— Christine M. Kukka, Project Manager, HBV Advocate
Dandelions—viewed by many as a pesky weed—may become an effective treatment for hepatitis B, according to a recent Chinese study published in the January issue of Molecular Medicine Reports.
Dandelions are full of vitamins, including A, B, C and D, and in the past dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat a wide array of stomach problems.
In a laboratory, researchers treated animal liver cells with dandelion (Taraxacum mongolicum) and found the compound protected the injured liver cells and also inhibited HBV DNA replication.
“The results demonstrate the potent antiviral effect of Taraxacum mongolicum against HBV,” they wrote. This protective effect may be achieved by its ability to reduce liver cell damage and its antiviral properties may block HBV DNA replication, they concluded, supporting the traditional use of dandelions in the treatment of hepatitis.