Here’s something you didn’t know: you can consume dandelion roots to improve digestion since they have a high source of fiber and minerals. They can also act as a diuretic and help you lose water weight. You can consume these roots as tea or eat them like other vegetables.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and potential side effects of dandelion roots.
Do Dandelion Roots Work?
Recently, people have discovered that dandelion roots were used for their medical and even culinary properties centuries ago. Moreover, recent studies have begun combining modern science and the properties of dandelion roots. Even though dandelion roots have been used as a folk remedy in many parts of Europe and Asia, a lot of research is still needed to prove the benefits of these plants fully. 
According to research, dandelions are full of vitamins and minerals from the flowers, leaves, and up to the roots. It can also help treat certain skin diseases like eczema and may be helpful as a detoxifying agent by many.
Health Benefits and Uses of Dandelion Roots
Even though people think of dandelions as some pesky plant growing in their garden, they are unaware of the health benefits they can provide
Dandelion root is mainly used for its medicinal properties to treat skin diseases, an upset stomach, as a diuretic, and to treat inflammation. In Europe, it has been used to treat fever, boils, diabetes, and diarrhea
Dandelion roots have several beneficial properties, the most important of which include:
Dandelions are full of antioxidants that keep cells free from radicals. Dandelion roots contain beta-carotene, which is important for cell protection and oxidative stress. The flower also contains polyphenols, which you can find in the roots.
Polyphenols present in dandelions fight inflammation in the body. Any inflammation due to injury or infection may harm the body long-term. Dandelion roots fight inflammation in cells to bring them back to normal activity. 
3. Blood Sugar Control
Bioactive compounds like chicoric and chlorogenic acids decrease blood sugar levels. They help improve insulin secretion and the absorption of glucose in the blood. However, more research is a need on humans for better explanations.
4. Cholesterol Control
Triglyceride and cholesterol are both harmful to the heart. According to a test tube study, dandelion roots decreased triglyceride accumulation in the body. Reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels were present in studies that was tested on animals. Human research is important to be more certain of the results.
5. Blood Pressure
Some studies claim that dandelion roots control blood pressure. Dandelions are used in herbal medicines as a diuretic to lower blood pressure levels. It also contains potassium which is an essential mineral for lowering blood pressure. 
6. Other Potential Health Benefits
Dandelion roots have multiple other potential health benefits that currently require more research. Animal studies show that dandelions can reduce fat accumulated in the liver and protect it against damage. Moreover, certain compounds found in dandelion roots may help in losing weight. Since dandelion roots lower fat absorption and improve carbohydrate metabolism, they can assist in weight loss.
Animal studies conducted on rats also showed that dandelion roots controlled the spread of breast cancer cells. They also slow down the production of cancer cells. Dandelion roots are rich in inulin which is a prebiotic fiber. This component reduces constipation and improves digestion. Dandelion roots also boost the immune system and protect cells from viruses and bacteria.
Side Effects of Dandelion Roots
Even though dandelion roots aren’t toxic and are safe for consumption by people, certain side effects should be kept in mind before using them. If you are also allergic to certain plants, using these roots may be problematic. If you are undergoing treatment for the kidney or liver, then you should avoid consuming it since it could increase the risk of complications.
Some people also face heartburn, diarrhea, irritated skin, and other allergy symptoms. Pregnant and nursing women should also avoid dandelion roots since there is no research on the effects it may have on them.
How to Use Dandelion Roots
Dandelion root supplements are available in the market. However, there are no strict guidelines for their production or consumption. You can use these roots in the form of a powder, tincture, tea, or as a dried root in itself. The roots can be cooked, baked, or even eaten raw. The flowers and stems can be added to salads and eaten raw.
Dandelion Root and Milk Thistle
The combination of dandelion root and milk thistle has been used for promoting liver function. However, they should be used after a doctor’s recommendation since using the two plants together can have adverse effects such as nausea, upset stomach, and menstrual changes in women. Even though the two don’t have interactions with each other, they can interact with other drugs you might be consuming and cause complications.
Dandelion Root Allergy
If you have a daisy allergy, you will also be allergic to dandelions. Consuming them may cause skin rashes, bloating, and skin irritation. You should test yourself for any allergies before using it. 
Dandelion Root and Breastfeeding
The US Food and Drug Administration has deemed it safe for consumption by individuals. Even though it is harmless for lactating women and has shown no side effects on the feeding infant, there is still room for research in this area. There are no proper studies that definitively prove that dandelion roots are safe for breastfeeding women and will cause no complications in the infant. 
Dandelion roots were initially claimed as a galactagogue, but until now, no research has proven this claim. Except for their levels of vitamins and minerals, no other clinical purposes of it have been seen.
How Much Dandelion Root Should You Take Daily?
Since there are no proper guidelines for consuming it, if you are using tea or supplements, then follow the instructions written by the manufacturer. It is safe to use 2 to 8 grams of fresh dandelion root daily. 3 to 4 grams of dandelion root powder is safe for daily usage with water. 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh root extract can be consumed daily. However, it is better to ask a doctor or physician about the recommended dosage to avoid health risks and complications.
Bottomline: Dandelion Root Benefits and Side Effects
Dandelion roots have been consumed for ages and have been shown to help improve overall health. However, since it can be slightly risky to depend on a natural herb for the treatment of multiple diseases, a doctor’s recommendation is important before consumption. Moreover, studies have mainly been conducted on animals which means their findings are not proof enough of the benefits dandelion roots have on human bodies.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- NCCIH. (2020). Dandelion. Retrieved August 29, 2022, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/dandelion
- Park, C. M., Cho, C. W., & Song, Y. S. (2014). 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 : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 66, 56–64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2014.01.019
- U.S. Department Of Agriculture. (2019). FoodData Central. Retrieved August 29, 2022, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169226/nutrients
- Wirngo, F. E., Lambert, M. N., & Jeppesen, P. B. (2016). The Physiological Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) in Type 2 Diabetes. The review of diabetic studies : RDS, 13(2-3), 113–131. https://doi.org/10.1900/RDS.2016.13.113
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2021). Dandelion. Retrieved August 29, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501872/#:%7E:text=Dandelion%20is%20%22generally%20recognized%20as,to%20harm%20the%20breastfed%20infant.