Dandelion toxicity

Dandelion leaves poisoning

Can dandelion be toxic?

In general, dandelion is not toxic when taken in therapeutic amounts. Similarly, the dandelion plant taken as a vegetable, in moderate amounts is not toxic.

However, we should consider that dandelion leaves, which can be eaten as a vegetable, are rich in oxalates so, taken in large quantity, can cause damage to the body.

Poisoning have also been reported in children from eating dandelion stems. These stalks contain much latex. The dandelion latex is rich in alpha-and beta-lactucerol (taraxasterol) with irritant properties.

We should note that dandelion has certain contraindications and side effects that should be known before initiating treatment with this herb. (More information in the listing below)

What are the symptoms of poisoning with dandelion?

Dandelion flowers
Dandelion flowers

Eating lots of dandelion leaves may produce symptoms of oxalates poisoning. Among them, the more frequent symptoms are the following:

  • Irritation of the mouth, throat or stomach.
  • Great thirst,
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea,
  • Respiratory problems

We must also consider that foods rich in oxalate inhibit the absorption of minerals like magnesium, copper, iron and calcium. Therefore, eating frequently abundant dandelion leaves could produce some lack of these minerals.

Is dandelion toxic to animals?

It is believed that this plant, when ingested in high amounts, can be toxic to many animals for the presence of phytoestrogens that affect reproduction. Among the most particularly affected, we can find sheep, cows, pigs, horses, rabbits and birds.

However, when offered in small quantities, dandelion has very positive effects in ruminants, because it increases their milk production and favors fattening

Dandelion properties drawing
Dandelion properties

punto rojo More information on dandelion

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

3 August, 2021

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