Dandelion roots

Dandelion roots

Dandelion roots

Specification & Spread

Dandelion roots— radices taraxaci
Dandelion — taraxacum officinale wigg.
Composite flowers – asteraceae (compositae)
Other names: milk jug, Russian chicory, blowball, Irish daisy, taraxacum, pissabed, piss-a-bed, paillette, ballerina, miller, dental root, sponge, milkweed, cotton herb.

It is a perennial herbaceous plant.It is a perennial herbaceous plant.
It is a taproot which is branched, up to 60 cm long, 2 cm thick. In the upper part of the root there is a short many-headed rhizome. All leaves are gathered in the basal rosette. It is bare, oblong-lanceolate, pinnately cut, runcinate, narrowed to the base, 5-30 cm long, the leaf blades are directed downward in outline. The floral arrows are hollow, juicy, leafless, slightly cobwebby, 5-40 cm in height, ending with a single calathidium with a diameter of up to 2.5 cm.
All reed flowers are golden yellow. The fruit is an achene with tuft (volatile). All parts of the plant contain thick white milky juice.

It flowers in May -July, bears fruit from June.

Spreading. It occurs throughout the country, except for the Arctic, high mountains and desert areas. The main areas of procurement: Bashkortostan, Voronezh, Kursk, Samara region.

Habitat. It grows as a weed around housing, in meadows, along roads, in gardens, parks. It often forms continuous thickets.


The chemical composition

Dandelion roots contain:

  • sesquiterpenoid bitter glycosides (taraxacin and taraxacterin),
  • triterpenoids of the alpha-amine group (taraxasterol, anidiol, faradiol),
  • rubber substances (2-3%),
  • as well as carotenoids,
  • flavonoids,
  • tar,
  • iron salts,
  • calcium,
  • phosphorus,
  • up to 5% protein, which makes them a nutritious product.

The roots are rich in polysaccharide inulin: by the fall it accumulates up to 40%, in spring about 2%.
In the autumn, the roots contain up to 18% sugars.

There are also found:

  • sterols,
  • fatty oil,
  • a nicotinic acid.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The dandelion roots are dug out at the end of summer – in the autumn, shaken off the ground, cut off the aerial part, rhizomes («neck») and small roots. Then the roots are immediately washed in cold water and dried in the air for several days (until the discharge of the milky sap is stopped when the roots are incised).

Security measures. The repeated harvesting of the raw materials on the same thickets should be carried out with breaks of 2-3 years.

Drying. The natural drying is possible in attics under an iron or slate roof, under canopies with good ventilation, laying a layer of 3-5 cm. In good weather, the roots dry out in 10-15 days. It can be dried in a dryer at a temperature of 40-50 °C.

Storage. The raw materials are eaten by granary pests, therefore the storage should be carried out in a dry and well-ventilated area.

Whole raw materials

The roots are taped, little-branched, whole or broken, 2-15 cm long, 0.3-3 cm thick. The roots are longitudinally wrinkled, sometimes spiral-twisted, dense and fragile. The break is uneven. In the center of the root, a small yellow wood is seen, surrounded by a wide grayish-white bark, in which brownish thin lamellae located in concentric belts are visible (under a magnifying glass). Outside the colour is from light brown to dark brown.
The smell is absent.
The taste is bitter with a sweetish taste.

Milled raw materials

The pieces of roots of various shapes are passing through a sieve with holes of 7 mm in diameter.
The colour is greyish white with dark brown and yellow patches.
The smell is absent.
The taste is bitter with a sweetish taste.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. Means for stimulating appetite and choleretic agent (appetite stimulant).
The pharmacological properties of dandelion

Dandelion roots containing bitterness strengthen:

  • saliva secretion and
  • secretion of digestive glands,
  • increase bile secretion.

All this improves digestion. Under the influence of biologically active substances dandelion food gruel passes the intestine faster, which reduces putrefaction and fermentation processes.
The plant, in addition, has antispasmodic properties, acts laxatively.

In experiment there were found:

  • anti-tuberculosis activity against mycobacterium tuberculosis,
  • antivirus,
  • fungicidal,
  • anthelmintic,
  • anticarcinogenic and
  • antidiabetic properties of dandelion roots.

Application of dandelion

The preparations from dandelion roots are used as bitterness to whet the appetite.
In gastritis with secretory insufficiency, bitter dandelion substances increase the secretion of gastric juice.

As a choleretic agent decoction of dandelion roots is prescribed for:

  • cholecystitis,
  • cholangitis,
  • gallstone disease and hepatitis.

Dandelion roots are recommended for patients with diabetes mellitus in the form of decoction as a means of improving metabolism.
Dandelion roots in broths and as a coffee substitute from roasted roots are used as anti-sclerotic preparations.
For chronic spastic and atonic constipation, the decoction of dandelion roots is used as a laxative agent.

Acute condition with obstruction of the biliary tract, increased acidity of the stomach, gastritis, peptic ulcer, intestinal disorders.