Life Extension Magazine®

Dandelion with fluff that may combat constipation and cholesterol through its extract

Dandelion: Super Foods

Studies show that dandelion extract may combat constipation, dramatically reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and protect skin cells against aging and UV light.

Scientifically reviewed by Holli Ryan, RD, LN/D, in August 2023. Written by: Laurie Mathena.

Dandelions are notorious for invading our yards every summer. But these pesky weeds are as nutritious as any vegetable growing in your garden.

Traditional medicine practices have been using dandelions for thousands of years to treat ailments ranging from acne to liver disease to digestive disorders.

Every part of a dandelion—the root, stem, and flower—is packed with nutrients that provide myriad health benefits.

The root is a good source of soluble fiber that helps support healthy gut bacteria.

The flowers contain polyphenols, which are plant compounds that could potentially help prevent blood clots, reduce blood sugar levels, and lower heart disease risk.

Animal studies have shown that dandelions may help combat constipation by increasing stomach contractions and the rate of emptying the stomach contents into the small intestine.1

In another study, mice treated with dandelion extract experienced dramatically reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels.2

Cell culture studies suggest dandelion extracts are also great for your skin.

Dandelion leaf and flower extracts have been shown to protect skin cells exposed to ultraviolet irradiation.3

And dandelion root extract can increase the generation of new skin cells, which slows skin aging.4

Dandelions are most often consumed as a supplement or tea. They are also safe to consume raw or cooked.


  1. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2011 Aug;23(8):766-e333.
  2. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Aug;58:30-6.
  3. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2015;2015:619560.
  4. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2012;60(2):205-12.