(Taraxacum officinale; 286 mg/ml)
• used to support liver function and to stimulate bile flow • used as a bitter tonic, to stimulate digestion • used as a diuretic and to support kidney function
With its marked diuretic and bitter tonic qualities, this powerful medicinal plant has been used for many hundreds of years as an herbal remedy in the West.
Herbalist Michael Tierra notes incisively that, “The main benefits of this great herb are exerted upon the function of the liver. Dandelion has the capacity to clear obstructions and stimulate and aid the liver to eliminate toxins from the blood. ...The root is also useful for clearing obstructions of the spleen, pancreas, gallbladder, bladder and kidneys. It is of tremendous benefit to the stomach and intestines.... In Chinese medicine this condition would be considered as ‘liver attacking spleen-pancreas', which refers to an imbalance of liver and pancreatic enzymes necessary for digestion. Thus it would seem that dandelion root helps to balance these enzymes that simultaneously benefit digestion, assimilation, and elimination.”
Researchers Heather Boon and Michael Smith explain that, “Dandelion root... is considered to be both a choleretic (promoting production of bile) and a cholagogue (causing contraction of the bile duct initiating the flow of stored bile). These properties are firmly part of herbal tradition... For example, studies have shown that administration of dandelion increased bile flow in dogs and rats and aided in the management of a variety of gall-bladder conditions.”
In his monograph on dandelion, herbalist David Hoffmann points out that dandelion “is a powerful diuretic, with an action comparable to that of the drug furosemide.” Its high potassium content, moreover, makes it safe to use even by patients with heart problems, when diuretic action is required. Hoffmann concludes that, “Overall, this herb is a most valuable general tonic and perhaps the best widely applicable diuretic and liver tonic.”