Taraxacum campylodes G.E.Haglund

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Last updated: 17th May 2016

Scientific Name

Taraxacum campylodes G.E.Haglund


Crepis taraxacum (L.) Stokes, Leontodon taraxacum L., Leontodon vulgare Lam. [Illegitimate], Taraxacum dens-leonis Desf. [Illegitimate] , Taraxacum officinale (L.) Weber ex F.H.Wigg., Taraxacum subspathulatum A.J.Richards, Taraxacum taraxacum (L.) H.Karst. [Illegitimate]. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Dandelion [2]
Indonesia Jombang (Java).[2]
Vietnam B[oof] c[oo]ng anh. [2]
France Dent de lion, pissenlit [2]

Geographical Distributions

Taraxacum campylodes is native to Europe and continental temperate Asia south to the Himalayas, but now distributed almost all over the world. In the Malesian region it has been introduced and naturalized in Peninsular Malaysia, West Java and the Philippines (Benguet Province). It is sometimes cultivated as a vegetable or for medicinal applications. [2]

Botanical Description

T. campylodes is closely related to the genus Crepis, and belongs to the tribe Lactuceae. Taraxacum campylodes belong to the group Compositae. A perennial, stemless herb up to 30(-50) cm tall, with a long taproot and latex in all parts. Leaves arranged spirally in a radical rosette, oblanceolate to narrowly spathulate, 4-35 cm x 0.7-10 cm, very variably and irregularly pinnatilobed to pinnatipartite, variably hairy or rarely completely glabrous, almost distinctly petiolate or narrowly tapering into a winged petiole, petiole green or pink to purplish. Inflorescence an axillary head, 1-25 per plant, peduncle simple, hollow, leafless, (3-)3.5-5(-6.5) cm in diameter, outer involucral bracts many-seriate, patent to recurved, ovate to linear-lanceolate, unequal, without 'horns' (thickened and/or clawed apices), inner involucral bracts 1-seriate, erect, oblong, receptacle flat, naked. [2]

Flowers many, all ligulate; corolla yellow, but often with a purple line outside; stamens 5, anthers fused into a tube, sagittate at base; ovary inferior, with a single ovule; style 1, greenish or yellowish to black, stigmas 2, spreading. Fruit an achene, narrowly obovoid, about 3 mm long, ribbed, greenish to straw-coloured or brownish, the upper third minutely spiny, abruptly contracted into a 6-12 mm long beak which is crowned by spreading, scabrid, white pappus hairs. Seedling with epigeal germination; cotyledons free, leafy, obspathulate, sheathed at base; epicotyl absent; all leaves alternate. [2]


Soil Suitability and Climate Requirement

Being weedy in nature, Taraxacum officinale is most often found in ruderal places, along roads and fields and in grassland. In tropical regions it occurs only at higher elevations, in Malaysia at 1200-1500 m altitude. It occurs on various soils, from sandy dunes to thick clay, and from dry to wet, sometimes even brackish habitats, though it seems to grow best on fertile sandy or loamy soils.[2]

Field Preparation

Production of Planting Materials

Propagation of dandelion is by seed or by division. In Europe about 60% of all achenes germinate in the year of production; about 30% in the next year and about 5% in the year thereafter. A neglectable percentage germinates after 5 years. The viability of fresh achenes is 70-100%, but drops rapidly when stored dry at 20°C; cool and dry storage does not cause a rapid decrease in viability. Achenes germinate best at temperatures of 20-25°C, with a daily fluctuation of about 5°C. They should not be sown deeper than 1 cm as this will affect fast and uniform emergence. [2]

Field Planting

Injured roots or small parts of roots of dandelion can regenerate and develop new rosettes. Therefore mechanical control of Taraxacum officinale as a weed is not effective. In Canada, ethalfluralin proved an effective herbicide for dandelion cultivation with no residues in the roots. [2]

