Health Benefits of Dandelion

Health Benefits of Dandelion

When you hear the word dandelion you might immediately think of those yellow sunburst weeds that pop up all over your lawn eventually turning into a whip of white fluffiness. Turns out that this dandelion weed (like many other weeds) has some pretty impressive healing properties. If you like sipping some unique teas or just want to enhance your health with a potent supplement, this is what dandelion just might offer. 

The health benefits of dandelion (made from the same stuff many dads had their kids digging out of the yard) are raising some eyebrows, despite its successful use in ancient folk medicine. See if dandelion might be something you want to give a try. According to many studies on this suburban lawn pest, it just may be the best pest you want to put to use.

Cancer Cell Death

Might as well start big with the health benefits of dandelion and show the unique link between this jagged-tooth leaved weed and colorectal cancer. According to a study of the effects of dandelion on cancer by Canadian researchers, published in the journal Oncotarget (2016), it was concluded that,

“Our results showed that aqueous dandelion root extract (DRE) efficiently and selectively triggers programmed cell death pathways in in-vitro and in-vivo colorectal cancer models…Therefore, we can conclude that DRE [dandelion root extract], as a complex mixture might provide a complementary alternative to currently available chemotherapies…also associated with fewer and less severe side-effects and, thus, improve the quality of life and possibly increase the lifespan of cancer patients.”

Talk to your doctor about consuming dandelion if you are under chemotherapy treatment.

Blood Tonic, Diuretic, Vitamin A

The term “blood tonic” is a folk remedy term that basically means “systemic remedy”. Dandelion does affect the whole system however it has deep ancient healing history when applying it to systemic detoxification.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes some of the history and applications of dandelion,

  • Dandelion greens are edible and are a rich source of vitamin A. Dandelion has been used in traditional medical systems, including Native American, traditional Chinese, and traditional Arabic medicine.
  • Dandelion has a long history of use for problems of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. Today, dandelion as a dietary supplement is used as a blood “tonic,” as a diuretic, for minor digestive problems, and for other purposes.
  • The leaves and roots of the dandelion, or the whole plant, are used fresh or dried in capsules or extracts. As a food, dandelion is used as a salad green and in soups, wine, and teas.


It may come as a slight surprise but consuming dandelion may help you fight the flu. Virology Journal published a 2011 study titled ‘Anti-influenza virus effect of aqueous extracts from dandelion’ concluding that,

“The antiviral activity of dandelion extracts indicates that a component or components of these extracts possess anti-influenza virus properties. Mechanisms of reduction of viral growth in MDCK or A549 cells by dandelion involve inhibition on virus replication.”

Whether it is dandelion tea or a capsule supplement, adding this genius weed to your diet may help you glide through flu season unscathed.

Cholesterol Fighter

Maintaining a good exercise program while consuming a high plant-based diet while reducing meats, fats, and processed foods is the first step toward healthy cholesterol levels. However, adding dandelion may help too.

Oxford Academic Nutrition Review reported on the diverse biological activities of dandelion and how it, “…may reduce hyperlipidemia in rats. Hyperlipidemia is an abnormally high level of lipids, which include cholesterol, in the blood.”

These health benefits of dandelion show some significant research on how this weed so many attempt to kill may be one of the most beneficial plants in the yard. If dandelions are not soaked in pesticides or toxic fertilizers you can collect them rather than kill them. Separating the leaves from the flower and cleaning them thoroughly can make a tasty dandelion salad with all the healing properties packed right in. 

Take a dandelion supplement or look for other recipes for dandelion and maybe the next time you see them they’ll be revered rather than ripped out. Note: allergic reactions to dandelion could affect people who are allergic to related plants such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies.