extract together with an adequate alimentation, effectively alleviates diabetes, allowing those who use insulin to reduce progressively the dose of insulin. Everyone looking for an exotic plant to treat obesity right here we have the answer dandelion simple little weed is so effective for treating obesity.
Renal – Urogenital:
P Gentle Diuretic, will help to empty bladder completely. Dandelion is one of the best natural sources of potassium. Sodium retention, Edema of the ankle and feet, Urinary Lithiasis especially uric stones since it reduces also uric acid in the kidneys and Gravel amorphous sediments. Unlike many other diuretics, it does not strip the body of valuable potassium. A benefit of dandelion root extract is that it replaces potassium lost through urination instead of depleting potassium like most diuretic drugs. Diuretic effects as potent as Lasix (furosemide). It has greater diuretic effects than other herbs such as Horsetail and Juniper but not stronger of that than Betulinic Acid Concentrate which is the Polycrest Diuretic.
P Lower ROS species and Nitric Oxide NO. Liver Cancer, Induce Apoptosis Purifies the blood and recycles nutrients. May be of benefits in Melanoma. Maximize the performance of the spleen. Inhibit tumor growth. Rich iron content makes it useful for treating anemia. While iron is the integral part of hemoglobin in the blood, vitamins (particularly the B-Complex) and protein are essential for formation of red blood cells and certain other components of the blood. This way dandelion can help further help anemia. Recent studies suggest that taraxacum officinale may inhibit TNF-alpha production by inhibiting IL-1 production and that taraxacum as an anti-inflammatory activity in the central nervous system.
References: The College of Pharmacy, Center of Oriental Medicinal Science, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Chonbuk, South Korea. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2000 Aug;22(3):519-30.
Dandelion’s antitumor activities are thought to be similar to that of tumor polysaccharides such as lentinan (is derived from the mycelium of the shiitake mushroom body, lentinan is classified as an antineoplastic polysaccharide). Dandelion has been shown to decrease human hepatoma cell line viability by increasing tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1alpha production.
References: Barnes J, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 2002.
Other research, however, has shown that the presence of luteolin and luteolin 7-glucoside in dandelion extract exhibits cytotoxic activities against the colon adenocarcinoma cell line (Caco-2).
References: Hu C, Kitts DD. Antioxidant, prooxidant, and cytotoxic activities of solvent-fractionated dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) flower extracts in vitro. J Agric.Food Chem. 2003;51:301-10.
Still other studies have isolated an active compound identical to lupeol, a lupane-type triterpene, that inhibited cell growth and induced melanogenesis of a mouse melanoma cell line (B16 2F2).
References: Hata K, Ishikawa K, Hori K, Konishi T. Differentiation-inducing activity of lupeol, a lupane-type triterpene from Chinese dandelion root (Hokouei-kon), on a mouse melanoma cell line. Biol Pharm. Bull. 2000;23:962-7.
Another study has demonstrated that taraxinic acid induces differentiation in a promyelocytic leukemia cell line (HL-60).
References: Choi JH, Shin KM, Kim NY, Hong JP, Lee YS, Kim HJ et al. Taraxinic acid, a hydrolysate of sesquiterpene lactone glycoside from the Taraxacum coreanum NAKAI, induces the differentiation of human acute promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells. Biol Pharm. Bull. 2002;25:1446-50.
In 1979, a Japanese study found that dandelion alcoholic extract administered to mice for 10 days markedly inhibited the growth of inoculated Ehrlich ascites cancer cells within a week after treatment. A similar US study in 1987 showed that dandelion produced antibodies to the active polypeptides in tumor-induced mouse ascites fluid.
P How dandelion affects women with endometriosis luteolin in the plant helps to increase the circulation of blood in the abdominal region resulting in lessening menstrual cramps and bleeding during menstruation. The Flavone luteolin, is an inhibitor of interleukin-4 and interleukin-13 production by activated human basophils. Dandelion contains flavones, a powerful antioxidant that helps to strengthen the immune system in fighting against the invasion of bacteria, virus and abnormal cell growth such as inflammation caused by endometrial implants and adhesion. Inhibits the growth of Candida albicans due to its probiotic effect. The flavones in dandelion also have an effect in binding the bad estrogen that causes the forming of endometriosis and menstrual cramp resulting in balancing the reproductive hormones. For the breasts, Dandelion root Taraxacum Officinale reduces sores, growths, swollen lymph, cysts, nodules, and possibly even acts as a preventative medicine for breast cancer. Acute mastitis. Dandelion helps to relieve many menstrual (PMS) related problems such as bloating, water retention, swollen breasts, weight gain, hormonal induced acne and inflammation.
