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  • Basic Info
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Generic: dandelion
an herbal product - treats Anti-inflammatory, Diuretic, Hepatitis B, Antioxidant, Colitis, Cancer, and Diabetes

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DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.


Dandelion should be avoided by individuals with known allergy to honey, chamomile, chrysanthemums, yarrow, feverfew, or any members of the Asteraceae/ Compositae plant families (ragweed, sunflower, daisies).

The most common type of allergy is dermatitis (skin inflammation) after direct skin contact with dandelion, which may include itching, rash, or red/ swollen or eczematous areas on the skin. Skin reactions have also been reported in dogs.

Rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma have been reported after handling products, such as birdfeed, containing dandelion and other herbs with reported positive skin tests for dandelion hypersensitivity.

Side Effects and Warnings

Dandelion has been well tolerated in a small number of available human studies. Safety of use beyond four months has not been evaluated.

The most common reported adverse effects are skin allergy, eczema, and increased sun sensitivity following direct contact.

According to traditional accounts, gastrointestinal symptoms may occur, including stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and heartburn.

Parasitic infection due to ingestion of contaminated dandelion has been reported, affecting the liver and bile ducts, and characterized by fever, stomach upset, vomiting, loss of appetite, coughing, and liver damage.

Dandelion may lower blood sugar levels based on one animal study, although another study notes no changes. Effects in humans are not known. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or low blood sugar, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Serum glucose levels may need to be monitored by a healthcare professional, and medication adjustments may be necessary.

In theory, due to chemicals called coumarins found in dandelion leaf extracts, dandelion may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti- platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non- steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).

Historically, dandelion is believed to possess diuretic (increased urination) properties and to lower blood potassium levels. Use cautiously in patients with kidney failure.

Dandelion may be prepared as a tincture containing high levels of alcohol. Tinctures should therefore be avoided during pregnancy or when driving or operating heavy machinery.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Dandelion cannot be recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding in amounts greater than found in foods, due to a lack of scientific information. Many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol and should be avoided during pregnancy.

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