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Taraxacum officinale

Botanical Name: Taraxacum officinale FH Wigg, Taraxacum officinale - Weber
Synonym: Taraxacum vulgare - Schrank
Family: Compositae
Nepali Name: Karnaphuli, Tukiphul, Dudhejhar
Sanskrit Name: Dugdhapheni
Englaish Name: Bitterwort

Descripton: A perennial herb consisting of an underground, long, straight, tapering, fl eshy brown root, which is continued upward as a simple or branched rhizome. From the rhizome arises a rosette (a circular cluster ) of bright-green runcinate (saw-toothed divisions directed backward) leaves and later, from the centre of the rosette, a hollow scape, 6–30 cm high bearing on its summit a broad orange-yellow head of ligulate fl owers.
Fruits are  greenish-brown,  terminating in a slender stalk crowned by a silky,  spreading pappus, and borne on a globular fruiting head

Major chemical constituents
The characteristic constituents are sesquiterpenes, including the bitter eudesmanolides tetrahydroridentin B and taraxacolide β-d-glucopyranoside; and the germacranolides, taraxinic acid β-d-glucopyranoside and 11,13- dihydrotaraxic acid β-d-glucopyranoside. Also present are the phydroxyphenylacetic acid derivative, taraxacoside; the triterpenes, taraxasterol, ψ-taraxasterol and taraxerol; and inulin (2–40%) . Representative structures are presented below.

Parts used:
Root and Rhizome

Uses:
As a galactagogue (promotes the secretion of milk), laxative (agent for relieving constipation) and tonic. Treatment of boils and sores, diabetes, fever, inflammation of the eye, insomnia (Sleeplessness), sore throat, lung abscess, jaundice, rheumatism and urinary tract infections.(1)

-It is especially effective and valuable as a diuretic (increasing the volume of the urine excreted) because it contains high levels of potassium salts and therefore can replace the potassium that is lost from the body when diuretics are used (2)

-The root is also experimentally cholagogue (promoting the flow of bile), hypoglycaemic (lower the blood glucose level) and a weak antibiotic against yeast infections (3)

-The latex contained in the plant sap can be used to remove corns, warts

--The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci, Meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, Proteus etc.

Contraindications
It  is contraindicated in obstruction of the biliary or intestinal tract, and acute gallbladder infl ammation. In case of gallbladder disease, It should only be used under the supervision of a health-care professional (4)

Dose: Powder: 500 mg -1 gm
Decontion: 25-50 ml

Reference:
1.Farnsworth NR, ed. NAPRALERT database. Chicago, IL, University of Illinois at Chicago, 9 February 2001 production
2.Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. 1995 ISBN 0-7513-020-31
3.Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. 1990 ISBN 0395467225///// Dhar ML et al. Screening of Indian plants for biological activity: part 1.
Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 1968, 6:232–247.
4. Blumenthal M et al., eds. The complete German Commission E monographs.
Austin, TX, American Botanical Council, 1998.




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