Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) herb contains vitamins, minerals, terpenoids, caffeic acid, and numerous other compounds. Dandelion root contains high concentrations of inulin. Dandelion is a purported galactogogue; however, no scientifically valid clinical trials support this use. Galactogogues should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors that affect milk production.[2,3] Except for the vitamins and minerals, no data exist on the excretion of any of the pharmacologically active components of dandelion into breastmilk or on the safety and efficacy of dandelion in nursing mothers or infants. Dandelion is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) as a food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It rarely can cause allergic reactions, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal upset. Use during lactation is unlikely to harm the breastfed infant.
Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to prove the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does not certify the safety or effectiveness of a product. Because of the above issues, clinical testing results on one product may not be applicable to other products. More detailed information about dietary supplements is available elsewhere on the LactMed Web site.