Dandelions can be a weed, but they also have reported beneficial effects on the body. The yellow flowers are also made into wine. Dandelion roots are used in beverages that are consumed as a substitute for coffee and the leaves are tasty in salads and herbal teas. But in France, this plant is known as "pis-en-lit" (wet the bed), which refers to its diuretic properties that can cause accidents if taken close to bedtime.
Dandelion leaves, whether cooked or raw, have a decided diuretic effect on the human body. Diuretics can be a desirable thing if you are retaining water, but make sure you are close to a bathroom after you eat this plant's leaves.
Skin Irritation and Allergies
Allergic reactions can occur in some people when they touch dandelion leaves and mouth sores can sometimes occur if you eat this plant. Those who are allergic to chrysanthemums, marigolds, yarrow, daisies, ragweed or chamomile might expect to suffer an allergic reaction to dandelion as well. If you have a known allergy to any of these other plants, do not use skin products that contain any part of the dandelion plant.
Dandelion can cause some individuals to experience an increase in stomach acid and resulting heartburn. Dandelion can also have adverse effects on those who suffer from gallstones and other gall bladder ailments.
Interaction With Prescription Drugs
Because dandelion is a strong diuretic, it can cause drugs in the human body to be excreted faster than they should. Beware of eating dandelion or taking any products containing this plant if you are taking lithium, antibiotics or antacids. The Chinese dandelion has been implicated in causing decreased absorption of quinolone antibiotics from the human digestive system. Do not take dandelion in combination with prescription diuretics or other drugs that have a diuretic effect. It can also affect blood sugar levels, so those on diabetic medications should avoid dandelion root.
Dandelion root can cause mild diarrhea if you take it in large quantities.