12 Benefits Of Dandelions, Nutrition, And Side Effects

Harness the goodness of these otherwise discarded weeds to tackle various health issues.

Medically reviewed by Dr.Varsha Prabala, BAMS, MD Dr.Varsha Prabala Dr.Varsha PrabalaBAMS, MD linkedin_icon
Written by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , BEd, MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition Aparna Mallampalli BEd, MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
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We often believe that dandelions are just those annoying weeds growing in our backyards. But do you know these can offer an array of health benefits? Yes, these flowers are valued for their medicinal properties and may help treat diabetes (1).

In addition, these flowers may also cut down the risk of cancer and combat inflammation. However, quality research is warranted in this aspect. These flowers are scientifically known as Taraxacum officinale, and their potential benefits are gaining attention fast.

Learn more about the health benefits of dandelions. Read on.

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Dandelion

What Is It?
A wild plant that bears bright yellow flowers and has medicinal properties.

What Are Its Benefits?
Dandelions may help treat diabetes, promote heart health and weight loss, improve liver health, prevent anemia and reduce the risk of cancer, strengthen bones, fight inflammation, and boost skin health.

Who Can Use It?
Anyone except individuals who are on blood-thinning medications or have kidney issues.

How Often?
You can consume it daily as part of your diet or as a dietary supplement. The ideal dosage of powdered dandelion root is 3-4 grams 3 times a day.

Consume dandelions in moderation to avoid allergies, drug interactions, risks, and side effects like contact dermatitis and renal failure. Consult your doctor to know the right dosage for you, and seek medical advice if you experience adverse effects.

What Are The Potential Health Benefits Of Dandelions?

The bioactive compounds in dandelions may help fight inflammation and even cancer. They may also help lower blood sugar levels. While their calcium and vitamin K content can strengthen bones, their iron content may help prevent anemia.

1. May Help Fight Inflammation

Cells treated with dandelion compounds were found to have lower levels of inflammation. The polysaccharidesi  Large molecules of carbohydrates that form the structural basis of plant cells and provide energy for animals. from dandelions possess anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties that play a promising role in this regard (2).

Dandelion works by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are compounds usually involved in the body’s inflammation (3).

In another study involving mice with lung inflammation, the introduction of dandelion (Taraxacum mongolicum, grown in China) was found to improve the condition (4).

2. May Cut Cancer Risk

Studies done on dandelion root (and lemongrass extracts) found that it had anti-cancer potential. The root was found to induce apoptosis (cancer cell death) and enhance the effects of chemotherapy. This study was conducted on prostate cancer cells (5).

Dandelion root extract could be a non-toxic and effective anti-cancer alternative. It was able to trigger programmed cell death of cancer cells in colorectal cancer models. The molecular complexity (a particular parameter involved in drug discovery) of the root extract could be responsible for this anti-cancer activity (6).

Dandelion root extract was also found to prevent cancer of the liver (7). Similar effects were observed in pancreatic cancer as well (8).

Though these findings are encouraging, more research is needed to understand and establish how dandelions may prevent and treat cancer in humans.

protip_icon Trivia
The jagged leaves of the dandelion were called “Dent de lion” in Old French, meaning ‘lion’s tooth’ due to their striking resemblance to a lion’s tooth.

3. May Aid Diabetes Treatment

Dandelions may help manage diabetes
Image: Shutterstock

The chicoric and chlorogenic acids in dandelion possess great potential as anti-diabetic nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals for regulating diabetes. The acids contain phenolic compounds that may promote the flower’s anti-diabetic effects (1).

In a study, both dandelion leaves and the roots were found to have similar therapeutic effects on individuals with diabetes. These could promote the long-term health and well-being of the patients (9). However, the long-term effect of dandelion consumption needs to be investigated.

Other bioactive compounds in dandelions that offer anti-diabetic benefits include phenols, flavonoidsi  Plant-derived molecules that may potentially benefit our health by stimulating cell signals and neutralizing free radicals. , phenolic acidsi  A group of naturally occurring plant compounds that possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities. , and triterpenesi  Active compounds known to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties used to treat immune-related disorders. . The root of dandelion contains inulin, which contains complex carbohydrates. These help normalize blood sugar levels (1).

