Main Health Benefits of Dandelion Root*
Aids blood sugar control
- Helps lower cholesterol
- Protects liver cells
- Aids in detoxification
- Improves liver function
- Stimulates fat burning and weight loss
- Enhances bowel function
- Boosts immune function
- Supports skin repair
Other common names
Blowball, Common Dandelion, Dent-de-Lion (Lions tooth), Canker Wort, Irish Daisy, Monk's-head, Priest's-crown, Puffball, Blowball, Earth-nail
What is The History of Dandelion Root?
Since its first mention in 659BC to the present, common dandelion has been considered one of the most desirable of garden vegetables throughout many cultures. People have carried the seeds from place to place for cultivation since before written history.
According to legend, Theseus ate a dandelion salad after killing the Minotaur. The Romans ate the plant as did the Gauls and Celts when the Romans invaded the Northern European areas. The Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain and the Normans of France used the plant as food and as medicine to control scurvy and also as a diuretic; it was planted in the medicinal gardens of monasteries all around Europe because of its beneficial effects on digestion and wellbeing.
Dandelion is native to Europe but widely distributed in the warmer temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere. Dandelion and its parts are habitually consumed as plant foods in several areas of the world, where they are also employed in phytotherapy. In many countries around the world, including Australia, dandelion is seen as a common weed however, it is a delightful weed that can be eaten in salads, made into teas, and even ground up to make dandelion coffee.
Dandelion is a popular hepatoprotective medicinal plant in different traditional medicines. The high content of minerals, fibres, vitamins, and essential fatty acids make it a favourite food source for many indigenous societies.
Dandelion is a French word from “dent de lion”, which means lion’s tooth. The scientific name of dandelion comes from taraxis and akeomai, which means “benefit for inflammation”. Dandelion roots are used in various cuisines of at least 54 countries. Dandelion is used daily in folk medicine of China, India, and Russia as a liver tonic.
Recognised Targets and Mechanisms of Action
Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Research has found its constituents are sesquiterpene lactones (tataxoside, taraxinic acid, dihydrotaraxininc acid), polyphenols (including caffeic acid and coumarins), and triterpenes (tataxol, taraxerol, tataxasterolbeta-amyrin, stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol).
An amazing array of constituents have been isolated exclusively from the dandelion root - quercetin, luteolin, p-hydroxyphenylacetic acid, germacranolide acids, chlorogenic acid, chicoric acid, monocaffeyltartaric acid, oligofructans, chicoric acid and the related monocaffeyltartaric acid, hydroxycinnamic acids, chlorogenic acid, lupane-, bauerane-, and euphane-type triterpenoids, 18β,19β-epoxy- 21β-hydroxylupan-3β-yl acetate, 21-oxolup-18-en-3β-yl acetate, betulin, officinatrione, 11-methoxyolean-12-en-3-one, eupha-7,24- dien-3-one, and 24-oxoeupha-7,24-dien-3β-yl acetate, p-hydroxyphenyl acetic acid, rutin, apigenin, hesperidin, myricetin, hydroxyphenylacetic acid, synergic acid, vanillic acid, and large amounts of the polysaccharide, inulin.
Digestive System Activity
- Enhances the growth of bifido-bacteria, which eliminate pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Stimulates the immune system of the gut suppressing abnormal cell growth.
- Shown to be effective for regulating gastrointestinal motility.
Diabetes and Obesity Activity
- Normalises blood sugar levels.
- Significantly reduces fasting blood glucose levels of type 2 diabetic patients compared with placebo groups.
- Impacts insulin secretion and sensitivity.
- Interacts with factors involved in metabolic syndrome (lipid metabolism, glucose metabolism, protein metabolism, α- and β-cells dysfunction).
- Inhibits renal glucose reabsorption.
- Reduces the activity of carbohydrate enzymes (αamylase with β-galactosidase andα-glucosidase).
- Reduces dietary blood sugar, which stimulates hepatic glycolysis and glycogenesis.
- Inhibits potassium channel flow.
- Activates glucokinasein glycolysis, which catalyses the phosphorylation of glucose to glucose-6- phosphate (G6P).
- Regulates and improves the function of enzymes such hexokinase, glucokinase, phosphofructokinase, and pyruvate kinase.
- Has inhibitory effects against pancreatic lipase activity.
