Dandelion or Taraxacum officinale is a well-known medicinal plant that grows naturally in Europe, North and South America and Asia. Dandelion is a source of various nutrients and biologically active substances and its root and leaves contain vitamins (A, K, C and B-complex), minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron), micronutrients, fibre, lecithin and choline. The various parts of the plant have a long history of use as an herbal remedy; roots of this herb are firstly considered for enhancing digestion. Also, the roots are generally used for as liver tonic by stimulating bile production and removing toxins and re-establishing hydration and electrolyte balance. Dandelion leaves could be used successfully as digestive stimulant and diuretic. Moreover, dandelion leaves were reported to improve growth and productive performance of poultry. Several beneficial effects have been reported on intestinal mucosa regarding architecture of villi, villus height/ crypt depth ratio as well as cellular infiltration. Dandelion has many properties like immunomodulator, digestive stimulant, prebiotic, insulin stimulant, anti-inflammation, antiangiogenic, antineoplastic and demulcent. Furthermore, dandelion treats indigestion and hepatitis B infection as well as enhances metabolise androgenic hormones. Because of the scarcity of in vivo studies on dandelion, further investigations are needed to confirm its benefits and efficacy.
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