Med Plant Data Base


Moldo-german project 10.820.09.09GA
Evaluation of the pharmaceutic potential
of medicinal plants from natural habitats from Republic of Moldova


Taraxacum officinale

KINGDOM: Plantae » Class: Magnoliopsida » Order: Asterales » Family: Asteraceae

Taraxacum officinale


Taraxacum officinale


Kingdom: Plantae

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Asterales

Family: Asteraceae

Genus: Taraxacum

Species : T. officinale

Plant description

The species of Taraxacum are
tap-rooted biennial or perennial herbaceous plants, native to temperate areas
of the Old World.

The leaves are 525 cm long or longer, simple and basal, entire or lobed,
forming a rosette above the central taproot. The flower heads are yellow to
orange colored, and are open in the daytime but closed at night. The heads
are borne singly on a hollow stem (scape) that rises 110 cm or more above
the leaves and exudes a milky sap (latex) when broken. A rosette may produce
several flowering stems at a time. The flower heads are 25 cm in diameter
and consists entirely of ray florets. The flower heads mature into a
spherical "clocks" containing many single-seeded fruits called
achenes. Each achene is attached to a pappus of fine hairs, which enable
wind-aided dispersal over long distances.

The flower head is surrounded by bracts (sometimes mistakenly called
sepals) in two series. The inner bracts are erect until the seeds mature,
then flex downward to allow the seeds to disperse; the outer bracts are
always reflexed downward. Some species drop the "parachute" from
the achenes; the hair-like parachutes are called pappus, and they are
modified sepals. Between the pappus and the achene, there is a stalk called a
beak, which elongates as the fruit matures. The beak breaks off from the
achene quite easily, separating the seed from the parachute.

Diffusion area

Common Dandelion originated from
Eurasia and now is naturalized throughout North America, southern Africa,
South America, New Zealand, Australia, and India. It occurs in all 50 states
of the USA and most Canadian provinces


Grows on ruderal and grassless
places, in vineyards, orchards and crops. Is common everywhere.

Therapeutic actions

1. Renal and electrolyte
balance: Diuretic

2. Gastrointestinal/hepatic:
Cholagogue, digestive aid and appetite stimulant, laxative, hepatitis

3. Endocrine: Diabetes

4. Immune modulation:

5. Antimicrobial: Antiviral

6. Antineoplastic: Antitumor

7. Skin and mucus membranes: Wart

Dandelion (the entire plant preparation) has been used for stimulating
appetite and for relieving stomach fullness and gas (dyspepsia). Dandelion
leaf has been used for stimulating the appetite, and for promoting water loss
and blood circulation. It has also been used for gallstones and arthritis.
The leaves are also sometimes eaten as food. Like aperient; Cholagogue;
Depurative; Diuretic; Hepatic;
Laxative; Stomachic; Tonic;
Warts; Miscellany.

The dandelion is a commonly used herbal remedy. It is especially effective
and valuable as a diuretic because it contains high levels of potassium salts
and therefore can replace the potassium that is lost from the body when
diuretics are used. All parts of the plant, but especially the root, are
slightly aperient, cholagogue, depurative, strongly diuretic, hepatic,
laxative, stomachic and tonic. The root is also experimentally cholagogue,
hypoglycaemic and a weak antibiotic against yeast infections. The dried root
has a weaker action. The roots can be used fresh or dried and should be
harvested in the autumn when 2 years old. The leaves are harvested in the
spring when the plant is in flower and can be dried for later use. A tea can
be made from the leaves or, more commonly, from the roots. The plant is used
internally in the treatment of gall bladder and urinary disorders,
gallstones, jaundice, cirrhosis, dyspepsia with constipation, oedema
associated with high blood pressure and heart weakness, chronic joint and
skin complaints, gout, eczema and acne. The plant has an antibacterial
action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci,
Meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, Proteus etc.
The latex contained in the plant sap can be used to remove corns, warts and
verrucae. The latex has a specific action on inflammations of the gall
bladder and is also believed to remove stones in the liver. A tea made from
the leaves is laxative.

Biologically active substances

Sesquiterpene lactones
(bitters): taraxinic acid (taraxacin), tetrahydroridentin B

Triterpenoids and sterols: taraxasterol, taraxerol, cycloartenol,

Other: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, tannins, alkaloids, pectin, inulin, starch,
potassium, beta carotene, caffeic acid, flavonoids (apigenin)

Dandelions active ingredients are found in both the roots and leaves. The
leaves contain

bitter sesquiterpene lactones such as taraxinic acid and triterpenoids such
as cycloartenol. The

roots contain these compounds as well as phenolic acids and inulin9, 10.
Potassium is present in

the leaves at 297 mg per 100 grams of leaves11. The leaves also contain
substantial amounts of

Vitamin A (14,000 units per 100 grams of leaves, compared with 11,000 units
per 100 grams of


The sesquiterpene lactones found in both leaves and root have demonstrated

effects12. They also stimulate bile flow from the liver.

Different compounds may be present in different products depending on

methods. For example, the alcoholic extracts stimulate bile excretion
whereas the aqueous

extracts have no such effects.

Indigenous medicinal plants in databases

Leurda Allium ursinum L.

Levantica Lavandula angustifolia


Lumanarica Verbascum

thapsiforme Schrad.

Centers, institutes, research labs of medicinal plants

1. Osaka City Institute of
Public Health and Environmental Sciences,
Tennoji-ku, Osaka, Japan

2. Research Division for Food Industry Platform Technology, Korea Food
Research Institute, Seongnam, Republic of Korea.

3. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University
of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia

4. Department of Herbal Medicine, Tai Sophia Institute, Laurel, USA.


Bobrov, E.G. & N.N. Zvelev.
1964. Flora of the USSR. Moscow-Leningrad: AN SSSR. V. 29: 798.

Fisyunov A.V. 1984. Weeds. Moscow: Kolos. 320 p.

Maevsky P.F. 1954. Flora of an average strip of the European part of the
USSR. Moscow-Leningrad: Selkhozgisz. 912 p.

Maltsev A.I. 1937. Atlas of the major species of weed plants of the USSR.
Moscow-Leningrad: Selkhozgiz. V. 1: 168.

Nikitin V.V. 1983. Weed plants of the USSR Flora. Leningrad: Nauka. 454 p.

Ramenskij L.G., Tsatsenkin I.A., Chizhikov O.N., Antipin N.A. 1956.
Ecological evaluation of the fodder lands by vegetation cover. Moscow:
Selkhozgiz. 472 p.

Shlyakova E.V. 1982. Keys to weed-field plants of the Non-chernozem zone.
Leningrad: Kolos. 208 p.

Genetic characteristics

2n = 24 chromosomes.

Gathering place (figure should be increased)

Taraxacum officinale

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Copyright © Gincota Filipp