Dandelion is said to help detoxify the liver caused by accumulation of toxins in the liver, thereby it increases the function of liver in fat and protein metabolism resulting in lessening the levels of bad estrogen. All hormones are process thru the liver a good working liver health is mandatory for hormonal balance. Rosemary – Rosmarinus Officinalis (young shoots) is the Polycrest for Liver related Hormonal Health metabolism and detoxification. Dandelion is a great powerful adjuvant to these biological actions.
Also, because most women with endometriosis are found to have deficiency of the above containing vitamins and minerals resulting in heavy bleeding, menstrual cramps, and nervous disorder and dandelion being a wealth of oligo-element comes to the support of such a condition.
A helps to lower blood pressure and preventing strokes. Dandelion is ideal for treating Hypertension and poor digestion by stimulating the circulation of blood to the entire body. Previously referred to as taraxacin, these constituents are sesquiterpene lactones of the eudesmanolide and germacranolide type, and are unique to Dandelion. A study found that an extract of dandelion lowered (LDL) lipoproteins also lowers triglycerides, and while increasing high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Congestive heart failure.
A Dental researchers at Indiana University in 1982 used dandelion extracts in antiplaque preparations.
A Brightens the sclera of the eyes. Improve eyesight.
A Chronic Rheumatism, Arthritis stiff joints, Osteopenia and Osteoporosis.
A Glandular swellings, Inflammatory Conditions, Antiviral effects against human herpes virus, type HSV 1 as demonstrated with so many plants benefits. Treats chicken pox, measles.
A Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated dandelion’s effectiveness against pneumonia, bronchitis and upper respiratory infections, according to pharmacognosist (natural product pharmacist) Albert Leung, Ph.D.
A Acne, Boils, Abscesses, Eczema, Psoriasis, Rashes, Warts, Helps clear skin eruptions, helps itchy, scaly rashes, clears yellow skin hues.
The following is provided by MDidea:
Reported by MDidea that the best extraction process of Dandelions was obtained as following: 13 times of 85% ethanol as the solvent, extraction for 2 times and 1 h for each time. Conclusion: The extraction ratio of total flavonoids and quercetin are higher according to the above extraction process.
This goes to show the importance of high percent alcohol to fully extract especially embryonic plants due to their large chemical skeleton structure which requires at least 60% alcohol so you may fully extract in maceration all of plant growth hormones for their unsurpassed gift for human cell regeneration also for their RNA DNA repair abilities.
A new subtilisin-like proteinase from roots of the dandelion Taraxacum officinale Webb S. L.
A serine proteinase from roots of Taraxacum officinale Webb S. L. was isolated by affinity chromatography and gel-filtration on Superose 6R using FPLC. The enzyme is a 67-kD glycoprotein containing 54% carbohydrate which we have named taraxalisin. The substrate specificity of taraxalisin toward synthetic peptides and oxidized insulin B-chain is comparable with that of cucumisin from Cucumis melo and the subtilisin-like serine proteinase macluralisin from Maclura pomifera. The proteinase is inactivated by DFP and PMSF. Taraxalisin exhibits maximal activity at pH 8.0. The pH range for stability of the enzyme is narrow–6.0-9.0. The temperature optimum for the subtilisin-like activity is 40 degrees C. The N-terminal sequence of taraxalisin has 40% of its residues identical to those of subtilisin Carlsberg. Thus, the serine proteinase from dandelion roots is a member of the subtilisin family, which is evidently widespread in the plant kingdom.
The bifidogenic effect of Taraxacum officinale root.
The infusion of dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) stimulated in vitro the growth of 14 strains of bifidobacteria. The utilization of oligofructans, glucose, fructose and total saccharides was determined by enzymatic and phenol-sulfuric methods. Dandelion oligofructans were important source of carbon and energy for bifidobacteria tested.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) flower extract suppresses both reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide and prevents lipid oxidation in vitro.