- Inhibits the lipogenesis and adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes.
- Reduces triglyceride accumulation in mature adipocytes.
- Shows anti-adipogenic effects on human primary visceral pre-adipocytes (P10, P20 and A7 cells).
Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Activity
- Shown to facilitate hydrogen donation in chemical reactions.
- Inhibits the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS).
- Shows anti-inflammatory effects within the central nervous system.
- Shows free radical quenching activities.
- Reverses glutathione (GSH) depletion, upregulates nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) and increases expression of regulatory inflammatory mediators, such as inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, tumour necrosis factor- α (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL)-1α.
- Significantly increases other hepatic antioxidant enzymes - catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), and glutathione reductase (GR).
- Significantly attenuates and reduces marker enzymes of liver toxicity, aspartate (AST), alanine transaminases (ALT), lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress, lactate dehydrogenase and malondialdehyde (MDA).
- Shows protective effects against alcoholic liver damage in HepG2/2E1 cells.
- Promotes the complete regression of fibrosis and the enhancement of hepatic regenerative capabilities by inactivating hepatic stellate cells.
- Promotes bile production and flow.
- Has beneficial effects on detoxifying enzymes in the liver.
- Significantly reduces the enlargement of liver, hepatic fibrinous deposits, and restores the histological architecture of the liver.
- Reduces glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expressions.
- Up-regulates MT I / II expression to increase protective effects on liver cells.
- Reduces collagen deposits in necrotic areas and reverses hepatic fibrosis, which is associated with reduction in GFAP and α-SMA and increases Cu/Zn SOD activity.
- Shows great potential as non-toxic and effective alternatives to conventional modes of chemotherapy.
- Affects colorectal cancer proliferation and survival through the activation of multiple death signalling pathways.
- Induces cytotoxicity in Hep G2 cancer cells and decreases its viability below 40%.
- Significantly induces the secretion of TNF-α and IL-1 α and apoptosis of Hep G2 cells.
- Induces apoptosis of human hepatoma (HepG2) cells through tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL) 1α secretion.
- Demonstrates beneficial effects on melanoma, breast, and prostate cancer cells.
- Targets metabolic defects and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) response in colon cancer cells, to bring about selectivity for cancer cell killing.
- Promotes the expression of programmed cell death genes.
Skin Regeneration Activity
- Shows significant effects on the proliferation of normal human skin fibroblasts.
- Significantly protects human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) from UVB-induced cell damage.
- Displays high UV absorption to protect skin cells.
- Significantly protects H2O2-induced skin cell ageing.
- Demonstrates strong inhibition of microbial growth against Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, and Bacillus cereus strains.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the TGA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease
Oncotarget. 2016 Nov 8; 7(45): 73080–73100. Published online 2016 Aug 22. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.11485 Dandelion root extract affects colorectal cancer proliferation and survival through the activation of multiple death signalling pathways Pamela Ovadje, Saleem Ammar, Jose-Antonio Guerrero, John Thor Arnason, and Siyaram Pandey.
Phytother Res. 2015 Apr;29(4):526-32. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5276. Epub 2015 Jan 21. Characterisation of antimicrobial extracts from dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) using LC-SPE-NMR. O Kenny, N P Brunton, D Walsh, C M Hewage, P McLoughlin, T J Smyth.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Dec 5;377(1):131-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.09.088. Epub 2008 Oct 1. Chicoric acid, a new compound able to enhance insulin release and glucose uptake. Didier Tousch, Anne-Dominique Lajoix, Eric Hosy, Jacqueline Azay-Milhau, Karine Ferrare, Céline Jahannault, Gérard Cros, Pierre Petit.
Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine REVIEW ARTICLE Year: 2020|Volume: 10|Issue: 1 | Page : 1-10 Hepatoprotection by dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and mechanisms. Mohaddese Mahboubi, Mona Mahboubi. Medicinal Plants Research Department, Research and Development, TabibDaru Pharmaceutical Company, Kashan, Iran.
Diverse biological activities of dandelion. Marta González-Castejón, Francesco Visioli, Arantxa Rodriguez-Casado. Nutrition Reviews 2012, 70 (9): 534-47.
Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies 2018; 6(2): 198-202 Dandelion: Phytochemistry and clinical potential. Tabasum Fatima, Omar Bashir, Bazila Naseer and Syed Zameer Hussain.