Field maintenance

Pest and Disease Control

Diseases observed in dandelion in the temperate zones include Agrobacterium tumefaciens, and fungi like Synchytrium taraxaciBremia lactucaeProtomyces pachydermusSphaerotheca fuligineaPuccinia spp., Ramularia taraxaci and Septoria taraxaci. Pests include the nematodes Ditylenchus dipsaci and Meloidogyne hapla and the beetle Ceutorhynchus punctiger, whereas various other insects, spiders, snails, birds and mammals feed on dandelion in some way or another. [2]


Dandelion roots are harvested at the end of the growing season, when inulin contents are highest. [2]

Postharvest handling

In India, roots of dandelion are washed, dried and subsequently stored in containers to which a few drops of carbon tetrachloride have been added as preservative. [2]

Estimated cost of production

No documentation

Chemical Constituent

T. campylodes  has been reported to contain resin (taraxacin), terpenoids (sesquiterpene lactones -taraxacerin), polysaccharides (primarily fructosans and inulin), coumarins, carotenoids (luteolin and violaxanthin), hydroxycinnamic acids, chicoric acid, and chlorogenic acid, furan fatty acids, vitamins A, B, C and D, minerals (including a high content of potassium [4][5][6]

Plant Part Used

Leaf [4][5][6]

Traditional Use

Infusions or decoctions of dried roots, leaves or simply the entire plant of dandelion are widely used as a general tonic, anti-inflammatory, depurative, cholagogue, diuretic, mild laxative, and for kidney and liver disorders. Infusions are also recommended in the treatment of skin problems, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and even for arthritic and rheumatic complaints. Externally the latex is applied to boils and other skin infections or applied as a poultice on inflamed wounds. In South-East Asia, dandelion is a fairly recently introduced weed, so traditional uses are very limited. In Indo-China it is used as a diuretic and cholagogue. [2]

In India, the roots are applied as a tonic, diuretic, mild laxative, and chiefly used in kidney and liver disorders. In China, the leaves are prescribed internally as a bitter depurant, in the treatment of breast and lung tumours, mastitis, abscesses, jaundice, and urinary tract infections; and externally to treat snake bites. [2]

In Europe and North America, the leaves and roots, fresh or dried, are used as a mild laxative, a diuretic and for the treatment of high blood pressure by reducing the volume of fluid in the body. The roots accelerate steady elimination of toxins, by working principally on liver and gall bladder to help remove waste products, and simultaneously stimulating the kidneys to remove toxins in the urine. The leaves or roots may also help to prevent or even dissolve gallstones. A decoction of the roots is used as an antidiabetic. [2]

The leaves are also eaten as a vegetable. When grown without light (artificially or when covered with earth) the pale leaves are more brittle and taste better. The young and unopened flower heads can be used as capers. In North Africa the leaves are used as a seasoning. The bitter leaves are also applied in wines, beers and non-alcoholic drinks. [2]

The ground roots are used as a substitute for coffee. In spring the flowers contain much nectar and are locally important for the production of honey. Formerly, dandelions were cultivated in Japan for ornamental purposes. [2]

Preclinical Data

Phytochemical analysis has revealed chicoric acid and monocaffeyltartaric acid to be the major phenolic constituents of flowers, roots, leaves and involucral bracts of Taraxacum officinale. These compounds are also the main phenolic constituents of some common dandelion preparations, e.g. dandelion tea, root coffee and root capsules. Furthermore, the presence of sesquiterpene lactones (germacranolide type, as glucosides), triterpenes (e.g. cycloartenol) and flavonoids (apigenin-7-glucoside, luteolin-7-glucoside) in the leaves is reported in literature. [2]


Hypoglycemic activity

As with many Compositae, the roots of dandelion also have a high content of inulin, a polysaccharide based on fructose. This compound serves as a food reserve and can reach levels as high as 25% in autumn in the temperate zones. Inulin can be used as a sugar substitute, which is of interest for diabetic patients. Furthermore, the hypoglycaemic activity of this compound is sometimes mentioned in literature, though many reports are not conclusive in this respect. On the other hand, hypoglycaemic activity of dandelion preparations have been observed in various animal models: the 50% ethanol-water extract of the entire plant at a dose of 250 mg/kg orally in rats, dried entire plants at doses of 1-2 g/kg administered intragastrically to rabbits and a water extract of dried roots at a dose of 25 mg/kg administered intragastrically to mice all showed hypoglycaemic activities. [3]