4. May Promote Heart Health

Mice treated with dandelion extracts showed a dramatic decrease in the levels of triglyceridesi  A type of fat that stores unused calories in the body and converts them to release energy when needed. and cholesterol. When mice were fed a high-fat diet supplemented with the extract, there was reduced hepatic lipid accumulationi  Accumulation of organic compounds insoluble in water in the liver, leading to fatty liver and causing metabolic dysfunction. observed (10).

Similar findings were observed in a rabbit study. In rabbits that were fed a high-fat diet, the introduction of dandelion root improved the antioxidant status and lowered serum cholesterol levels. The root combats oxidative stress as well and may promote heart health (11).

Dandelion may also promote heart health by lowering blood pressure levels. The plant contains potassium (12). Studies show that regular dietary potassium can help lower blood pressure levels (13).

5. May Help In Weight Loss

Dandelion was found to have effects similar to a popular weight loss drug (Orlistat), which works by inhibiting pancreatic lipase. Pancreatic lipase is an enzyme released during digestion that assists in fat breakdown. Inhibiting this enzyme can alter the way fat is absorbed in the body, possibly aiding weight loss (14). However, further studies are required to elucidate the anti-obesity effects of dandelion in humans.

Dandelion is a bitter herb. Studies show that bitter herbs, when taken as teas prior to eating, can stimulate gastric secretions and promote cholesterol and fat breakdown. This way, they may complement your weight loss efforts (15).

6. May Promote Bone Health

Dandelion boosts bone health
Image: Shutterstock

Dandelion greens are good sources of vitamin K and calcium (12). Both these nutrients are associated with bone disorders like arthritis.

Vitamin K is known to increase the formation of bone. It also can regulate calcium balance and bone metabolism. In addition to increasing bone mineral density, vitamin K also reduces fracture rates (16).

Calcium intake also influences bone health in a positive way. It plays an important role in preventing bone loss and fractures (17).

The compounds in dandelion contain prebiotics, which were found to enhance calcium absorption. This way, they may also play a role in bone health improvement (18).

7. May Improve Liver Health

Dandelion root may promote liver health in multiple ways. In a study, it could alleviate high-fat diet-induced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and also reduce alcohol-induced oxidative stress (19).

Some research also suggests that dandelion can promote recovery from liver injury (20).

8. May Boost Immunity

The flavonoid contents of dandelion may have a major impact on the human immune system. It contains short-chain fatty acids, which were found to boost immune function and prevent infectious diseases in weaned pigs (21).

Dandelion also may nourish the blood cells in the body. Mice studies show it can help achieve normal red blood cells and white blood cells balance. This way, it may boost the immune system (22).

9. May Prevent Anemia

Woman screening for anemia may benefit from dandelions.
Image: Shutterstock

There is less information available in this aspect. Some research states that dandelion can help prevent anemia as it contains iron (23). One cup of chopped dandelion (55 g) contains about 2 mg of iron (12).

10. May Prevent Water Retention In Kidneys

The diuretic properties of dandelion can help here. Its high potassium content makes dandelion a good diuretic (24).

In a study, intake of dandelion increased the urinary frequency in subjects over a period of 5 hours (25). Hence, this plant shows promise as a diuretic in humans and may help prevent water retention in kidneys. However, if you have kidney disease, consult your doctor before using dandelion.

11. May Boost Skin Health

Studies show that dandelion extracts can protect the skin from UVB damage. They exhibited protective effects against photoaging (26).

In folk medicine, dandelion (especially the sap of the plant) was believed to be used to treat warts and eczema, among other skin disorders (27).

Some evidence also states that the sap of dandelion may be used to combat acne (28). However, more research is warranted in this regard.

protip_icon Did You Know?
In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion is used to treat stomach issues and appendicitis.

12. May Help Treat Gastrointestinal Disorders

Folk medicine has used dandelion for treating various gastrointestinal ailments such as dyspepsia, gastritis, and enteritis, among others.

