Priest's Crown, Swine's Snout, Bitterwort

Dandelion Information

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Dandelion -  is also known as
Most Common Name: Dandelion
Botanical Name: Taraxacum Officinale
Also Known As (other names):Priest's Crown, Swine's Snout, Bitterwort, Irish Daisy, Puffball, Wild Endive, Pu Gong Ying, Cankerwort


Dandelion grows almost anywhere and can be found in all temperate zones. There are some 100 subspecies but all have virtually the same herbal properties.

The roots are mostly used but leaves can also be harvested - this is usually done in the middle of summer to late summer as mature plants offer the best root systems.  Roots are mostly used for their medicinal properties while young leaves are eaten fresh as a dietary supplement. Older leaves can be dried for brewing tea.

Use of this herb can be traced to over a thousand years ago when it was used extensively in the Middle East. In the western world it was used during the Middle Ages to treat liver and kidney problems.

Dandelion Use for/In treatment of:

Digestive system tonicSkin complaintsGall Bladder
Kidney complaintsEczemaLiver disorders
DyspepsiaJoint problemsHepatitis

Dandelion Properties:

DiureticTonic Anti-inflammatory


Dandelion Constituents:

Below we list reported constituents of this herb. This may not be complete as continuous research constantly discovers new constituents. Where possible we also provide information about constituents and their application, effect and side effects, if any. We do not provide information on the interaction between constituents. We do not give quantities of each individual constituent as these vary considerably due to region and climate. By comparing the treatments above with the constituent benefits below some indication of quantities can be gained.

Sesquiterpene lactones: There are thousands of sesquiterpene lactones known. They mostly occur as a combination of several sesquiterpene lactones and are more prevalent in leaves and flowers.

Commonly valued for the digestive bitter benefits sesquiterpene lactones are also anti-inflammatory, antiprotozoal, antibacterial and antimicrobial.

A large majority of sesquiterpene lactones irritate the skin on contact causing dermatitis and often acute inflammation.

Used in China as an infertility agent in men it should not be used in this context as it could cause permanent infertility in men. Sesquiterpenes have antifungal, antibacterial and anaesthetic properties.

It is also thought that they prevent migraines and can be used as antibiotics and to treat Malaria but there is very little in depth testing results available to support these claims.

Lactones: A lactone is an Ester that's functional group has become part of a ring structure with carbon atoms.

Lactones are widely present in the plant kingdom and many are expectorants and febrifuges.


Coumarins: Coumarins are lactones of hydroxycinnamic acids. Coumarins are lactones. There are many variations of coumarins: Furanocoumarins found in Angelica have a spasmolitic effect but must be used with caution as they have a strong phototoxic effect as has many of the Furanocoumarins (Warfarin a blood thinning drug but also virulent rat poison, is a coumarin derivative). In general coumarins have antifungal, hypotensive, anticoagulant and antimicrobial properties.
Many of the Coumarins are phototoxic and skin sensitising.

Lactones: A lactone is an Ester that's functional group has become part of a ring structure with carbon atoms.

Lactones are widely present in the plant kingdom and many are expectorants and febrifuges.


Triterpenes: Phytosterols. Essential components of the cell membrane, Phytosterols have a beneficial influence in the inhibition of tumour growth and help regulate cholesterol in the blood by stimulating thyroid function.


Sitosterol: Sitosterol, a sterol, is very important for the maintenance of cell membranes.

Sterols: Most sterols play a big part in the makeup of cell membranes. Sterols are used to make steroidal medication and drugs. Sterols may interfere with the development of tumours and assist in the regulation of cholesterol, but this has not been fully established yet.



Administered as:

A poulticeExtract powder or granulesTincture
Fluid extract or syrupInfusionOintment
How current is this information?




* Statements made have not been evaluated by American Food and Drug Authority or similar board or authority of any other country.
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