Dandelion leaves, roots, and flowers may offer health benefits. These can include promoting liver health and fighting inflammation.
Although often dismissed as a stubborn lawn weed, people have used dandelion in forms of traditional medicine for centuries.
Not only can the leaves, roots, and flowers add color to your plate, but they’re also often found in herbal teas and supplements, where they’re used as a natural remedy to support blood sugar management and boost skin, liver, and heart health.
Here are 13 potential health benefits of dandelion, along with common risks and side effects.
From root to flower, dandelions are highly nutritious plants loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Dandelion greens can be eaten cooked or raw and are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. They also contain vitamin E, folate, and small amounts of other B vitamins. Dandelion greens provide several minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium (
Dandelion root is often dried and made into tea, but you can also eat it whole like other root vegetables.
The nutritional content of dandelion extends to all parts of the plant. Dandelion is a rich source of fiber and many vitamins and minerals.
Dandelion contains potent antioxidants, which may explain many of its medicinal properties.
Antioxidants are compounds that help neutralize free radicals — molecules that are a product of normal metabolism but contribute to chronic disease risk if levels get too high in your body. Therefore, antioxidants are crucial for your overall health (
They’re also rich in another type of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are found mainly in the flower but occur in the roots, leaves, and stems (
Dandelions are a rich source of beta carotene and polyphenol compounds, both of which may neutralize harmful free radicals and protect against chronic disease.
Dandelion may reduce inflammation thanks to compounds such as polyphenols.
One study in rats determined that a tincture made from dandelion reduced oxidative stress and had cardioprotective effects (
Still, human research is needed.
Limited animal and test-tube research suggests that dandelion has anti-inflammatory properties, though human studies are lacking.
Chicoric and chlorogenic acid are two bioactive compounds in dandelion that may help decrease blood sugar levels.
Test-tube and animal studies show that these compounds may improve the secretion of insulin — a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels — and the absorption of glucose (sugar) in your muscles.
Chicoric and chlorogenic acid may also limit the digestion of starchy, high carb foods, which may further contribute to dandelion’s ability to lower blood sugar levels (
Although these results are encouraging, more research is needed in humans.
Dandelion contains bioactive compounds that have been shown to reduce blood sugar in animal and test-tube studies. However, human research is still needed.
Some compounds in dandelion may decrease triglyceride and cholesterol levels, which are key risk factors for heart disease.
Some of the polyphenols in dandelion, such as flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, may have cholesterol and triglyceride-lowering properties (
Another review noted that dandelion may have cardioprotective effects, including lowering cholesterol levels (
However, current research is limited to test-tube and animal studies, and studies in humans are needed.
Some animal studies indicate that dandelion reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but research in humans is needed.
Although some claim that dandelion may reduce blood pressure, studies are limited.
One older human study found dandelion to be an effective diuretic. However, this study was brief and involved only 17 people (
Dandelion also contains potassium, a mineral associated with decreased blood pressure in those with previously elevated levels. Thus, this plant may indirectly affect blood pressure due to its potassium content (
Notably, this effect isn’t unique to dandelion — it applies to any potassium-rich food eaten as part of a healthy diet.
Dandelion may lower blood pressure as a result of its diuretic effect and potassium content. However, very little research is available.
Some animal studies suggest that dandelion extract may protect against liver damage and disease.
One animal study found that dandelion root extract helped prevent liver damage in rats with induced liver failure (
However, human research is needed.
Animal studies indicate that dandelion may protect against liver damage, but more research is needed in humans.
Some research indicates that dandelions and their compounds may support weight control, though the data isn’t conclusive.
One study in mice also suggests that dandelion extract may aid weight management by reducing fat absorption (
Another study in mice found that chlorogenic acid, a compound found in dandelion, reduced body weight, decreased fat accumulation, and altered levels of specific proteins involved in weight control (
Still, more high quality research with humans is necessary.
Some animal studies note that dandelion compounds may support weight control, but no human studies have evaluated this effect.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing health claims about dandelion extract is its potential to prevent the growth of cancerous cells in various organ systems.
A 4-week study in rats showed that administering dandelion root extract modified specific pathways involved in suppressing the growth and spread of breast cancer cells (
These findings are encouraging, but human research is lacking.
Several test-tube studies have determined that dandelion extract may slow the growth of certain types of cancer. However, research is needed in humans.