Recent research has shed light on the potential GI-protective properties of dandelion and its constituents. It contains key substances like taraxasterol, caffeic acid, luteolin, polysaccharides, and inulin that have demonstrated pharmacological effects against a spectrum of GI disorders, from gastroesophageal reflux disease to ulcerative colitis (29).

Dandelion’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative actions suggest its potential as a complementary and alternative medicine for GI-related conditions (29). While dandelion presents promise, more clinical studies are needed to better understand its applications in gastrointestinal health.

These are the ways dandelions can make your life better. Though we know a few of the nutrients present in this plant, well, there is a lot more. In the following section, we will take a detailed look at dandelion’s nutrition profile.

What Is The Nutritional Profile* Of Dandelions?

NutrientUnit1Value per 100 g1 cup, chopped = 55.0g
Total lipid (fat)g0.70.39
Carbohydrate, by differenceg9.25.06
Fiber, total dietaryg3.51.9
Sugars, totalg0.710.39
Calcium, Camg187103
Iron, Femg3.11.71
Magnesium, Mgmg3620
Phosphorus, Pmg6636
Potassium, Kmg397218
Sodium, Namg7642
Zinc, Znmg0.410.23
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acidmg3519.2
Vitamin B-6mg0.2510.138
Folate, DFEµg2715
Vitamin A, RAEµg508279
Vitamin A, IUIU101615589
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)mg3.441.89
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)µg778.4428.1
Fatty acids, total saturatedg0.170.094
Fatty acids, total monounsaturatedg0.0140.008
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturatedg0.3060.168

*values sourced from USDA, dandelion greens, raw

That’s an impressive nutritional profile, isn’t it? Including dandelions in your diet is quite easy. Up next, we will discuss a few simple ways to do just that.

How To Consume Dandelions

Salad with fresh dandelion leaves, eggs, and nuts.
Image: Shutterstock
  • The simplest way to consume dandelions is to include them in a salad. Just toss a few dandelion greens into your evening vegetable salad.
  • Sauteéd dandelions are another good option. Cooking dandelions removes their bitterness. You can boil the greens for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a pan with garlic and hot olive oil. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Eat as it is.
  • You can also use dandelion flower petals in your preparations. You can add the petals to your bakery items like muffins, cookies, or even plain bread.

The most popular way of enjoying the goodness of dandelion is in the form of tea. But how do you make it?

How To Make Dandelion Tea

The process is simple.

  1. Throw the dandelion roots into a food processor and process.
  2. Dry them at 250o F in an oven until they are completely dry.
  3. Roast in the oven at 350o F until they turn brown.
  4. Add the roots to water in a pan and bring to a boil. You can add 2 tablespoons of the root for every 16 oz of water.
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Strain the liquid and drink.

What Is The Ideal Dosage Of Dandelions?

The American Botanical Council recommends the following doses (30):

  • For the powdered root, the dosage is 3 to 4 grams, thrice daily.
  • If you are taking a decoction, boil 3 to 4 grams of powdered root in 150 ml of water.
  • In case of an infusion, you can steep 1 tablespoon of cut root in 150 ml of water.
  • If you are having a tincture, stick to 10 to 15 drops, thrice daily.

If you are taking a dandelion supplement, you can follow the dosage prescribed by your healthcare provider. Dandelion has been given the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status and approved by the US FDA for use as a supplement (31).

Before you start making dandelion a regular part of your diet, you need to be aware of its side effects.

Do Dandelions Have Any Side Effects?

Woman gets itchy skin as a side effect of dandelion
Image: Shutterstock
  • May Cause Allergies

Dandelions may cause allergic contact dermatitisi  An inflammation of the skin which is not contagious but can cause an itchy rash due to contact with an allergen or irritant. . This can be attributed to the presence of compounds called sesquiterpene lactones, which are irritants. The symptoms of this allergy include dry and itchy eczema-like reactions (32). Anecdotal evidence suggests that dandelion pollens may also trigger asthma.

