Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Weber) is a member of the Asteraceae (Compositae) family, native to Europe but widely distributed in the warmer temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere. Dandelion and its parts are habitually consumed as plant foods in several areas of the world, where they are also employed in phytotherapy. Indeed, dandelion contains a wide array of phytochemicals whose biological activities are actively being explored in various areas of human health. In particular, emerging evidence suggests that dandelion and its constituents have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities that result in diverse biological effects. The present review provides a comprehensive analysis of the constituents of dandelion, an assessment of the pharmacological properties of dandelion, and a description of relevant studies that support the use of dandelion as a medicinal plant.
© 2012 International Life Sciences Institute.