Anti-ulcer activity

The water extract of dandelion roots administered intragastrically at a dose of 2 g/kg in rats with ETOH-HCl-induced ulcerations showed a strong anti-ulcer activity. However, the methanol extract at the same dose shows only weak activity. [7]

Diuretic activity

The high potassium content of dandelion, especially in the leaves (up to 4.5% of the dry weight) is considered to be responsible for the well-known diuretic activity, which has been confirmed in various animal models. The ethanol (30%) extract of dandelion roots, administered orally at a dose of 0.1 mL/kg in male rats, shows diuretic activity. In experiments with mice and rats the diuretic and saluretic indices of a fluid extract of dandelion, corresponding to approximately 8 g dried aerial parts/kg body weight, were comparable to those of furosemide (80 mg/kg body weight) a well-known diuretic. The high potassium content ensures that potassium eliminated in the urine is replaced. [8]

Antitumor activity

The hot water extract of dried dandelion aerial parts given intraperitoneally at doses of 30-40 mg/kg exhibited antitumour activities against CA-C3H/HE-MM46 and fibrosarcoma METH-1 in mice. [9]

Analgesic activity

A 95% ethanol extract of dried dandelion leaves administered to mice intragastrically at a dose of 1.0 g/kg, and intraperitoneally at a dose of 0.1 g/kg, exhibited analgesic activity in both the phenylquinone-induced writhing and the hot plate models. [10]

Anti-inflammatory activity

The anti-inflammatory activity of dandelion has been investigated in several animal models. A methanol extract of dandelion leaves, at a dose of 2.0 mg/ear applied externally, reduced swelling and inflammation in mice with 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced ear inflammations. Furthermore, a 95% ethanol extract of dried dandelion leaves, administered intraperitoneally in rats with carrageenan-induced pedal oedema at a dose of 0.1 g/kg showed anti-inflammatory activity. [11]

Choleretic activity

Studies in humans and laboratory animals have shown that dandelion root enhances the flow of bile, improving such conditions such as liver congestion, bile duct inflammation, hepatitis, gallstones and jaundice. Two human studies have demonstrated the liver-healing properties of dandelion. In a 1938 study in Italy, 12 patients with severe liver imbalances- many exhibiting classic symptoms such as loss of appetite, low energy, and jaundice, were treated with dandelion extract (one 5ml injection daily for 20 days). Of the 12 patients, 11 showed a considerable drop in blood cholesterol. In the other study, dandelion extract was shown to successfully treat hepatitis, swelling of the liver, jaundice , and dyspepsia with deficient bile secretion. [12][13][14][15]

Furthermore, in dogs, the volume of bile doubled when a decoction of fresh leaves (equivalent to 5 g of dried plant material) was administered intravenously. In rats, a choleretic effect was observed following administration of a 5% dandelion extract (2 mL) by means of a cannula, and in another experiment, an alcoholic extract of the whole plant administered to rats gave a 40% increase in bile secretion. [15]

Laxative activity

Dandelion root infusion, which contains oligofructans, has been found to stimulate the growth of multiple strains of bifidobacteria, suggesting its use as a prebiotic. [16]

Antimicrobial activity

Three peptides purified from Taraxacum officinalis flowers have been discovered which display strong antifungal and antibacterial properties. The peptides are cationic and cysteine-rich, representing two novel families of plant antimicrobial peptides, evidently evolved to protect the plant from fungal and microbial invasion. [17]


No reported toxicity [18]

Clinical Data

No documentation


Some individuals reported of allergic reactions when taking this as a dietary supplement. An allergic skin reaction may occur. [19]