  • May Interfere With Blood Thinners

Dandelion is rich in vitamin K, which aids blood clotting. Dandelion may interfere with blood thinners like Warfarin (33).

  • May Cause Kidney Failure In Susceptible Individuals

There is less research on this. However, a herbal remedy containing dandelion as one of the primary ingredients caused renal failure (34). If you have kidney issues, please avoid dandelions until you check with your doctor.

There is no information on the safety of dandelions during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Hence, consult your doctor in this regard.

Infographic: How To Use Dandelion For Skin

Dandelion extracts can help treat several skin conditions like eczema and warts and protect the skin from the harmful effects of photodamage. Though you can make lotions and creams with dandelion extracts, the steam method is one of the easiest ways to use dandelion for the skin.

Check out the infographic to know how to use dandelion for the skin efficiently.

how to use dandelion for skin (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

protip_icon Fun Fact
A dandelion represents the sun, the moon, and the stars. The yellow petals symbolize the sun, the seeds represent stars, and the white puffball is the moon.

Dandelion, often dismissed as a weed, might prove beneficial to your health in several ways. The flower is loaded with essential minerals and vitamins like vitamin A (beta-carotene) and vitamin E, making it ideal for skin and hair health. Rich in anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds, dandelions may help improve your cardiovascular, digestive, liver, and bone health while boosting your overall health and immunity. It also promotes relaxation and may help deal with depression. Including dandelions in a salad, having them sauteed or made into dandelion tea are a few of the easiest ways to include them in your diet. However, these should be consumed in moderation to avoid potential risks and side effects of drug interaction and allergies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does dandelion tea contain caffeine?

No, it doesn’t. But there is dandelion coffee, which is a coffee-like blend with the effects of caffeine.

Does dandelion make you sleepy?

No, dandelion is not known to be a sleep-inducing food. Anecdotal evidence suggests that taking it at night may even cause anxiety and restlessness.

How does dandelion help detoxify your body?

Dandelion can help detox your body with its hepatoprotective properties. These help the liver cleanse your body of common toxins (35).

Is it safe to eat dandelions from your yard?

Yes, it is safe to eat dandelions from your yard. Ensure that you avoid consuming dandelions from a yard that has been sprayed with pesticides.

Is dandelion good for hormones?

Yes, dandelions help regulate the enzyme aromatase which aids in the growth and development of follicles and improves ovarian function (36).

Can dandelion be mixed with ginger?

Yes, you can dandelion with ginger to create a nourishing and delicious latte or smoothie.

Key Takeaways

  • Dandelions may help fight inflammation and minimize the risk of cancer.
  • They contain phenolic compounds that help treat diabetes.
  • The American Botanical recommends taking 3 to 4 grams of powdered dandelion root thrice daily.
  • Dandelions may cause allergies, interfere with blood thinners, and cause kidney failures in some people.
dandelion Benefits

