Part Used: Fresh flowering plant with root
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a perennial herb, native throughout the Northern hemisphere, and found growing wild in meadows, pastures and waste grounds of temperate zones. It has been used in many traditional medical systems, including Native American and traditional Arabic medicine. Historically, Dandelion was most commonly used to treat liver diseases, kidney diseases, and spleen problems. Less commonly, it was used to treat digestive problems and skin conditions. Today, Dandelion is used as a liver or kidney "tonic," as a diuretic, and for minor digestive problems. The principal constituents responsible for Dandelion's effect on the digestive system and liver are the bitter principles, called as taraxacin. These constituents are sesquiterpene lactones of the eudesmanolide and germacranolide type and are unique to Dandelion. It 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.
Both Dandelion leaf and root have been used for centuries to treat liver, gall bladder, and kidney ailments, weak digestion, and rheumatism. They are also considered mildly laxative. The fresh root or its preparations are thought to be more potent than the dried root. The leaves have traditionally been used as a diuretic. 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. It also promotes the formation of bile and to remove excess water from the body. The root affects all forms of secretion and excretion from the body. It acts as a tonic and stimulant by removing toxins and poisons from the body. It increases the flow of urine in patients with liver problems. The bitter compounds in Dandelion root help stimulate digestion and are mildly laxative in activity. The roots have been shown to be moderately anti-inflammatory, which supports their traditional use in the treatment of rheumatism. The root is used for dyspepsia, loss of appetite, as a diuretic, and for disorders associated with inhibited bile secretion from the liver.
All Natural. Net. http://www.allnatural.net/herbpages/dandelion.shtml
Holistic Online. http://www.holisticonline.com/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h48.htm