Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)– A Flowering Herb

A flowering herb, perennial plant of the dandelion genus in the family Asteraceae (synonym, Compositae).

The common name dandelion derived from the French ‘dent de lion’ which means “lion’s tooth” referring to the deep green toothed leaves. The common dandelion is well known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of many silver-tufted fruits that disperse in the wind.

Leaves, roots and flowers are edible in nature. Flowers are used in preparation of wine, jam, and salads.  Leaves can be eaten raw or cooked; the youngest, greenest leaves of the plant are best for raw eating.  The root is used as a coffee substitute. Various formulations are available in form of capsules, liquid extract, and tea forms. Parts of the plants are used as natural herbal supplements and for many diseased conditions. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. It is also contains vitamin E, folate, and small amounts of other B vitamins. Taraxacum officinale contains chemicals that may increase urine production and decrease pain and swelling. Apart from this plant is highly nutritious in nature and have plenty of medicinal properties such as

  • Antioxidant: Contains higher amount of beta carotene and polyphenols as antioxidants which may neutralize harmful free radicals and provide protection against chronic ailments.
  • Lowers blood sugar levels: it contains chicoric and chlorogenic acid which may be responsible for reducing blood sugar amount. It also decreases cholesterol and triglyceride levels which are risk factors for cardiac disorders.
  • Anti-obesity drug: scientifically, it is proved that it helps in weight control and decrease fat accumulation.
  • Increase function of digestive system: It is rich source of fiber and prebiotic contents such as inulin. Some pharmacological studies claim that it is used to treat constipation and digestive disorders.