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Check this video out for more details on the health benefits of dandelion. From aiding digestion to boosting immunity, learn how this wild plant can help you stay healthy.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The Physiological Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) in Type 2 Diabetes, Journal of the Society for Biomedical Diabetes Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  2. TOP 1 and 2, polysaccharides from Taraxacum officinale, inhibit NFκB-mediated inflammation and accelerate Nrf2-induced antioxidative potential through the modulation of PI3K-Akt signaling pathway in RAW 264.7 cells, Food and Chemical Toxicology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  3. Anti-inflammatory effect of Taraxacum officinale leaves on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory responses in RAW 264.7 cells, Journal of Medicinal Food, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  4. Anti-inflammatory effects of water extract of Taraxacum mongolicum hand.-Mazz on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in acute lung injury by suppressing PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  5. Dandelion Root and Lemongrass Extracts Induce Apoptosis, Enhance Chemotherapeutic Efficacy, and Reduce Tumour Xenograft Growth In Vivo in Prostate Cancer, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Hindawi.
  6. Dandelion root extract affects colorectal cancer proliferation and survival through the activation of multiple death signalling pathways, Oncotarget, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  7. Effect of Methanolic Extract of Dandelion Roots on Cancer Cell Lines and AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Pathway, Frontiers in Pharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  8. Selective induction of apoptosis and autophagy through treatment with dandelion root extract in human pancreatic cancer cells, Pancreas, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  9. The Effect of Dandelion Leaves and Roots on Blood Glucose in Type 2 Diabetic Patients, ResearchGate.
  10. Taraxacum official (dandelion) leaf extract alleviates high-fat diet-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver, Food and Chemical Toxicology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  11. Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root and leaf on cholesterol-fed rabbits, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  12. Dandelion greens, raw, United States Department of Agriculture, Food Products Database.
  13. Daily potassium intake and sodium-to-potassium ratio in the reduction of blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, Journal of Hypertension, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  14. Pancreatic lipase inhibitory activity of taraxacum officinale in vitro and in vivo, Nutrition Research and Practice, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  15. Using Herbal Remedies to Maintain Optimal Weight, The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  16. Vitamin K and osteoporosis, Zhongguo yi xue ke xue yuan xue bao, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  17. Calcium and bone, Clinical Biochemistry, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  18. Prebiotic and Probiotic Regulation of Bone Health: Role of the Intestine and its Microbiome, Current Osteoporosis Reports, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  19. Purification, Preliminary Characterization and Hepatoprotective Effects of Polysaccharides from Dandelion Root, MDPI Open Access Journals.
  20. Hepatoprotective properties of Dandelion: recent update, Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science.
  21. Effect of Dandelion root extract on growth performance, immune function and bacterial community in weaned pigs, Journal of Food and Agricultural Immunology, Taylor & Francis Online.
  22. The Effect of Taraxacum officinale Hydroalcoholic Extract on Blood Cells in Mice, Advances in Hematology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  23. Iron and your health, Harvard Medical School.
  24. Evaluation of Dandelion for Diuretic Activity and Variation in Potassium Content, International Journal of Pharmcognosy, Taylor & Francis Online.
  25. The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  26. Dandelion Extracts Protect Human Skin Fibroblasts from UVB Damage and Cellular Senescence, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  27. Dandelion, Kstate Research and Extension.
  28. Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  29. The potential of dandelion in the fight against gastrointestinal diseases: A review, Journal of ethnopharmacology
  30. Dandelion root with herb, American Botanical Council.
  31. CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, US Food & Drug Administration.
  32. The Physiological Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) in Type 2 Diabetes
  33. Prevent Bleeding When Taking Blood Thinners, The Ohio State University.
  34. A brief study of toxic effects of some medicinal herbs on kidney, Advanced Biomedical Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  35. Hepatoprotection by dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and mechanisms, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine
  36. Effect of Dandelion Extracts on the Proliferation of Ovarian Granulosa Cells and Expression of Hormone Receptors, Us National Library of Medicine
Dr.Varsha is an Ayurveda doctor with 3 years of experience. She has a degree in the Indian system of medicine and MD in the field of Ayurveda Pharmacology (Dravyaguna). She has diverse work experience as a senior consultant for Government of India health projects in the northeastern and southern parts of India, under CCRAS (Central Council for research in Ayurveda sciences) and as a physician at clinics and rehabilitation centers.

Read full bio of Dr.Varsha Prabala
Ravi Teja Tadimalla
Ravi Teja TadimallaSenior Editor
Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a senior editor and a published author. He has been in the digital media field for over eight years. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has a Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition & Research from Wageningen University.

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Arshiya Syeda
Arshiya SyedaSenior Editor
Arshiya Syeda is a senior editor at StyleCraze with 7 years of experience. Prior to that, she was a content writer and combined her writing and research skills to write over 200 high-performing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and skin care.

Read full bio of Arshiya Syeda
Aparna Mallampalli
Aparna MallampalliHealth & Wellness Writer
Aparna is a professor-turned-content writer with over 5 years of experience in life sciences. Her passion for writing and interest in the healthcare and wellness industry pushed her toward a career in content writing. She has a master’s degree in microbiology from Osmania University, Hyderabad, and a diploma in nutrition from Fab Academy.

Read full bio of Aparna Mallampalli