What is Dandelion Root?
A dandelion root comes from the long tap root of the Taraxacum officinale genus of the Asteraceae family of plants.
Above the ground, all people can see is a cluster of bright green leaves with sharp, toothy edges that lie fairly flat against the grass that usually surrounds it.
In the center, just one small flower that is no more than a few inches high stands on a fragile stem.
Unlike other species of flowers, this one never comes in any other color but yellow.
That is because it reproduces asexually without the need for cross-pollination, which allows it to produce identical genetic copies of itself.
After blooming for a short time, the flower shrivels up and replaced by a round ball of seeds.
These seeds get carried away by the wind or spread across wide terrains by children who have fun blowing them all over while they make a wish.
Both the flower and its leaves are edible. But, the benefits of the humble dandelion come from the the long taproot found below the surface.
It’s dug up, dried, made into a powder or dandelion root tea.
Uses of Dandelion Root
Dandelion and its root are used in a variety of different ways for a variety of various reasons.
The Chinese have used dandelion in herbal combinations to treat hepatitis B infections. One case study reported that the combination of herbs was beneficial to 96 adults suffering from chronic hepatitis B infections. 
One study found that dandelion root extract has anti-oxidative potentials and helps eliminate free radicals from damaging cells. 
Benefits of Dandelion Root
Just as early Americans used to boil dandelion and use the herb as medicine, the Chinese used it to treat appendicitis and Europeans used it to treat much more common issues like fever, boils, diarrhea, and diabetes. 
One study found dandelion root to be a great source of natural antimicrobial compounds. 
Another study found that the root and leaf might protect against oxidative stress which is associated with atherosclerosis.
High Blood Pressure
Dandelion root doesn’t have hormonal effects influencing muscle size or strength. However, it may reduce bloating and puffiness. 
Kidney, Bladder, and Urinary Tract Infections
Bacteria not being flushed out of the body through urination is one of the causes of kidney, bladder, and urinary tract infections. Sometimes, this is due to the organs not functioning properly because of a disease. But, in a healthy person, this is generally not an issue. 
Dandelion Root and Weight Loss
Dandelion helps improve health, but what about weight loss? 
One study even reported weight-loss in mice following administration of Taraxacum due to its diuretic actions. 
Because this plant contains diuretic properties, it is directly linked to weight-loss by triggering a reduction of fluids. 
Studies show dandelion root increases frequency of urination, while reducing symptoms of constipation, intestinal cramping and diarrhea. 
However, dandelion root did have a positive effects of weight management.
Dandelion Root Side Effects
Dandelion root side effects may include:
- Allergic reaction
- Upset stomach
- Increased urination
The Bottom Line on Dandelion Root
It is clear that this plant is generally safe to eat. However, as a weight-loss supplement, it may lack any benefit other than causing a laxative effect. The root, stem or dandelion tea provides essential vitamins and minerals.
Dandelion root is a fantastic herbal remedy to have on hand at all times. So feel free to use it in a tea, tincture, coffee, or supplement form whenever you are struggling with bloating, poor digestion, high blood pressure, or vitamin deficiencies. 
Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.