Interaction and depletion

Dandelion leaf may cause electrolyte imbalances. Long term use or overuse may alter effects of these medication sand possibly the dose needed for treatment. [20]


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of T. campylodes. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Taraxacum campylodes G.E.Haglund. c2013. [updated 2012 Feb 11; cited 2016 May 5]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/gcc-49669
  2. Chuakul, W., 1999. Taraxacum officinale Weber ex F.H. Wigg.[Internet] Record from Proseabase. de Padua, L.S., Bunyapraphatsara, N. and Lemmens, R.H.M.J. (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(1): Vegetables: Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. Bogor, Indonesia; Prosea foundation; 1997.
  3. Swanston-Flatt SK, Day C, Flatt PR, Gould BJ, Bailey CJ. Glycaemic effects of traditional European plant treatments for diabetes. Studies in normal and streptozotocin diabetic mice. Diabetes Res. 1989;10(2): 69-73.
  4. Taraxacum officinale. Monograph/Altern Med Rev. 1999;4(2):112-114.
  5. Bradley PR, ed. British Herbal Compendium. Volume 1. Bournemouth: British Herbal Medicine Association; 1992:73-74.
  6. Williams CA, Goldstone F, Greenham J. Flavonoids, cinnamic acids and coumarins from the different tissues and medicinal preparations of Taraxacum officinale. Phytochemistry. 1996;42(1):121-127.
  7. Muto Y, Ichikawa H, Kitagawa O, et al. Studies on antiulcer agents. 1. The effects of various methanol and aqueous extracts of crude drugs on antiulcer activity. Yakugaku Zasshi 1994;114(2): 980-994. Japanese.
  8. Rácz-Kotilla E, Rácz G, Solomon A. The action of T. officinale extracts on the body weight and diuresis of laboratory animals. Planta Medica. 1974;25:212-217.
  9. Baba K, Abe S, Mizuno D. Antitumor activity of hot water extract dandelion, Taraxacum officinale - Correlation between antitumor activity and timing of administration. Yakugaku Zasshi. 1981;10(1):538-543
  10. Tita B, Bello U, Faccendini P, et al. Taraxacum officinale W.: Pharmacological effect of ethanol extract. Pharmacology Res. 1993;27(1): 23-24.
  11. Yasukawa K, Yamaguchi A, Arita J, Sakurai S, Ikeda A, Takido M. Inhibitory effect of edible plant extracts on 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced ear oedema in mice. Phytotherapy Res. 1993;7(2):185-189.
  12. Schutz K, carle R, Scheiber A. Taraxacum: A review on its phytochemical and pharmacologicl profile. J ethnopharmacol. 2006:107(3):313-323
  13. Faber K. The dandelion Taraxacum officinale. Pharmazie. 1958;13:423-436
  14. Susnik F. Present state of knowledge of the medicinal plant Taraxacum officinale Weber. Med Razgi. 1982;21:323-328
  15. Bohm K. Choleretic action of various plant drugs. Arzneimitteforschung. 1959;9:376-378
  16. Trajonova I, Rada V, Kokoska L, Vlková E. The bifidogenic effect of Taraxacum officinale root. Fitoterapia. 2004;75(7-8):760-763.
  17. Astafieva AA, Rogozhin EA, Odintsova TI, Khadeeva NV, Grishin EV, Egorov TsA. Discovery of novel intomicrobial peptides with unusual cysteine motifs in dandelion Taraxacum Officinale Wigg. Flowers. Peptides. 2012;36(2):266-271
  18. Bisset NG, editors. Herbal drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Stuttgart: Scientific Publishers, 1994; p. 213.
  19. Davies MG, Kersey PJ. Contact allergy to yarrow and dandelion. Contact Dermatitis. 1986;14(4):256-257
  20. Racz-Kotilla E, Rácz G, Solomon A. The action of taraxacum officinale extracts on the body weight and diuresis of laboratory animals. Planta Med. 1974;26(3):212-217.