Denes Fact Sheet no.34:
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelion root is a major constituent of Denes Milk Thistle+ Powder
Most people consider Dandelion as no more than a common and troublesome countryside weed. It is, in fact, one of our oldest and safest medicinal herbs and one which has a whole host of useful medicinal properties.
Easily recognisable by its bright yellow flowers and jagged, toothed leaves, dandelion tends to be found growing in gardens, grassland and on waste ground. Its name is derived from a corruption of the French “dent de lion” meaning lion’s tooth after the appearance of the edges of the leaves. The leaves are sometimes included in salads, whilst the roots can be dried, roasted and ground up and used as a substitute for coffee. In the past, the juice pressed from the stalks or leaves was used externally as a treatment for warts.
Medicinally it is the roots that are used most often although the leaves are often used as well.
How Dandelion can help
- Dandelion has a diuretic action, promoting the flow of urine, helping to remove excess fluid from the body. This effect has given rise to various colloquial names including the French “pis en lit” or “wets the bed” as it helps remove excess fluid. It is also an excellent source of potassium making dandelion an ideal remedy to use alongside conventional diuretics which can deplete the body of potassium. Dandelion is a useful remedy to use where kidney disease is present as it will help eliminate toxins and other breakdown products by “flushing” these out of the body.
- Dandelion contains bitter compounds which can stimulate the appetite and improve the digestion. This is an action that can be put to good use in cases where the appetite is generally poor or where an animal is a picky eater.
- Herbs which stimulate the liver are called hepatics. Dandelion falls into this class and is one of the main remedies for helping with liver disease. Dandelion can provide support for the liver in cases of jaundice, congestion, hepatitis and poisoning. The root has the strongest hepatic properties.
- Dandelion is also known as a cholagogue, one of a number of herbs which can stimulate bile production. As such dandelion is useful in treating liver disease, especially some types of jaundice. Increasing the flow of bile also has the effect of improving the digestion and in increasing appetite. Dandelion is also able to help where periodic vomiting of bile is a problem.
- Mild constipation can also respond to Dandelion as this remedy is a mild laxative. This action is brought about by promoting bile production from the liver and consequently stimulating peristalsis, the normal rhythmical action of the bowel.
- Through its action as a diuretic, dandelion is able to help remove toxins from the body relieving the symptoms associated with muscular rheumatism. Dandelion is also said to be useful in treating some forms of arthritis.
- Due to its multiple actions, Dandelion is generally regarded as a tonic to the body as a whole. This effect is partly due to its action in removing toxins through the kidneys and in part to its stimulatory effects on the liver and bile production. It is a good general tonic herb to give to elderly animals.
Indications for using Dandelion
- Liver disease including jaundice
- Fluid retention or ascites
- Inflammation of the gall bladder (cholecystitis)
- Mild constipation
- Poor appetite
- Certain skin problems due to its detoxification effect
How Denes can help
Dandelion is one of the constituents in our Milk Thistle+ Powder. This herbal supplement is indicated in the treatment of problems associated with the liver.
Denes Milk Thistle+ Powder is available in 50g pots complete with dosing measure.
The suggested dose guide is as follows:
Cats, toy & dogs - ½ level scoop once daily
Medium dogs - ½ level scoop twice daily
Large dogs – 1 level scoop twice daily
Very large dogs – 1½ level scoops twice daily