Dandelion

Also indexed as:Taraxacum officinale
Dandelion: Main Image © Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Taraxacum officinale

Side Effects

Dandelion leaf and root should not be used by people with gallstones without the supervision of a healthcare practitioner.9 People with an obstruction of the bile ducts should not take dandelion.

Animal studies have shown that dandelion can lower blood sugar levels. In a case report, a patient who was taking insulin for diabetes developed episodes of hypoglycemia after adding dandelion to her treatment regimen.10 People taking blood sugar-lowering drugs should therefore not take dandelion without the supervision of a doctor.

In cases of stomach ulcer or gastritis, dandelion should be used cautiously, as it may cause overproduction of stomach acid. Those experiencing fluid or water retention should consult a doctor before taking dandelion leaves. The milky latex in the stem and leaves of fresh dandelion may cause an allergic rash in some people.

Dandelion root contains approximately 40% inulin,11 a fiber widely distributed in fruits, vegetables and plants. Inulin is classified as a food ingredient (not as an additive) and is considered to be safe to eat.12 In fact, inulin is a significant part of the daily diet of most of the world’s population.13 However, there is a report of a 39-year old man having a life-threatening allergic reaction after consuming high amounts of inulin from multiple sources.14 Allergy to inulin in this individual was confirmed by laboratory tests. Such sensitivities are exceedingly rare. Moreover, this man did not take dandelion. Nevertheless, people with a confirmed sensitivity to inulin should avoid dandelion.

Copyright © 2017 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.

The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2017.