Dandelion Leaf (Taraxacum officinale)

Traditional Indications

Dandelion leaf is a gentle diuretic, choleretic. It is indicated for oedema, oliguria, gout. Taraxacum leaf is a very potent diuretic and is an excellent remedy for water retention and oedema, particularly when it is of cardiac origin, or hepatogenous oedema (ascites). The usual effect of a drug which stimulates kidney function is a loss of potassium from the body, which aggravates any existing cardiovascular problem. A high level of potassium is particularly desirable when digitalis heart drugs are being prescribed, because if potassium levels fall, the drugs will produce irritability of the heart muscle. Luckily, Taraxacum is one of the best natural sources of potassium and therefore is a perfectly balanced and safe diuretic. Taraxacum leaf may be applied to urinary disorders in general, especially where worsened by the presence of oliguria. (1)

In Traditional Chinese Medicine Dandelion is called Pu Gong Ying 蒲公英. Pu Gong Ying is said to enter the Liver, Stomach and Kidneys channels and to clear Heat, relieve Toxicity, reduce abscesses, dissipate nodules and resolve Damp-Heat. (2)

Pharmacognosy

Based on human data, dandelion leaf extract shows promise as an effective diuretic in humans. (3) Dandelion leaf extracts’ action is comparable to the drug Frusemide. (4)

In cholesterol fed rabbits dandelion root and leaf have exhibited both hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects. (5)

 

1. PFAF. Taraxacum officinale 2019 [Available from: https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+officinale.
2. Healing WRIo. Dandelion (Pu Gong Ying) 2019 [Available from: https://www.whiterabbitinstituteofhealing.com/herbs/dandelion/.
3. Clare BA, Conroy RS, Spelman K. The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, NY). 2009;15(8):929-34.
4. Dutta KN, Chetia P, Lahkar S, Das S. Herbal plants used as diuretics: A comprehensive review2014. 27-32 p.
5. Choi U-K, Lee O-H, Yim JH, Cho C-W, Rhee YK, Lim S-I, 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.