Dandelion is often used in traditional medicine to treat constipation and improve digestive health.
One older animal study found a significant increase in the rates of stomach contractions and stomach emptying in rats treated with dandelion extract (
Furthermore, with more than 3 grams of fiber per cooked cup (105 grams), dandelion greens may bump up your fiber intake. Fiber supports bowel regularity and protects against various digestive conditions, including hemorrhoids and diverticulitis (
Dandelion is rich in fiber and prebiotic compounds such as inulin — both of which may support bowel regularity, among other digestive benefits.
Some research indicates that dandelion may have antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which may support your body’s ability to fight infection.
Ultimately, more research is needed in humans.
Although research in humans is lacking, some test-tube studies suggest that dandelion has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
Animal and test-tube research notes that dandelion extract may protect against skin damage caused by sunlight, aging, and acne.
An older test-tube study showed that dandelion root extract increased the generation of new skin cells, which may support your skin’s appearance as you age (
Additionally, older research indicates that dandelion extract may reduce skin inflammation and irritation while increasing hydration and collagen production. This may be useful in preventing and treating certain types of acne (
However, recent research on the effects of dandelion on skin health is lacking, and studies are limited to test tubes and animals.
Animal and test-tube studies suggest that dandelion may protect against skin damage caused by sun damage, aging, and acne. Further research in humans is needed.
Very little research has been conducted on dandelion’s effect on bone health, though some of its nutrients contribute to maintaining strong, healthy bones.
One small study linked an increased intake of vitamin K-rich leafy green vegetables to lower blood levels of osteocalcin, a protein found in your bones. This suggests that eating more leafy greens, such as dandelion, may help prevent bone loss (
Research on dandelion’s effects on bone health is lacking, though some components of the plant may support maintaining strong bones.
People often consume dandelion leaves, stems, and flowers in their natural state. You can eat them cooked or raw. The root is usually dried, ground, and used as a tea or coffee substitute.
Dandelion is also available as a supplement in capsule, extract, or tincture form.
Currently, there are no clear dosage guidelines, as very little human research has been conducted. However, available data suggests the following dosages for different forms of dandelion (
- Fresh leaves: 4–10 grams daily
- Dried leaves: 4–10 grams daily
- Leaf tincture: 0.4–1 teaspoon (2–5 mL) three times per day
- Fresh leaf juice: 1 teaspoon (5 mL) twice daily
- Fluid extract: 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 mL) daily
- Fresh roots: 2–8 grams daily
- Dried powder: 250–1,000 mg four times per day
No clear dosage guidelines for dandelion supplements exist, as research is limited. Various forms of dandelion may require different doses.
Dandelion plants have low toxicity and are likely safe for most people, especially when consumed as food (
However, remember that research is still limited and that dandelion isn’t entirely risk-free.
According to an older review, dandelion may also interact with medications, including certain antibiotics, anticoagulants, and blood sugar drugs. If you’re taking prescription medications, consider consulting a healthcare professional before taking dandelion (
Dandelion is likely safe for most people. However, it may cause allergic reactions and interact with certain medications.
What are dandelions good for?
People can consume dandelion roots, greens, and flowers. The plant contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It may also have some medicinal properties, though more research in humans is needed to confirm the benefits.
Is it safe to take dandelion every day?
While consuming dandelion as part of a balanced diet is likely safe for most people, more research is needed on taking dandelion as a supplement. Some people may have an allergic reaction to dandelion.
What does dandelion do for hormones?
Dandelion may help support the secretion of the hormone insulin, which is responsible for regulating your blood sugar.
What are the cons of dandelion?
Dandelion may have many health benefits, but there hasn’t been much research to confirm these benefits in humans. Some people may be allergic to dandelion, especially if they have allergies to similar plants such as ragweed and daisies.
Despite many potential benefits, dandelion plants and supplements shouldn’t be considered a replacement for a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Research on specific applications is lacking — especially in humans.
Still, if you eat its greens, roots, and flowers in their whole form — in salads, baked dishes, sides, and snacks — this root vegetable makes a unique, nutritious addition to your diet.
If you want like to take dandelion as a supplement, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional first.
Just one thing
Try this today: Although dandelion greens can be somewhat bitter, cooking helps improve their flavor. Try sauteing the greens t of olive oil and chopped garlic for a quick and easy side dish.