Flavonoids and coumaric acid derivatives were identified from dandelion flower (Taraxacum officinale). Characteristics of chain-breaking antioxidants, such as extended lag phase and reduced propagation rate, were observed in oxidation of linoleic acid emulsion with the addition of dandelion flower extract (DFE). DFE suppressed both superoxide and hydroxyl radical, while the latter was further distinguished by both site-specific and non-specific hydroxyl radical inhibition. DPPH-radical-scavenging activity and a synergistic effect with alpha-tocopherol were attributed to the reducing activity derived from phenolic content of DFE. A significant (p < 0.05) and concentration-dependent, reduced nitric oxide production from acterial-lipopolysaccharide-stimulated mouse macrophage RAW264.7 cells was observed with the addition of DFE. Moreover, peroxyl-radical-induced intracellular oxidation of RAW264.7 cells was inhibited significantly (p < 0.05) by the addition of DFE over a range of concentrations. These results showed that the DFE possessed marked antioxidant activity in both biological and chemical models. Furthermore, the efficacy of DFE in inhibiting both reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide were attributed to its phenolic content.
Luteolin and luteolin-7-O-glucoside from dandelion flower suppress iNOS and COX-2 in RAW264.7 cells.
Both reactive oxygen- and nitrogen-derived reactive species play important roles in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Flavones, luteolin and luteolin-7-O-glucoside along with a rich plant source of both flavones, namely dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) flower extract were studied for antioxidant activity in different in vitro model systems. In this current study, luteolin and luteolin-7-O-glucoside at concentrations lower than 20 microM, significantly (p < 0.05) suppressed the productions of nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in bacterial lipopolysaccharide activated-mouse macrophage RAW264.7 cells without introducing cytotoxicity. The inhibitory effects were further attributed to the suppression of both inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein expression, and not reduced enzymatic activity. Similar suppression for both inducible enzymes was also found with the presence of dandelion flower extract, specifically, the ethyl acetate fraction of dandelion flower extract which contained 10% luteolin and luteolin-7-O-glucoside.
Antioxidant, prooxidant, and cytotoxic activities of solvent-fractionated dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) flower extracts in vitro.
This study was conducted to investigate the chemical antioxidant and bioactive properties of the water (WF) and ethyl acetate fractions (EAF) derived from dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) flower extract (DFE). HPLC analysis showed the presence of both luteolin and luteolin 7-glucoside in the DFE, which contributed to noted in vitro antioxidant and Caco-2 cell cytotoxic activities. Both WF and EAF of DFE exhibited free radical scavenging activities in a stable 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical model and reduced the breakage of supercoiled DNA strand induced by both non-site-specific and site-specific hydroxyl radical. Oxidation of structured phosphatidylcholine liposome induced by peroxyl radical was reduced in the presence of both EAF and WF. EAF had greater (p < 0.05) affinity to scavenge peroxyl radical than WF, as measured by the formation of conjugated diene. At low concentration, prooxidant activity of both fractions was observed in Cu(2+)-induced structured liposome and hLDL oxidation models, thus indicating that the reducing power of the DFE had resulted in generation of reactive cuprous ion. However, at high concentrations the EAF did not promote oxidation in the presence of Cu(2+), suggesting that the free radical scavenging activity of this fraction was sufficient to minimize the potential oxidative mechanism attributed to the metal ion reducing activity associated with prooxidant activity.
Thank you to MDidea for these references: Article Link: Research Update: Dandelion.
Dandelion root contains sesquiterpene lactones (eudesmanolides and germacranolides); triterpenes (b-amyrin, taraxol, and taraxerol); carbohydrates (inulin 2% in spring and up to 40% in autumn); carotenoids (lutein); fatty acids (myristic); flavonoids (apigenin and luteolin); minerals (potassium 1.84.5%); phenolic acids (caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid); phytosterols (sitosterol, stigmasterol, and taraxasterol); sugars (fructose approx. 18% in spring); vitamins (vitamin A up to 14,000 iu/100g); choline; mucilage (approx. 1.1%); and pectin (Bradley, 1992; Budavari, 1996; ESCOP, 1997; Leung and Foster, 1996; List and H. Hammer, 1979; Newall et al., 1996; Wichtl and Bisset, 1994).
The Commission E reported choleretic, diuretic, and appetite-stimulating activities. The British Herbal Compendium reported bitter, cholagogue, and mild laxative actions (Bradley, 1992). The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia reports its action as hepatic (BHP, 1996). The root contains sesquiterpene lactones beneficial to the digestion process and with a mild purgative effect (Bradley, 1992). Oral administration of dandelion extracts had a diuretic effect in rats and mice (Newall et al., 1996). Intravenous injection of fresh dandelion root decoction doubled the volume of bile secretion in dogs (ESCOP, 1997). The choleretic effect of dandelion root has been confirmed (Bradley, 1992).