Based on a long history of use in traditional medicine, dandelion is generally considered safe in pregnancy and lactation (Blumenthal et al 2000, McGuffin et al 1997).
PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING
• Dandelion leaf and root have a long tradition of culinary and medicinal use.
• Dandelion has been traditionally used as a diuretic and liver tonic. It has also been used to treat various digestive complaints such as dyspepsia, lack of appetite and constipation.
• The therapeutic effectiveness of dandelion has not been significantly investigated under clinical trial conditions, so evidence is derived from traditional, in vitro and animal studies.
• Dandelion is generally considered to be safe and non-toxic, but may cause allergy in people allergic to ragweed and daisies.
ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What will this do for me?
In practice, dandelion is used to improve digestion and detoxification, as a diuretic and laxative and to treat diabetes, rheumatic conditions, heartburn, bruises and for recurrent hives, urticaria and eczema. Controlled studies are not available to determine its effectiveness in these conditions. When will it work?
Stimulation of digestive processes is thought to occur rapidly after one dose. Are there any safety issues?
Dandelion is generally considered to be safe and non-toxic but may cause allergy in people allergic to ragweed and daisies.
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