English Common Dandelion

Taverniera cuneifolia Arn. 647

Ayurvedic ► Dugdh-pheni, Luutaari, Payaswani.

Unani ► Kaanful, Kaasani Dashti, Kaasani Sahraayi, Hind-baa-al-Barri. (Not to be confused with Ci-chorium intybus, known as Kaasani.)

Action ► Root—diuretic, cholagogue, pancreatic and bile duct stimulant, stimulant to portal circulation, choleretic, urinary antiseptic, detoxicant, promotes elimination of plasma cholesterol. Used chiefly in kidney and liver disorders, for rheumatism and as a general tonic. A decoction is given for infective hepatitis.

Key application ► In dyspepsia, loss of appetite, and for diuresis. (German Commission E, ESCOP.) ESCOP indicates its use for restoration of hepatic and biliary function.

Most of the diuretics cause loss of potassium, but dandelion leaves contain high levels of potassium.

The leaves and root contain sesqui-terpene lactones (bitter substances); triterpenes and sterols—beta-sitosterol, beta-sitosterol-glucosides, taraxasterol, psi-taratexol and taraxol; flavonoids, including among others, apigenin-7-O-glucosides and luteolin-7-O-gluco-sides; mucilages; inulin (2-40%, high values in autumn). The amaroids are cholagogic and secretolytic. (PDR.) An appetite-stimulating bitter has been identified as eudesmanolides (previously called taraxacin).

The vitamin A content is higher than in carrots.

The polysaccharides and aqueous extracts exhibited antitumour activity in animals. The anti-inflammatory activity has also been confirmed in animal studies.

The high K+ content of roots and leaves is considered responsible for the diuretic activity.

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