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Taraxacum–a review on its phytochemical and pharmacological profile.

It is that time of year when dandelions are popping up in lawns everywhere.  It has long been known by herbalist what to do with these plants.  The leaves are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and has diuretic, choleretic and anti-inflammatory actions.  The root has choleretic, cholagogue, tonic, anti-rheumatic, bitter and alterative actions.

Below is a study supporting many of dandelion’s wonderful actions.

The genus Taraxacum is a member of the family Asteraceae, subfamily Cichorioideae, tribe Lactuceae and widely distributed in the warmer temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere. The perennial weed has been known since ancient times for its curative properties and has been utilized for the treatment of various ailments such as dyspepsia, heartburn, spleen and liver complaints, hepatitis and anorexia. However, its use has mainly been based on empirical findings. This contribution provides a comprehensive review of the pharmacologically relevant compounds of Taraxacum characterized so far and of the studies supporting its use as a medicinal plant. Particular attention has been given to diuretic, choleretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-coagulatory and prebiotic effects. Finally, research needs such as quantification of individual Taraxacum constituents and assessment of their pharmacological activities in humans have briefly been outlined.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Oct 11;107(3):313-23. Epub 2006 Jul 22.

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