Dandelion: Health Benefits and Side Effects (2024)

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 (1).

Dandelion root is rich in the carbohydrate inulin, a type of soluble fiber found in plants that supports the growth and maintenance of healthy gut bacteria in your digestive tract (2).

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 (3).

Dandelions contain high levels of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may protect against cell damage and oxidative stress (4).

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 (5).


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.

Inflammation is a natural immune system response to injury or infection. However, long-term inflammation may permanently damage body tissues and DNA.

Some test-tube studies note significantly reduced markers of inflammation in cells treated with compounds extracted from dandelion (6, 7).

One study in rats determined that a tincture made from dandelion reduced oxidative stress and had cardioprotective effects (8).

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.

This process improves insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar levels (9).

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 (5).

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 (5).

Another review noted that dandelion may have cardioprotective effects, including lowering cholesterol levels (10).

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.

In Western medicine, diuretic medications are used to rid the body of excess fluid, which may help decrease blood pressure levels (11).

One older human study found dandelion to be an effective diuretic. However, this study was brief and involved only 17 people (12).

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 (1, 10).

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 (13).

Other animal studies have shown that dandelion extract may reduce excess fat stored in the liver and safeguard against oxidative stress (5).

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.

Some researchers suggest that dandelion’s ability to improve carbohydrate metabolism and reduce fat absorption may lead to weight loss. However, this theory has yet to be scientifically proven (14).

One study in mice also suggests that dandelion extract may aid weight management by reducing fat absorption (15).

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 (16).

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 (17).

Other test-tube studies have found that dandelion root extract may slow the growth of cancer cells in liver, colon, prostate, and stomach tissue (18, 19, 20, 21).

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 (22).

Dandelion root is also a rich source of the prebiotic fiber inulin, which has been shown to reduce constipation and promote the movement of food through the digestive system (23).

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 (24, 25).


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.

Several test-tube studies have found that dandelion extract significantly reduces viruses’ ability to replicate (26, 27, 28).

Research also indicates that some active compounds in dandelion protect against harmful bacteria and fungi (28, 29).

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.

In one study, a fermented broth of dandelion extract prevented skin damage when applied just before or immediately after exposure to UVB radiation, which is the radiation you get from sunlight (30).

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 (31).

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 (32).

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.

Dandelion greens are a good source of calcium and vitamin K, which play a crucial role in bone health (33, 34).

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 (35).

Inulin, a fiber found in dandelion root, may also support healthy bones by improving digestion and gut health (36).

Additionally, some research suggests that the antioxidants in dandelion and other greens play a key role in bone health and protect against bone loss by decreasing oxidative stress (37, 38).


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 (39):

  • 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 (40).

However, remember that research is still limited and that dandelion isn’t entirely risk-free.

This plant may cause allergic reactions, particularly in people with allergies to related plants such as ragweed. Contact dermatitis may also occur in those with sensitive skin (40, 41, 42).

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 (43).


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.

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Dandelion: Health Benefits and Side Effects (2024)


Dandelion: Health Benefits and Side Effects? ›

In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin. People with kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or gallstones should consult their doctors before eating dandelion.

What are the side effects of taking dandelion? ›

In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin. People with kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or gallstones should consult their doctors before eating dandelion.

What happens when you take dandelion root every day? ›

When taken by mouth: Dandelion is likely safe for most people when consumed in the amounts commonly found in food. It is possibly safe when taken in larger amounts. Dandelion might cause allergic reactions, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, or heartburn in some people.

What organ is dandelion good for? ›

May promote liver health

Other animal studies have shown that dandelion extract may reduce excess fat stored in the liver and safeguard against oxidative stress ( 5 ). However, human research is needed. Animal studies indicate that dandelion may protect against liver damage, but more research is needed in humans.

What part of the dandelion is good for your heart? ›

Dandelion leaves are also believed to have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system due to their high potassium content (397 mg potassium/100 g) [19,23]; indeed, increased potassium intake with food (about 3500 mg/day for an adult) has been found to lower blood pressure [23].

What not to mix dandelion with? ›

What other drugs will affect dandelion?
  • lithium;
  • an antibiotic, such as Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, Noroxin, and others;
  • a blood thinner or medicine to treat or prevent blood clots;
  • a diuretic or "water pill";
  • heart or blood pressure medication; or.
  • a sedative such as Valium.

Is dandelion good or bad for kidneys? ›

Dandelion tea is an excellent source of potassium, a mineral and electrolyte that stimulates the heartbeat. Potassium may help the kidney filter toxins more effectively and improve blood flow.

What does dandelion do for blood pressure? ›

There is little research to support the use of dandelion for lowering blood pressure. However, dandelion leaves are a good source of potassium. There is clinical evidence that shows that potassium can help reduce blood pressure.

Does dandelion cleanse the colon? ›

It helps to detox the liver, gallbladder, kidneys and blood, and also regulate bowel motions. The root is used for the liver and colon and the leaves are used as a diuretic to gently flush toxins through the kidneys. Dandelion is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants which helps protect cells from toxin damage.

Can I eat dandelions from my yard? ›

Dandelions are edible weeds. Every part of the dandelion is edible: the flower, roots, stems, and leaves. Dandelion greens slightly resemble arugula, though longer, and have a similar spicy and bitter taste. You can harvest the blooms and leaves to make salads and sautéed dishes and use the roots to make tea.

What is the healthiest part of the dandelion to eat? ›

Yes, the entire aerial portion is edible, including Dandelion's leaves, stalks, and buds, though if you really want to ingest more local nutrition and medicine from your landscape, eat the yellow flower. It may be the healthiest part of the plant.

Should you drink dandelion tea in the morning or at night? ›

“[Drinking dandelion tea] any time of day is completely fine because it is caffeine-free, but there are two times of the day I would recommend not having it,” instructs Ross. “First is right before bed, because it is a diuretic and you don't want to be up in the bathroom all night ...

Which is better, dandelion root or leaf? ›

In the case of serum enzyme activities and lipid levels the effect of the dandelion leaf is better, while in the case of the hepatic antioxidant activities the effect of the dandelion root is better.

What effects does dandelion have on hormones? ›

Dandelion Root

Not only does it metabolize this important hormone, but it also helps eliminate it, whether the estrogen is from natural sources or from artificial sources such as hormone-replacement therapy, plastics, or plants. To keep metabolism and elimination working well, we want to nourish the liver.

Does dandelion root help with belly fat? ›

Interestingly, a Korean study found that dandelion may have similar effects on the body as weight loss drug Orlistat. Some data shows that this anti-obesity drug can help reduce the amount of belly fat, the most dangerous fat linked to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer, etc.

Does dandelion cause anxiety? ›

Dandelion is known to be a mild sedative, and therefore can have a very calming effect on the body and mind (3). As mentioned above, Dandelions are also loaded with important trace nutrients such as vitamin A, C, K, and magnesium – all of which can be very supportive for keeping anxiety levels at bay.

Are dandelions good or bad for you? ›

They're Healthy

Adding dandelion greens to your diet can have several health benefits because they're low in calories and loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Two of those nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, play a role in healthy eyesight.

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