Is Dandelion Safe During Pregnancy? Root, Tea and Leaf Guide

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Written by Gina Wagg BA, Dip.

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Dandelion root, tea and leaves have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, including for pregnant women.

Dandelion tea and leaves can be safe to consume while pregnant, but they may require consultation with your health professional. Dandelion root has not been studied as extensively and therefore cannot be recommended as definitively safe or not in pregnancy.

Dandelion leaves can be used as food, and the tea has many health benefits, some of which are specific to pregnant women.

There’s also some things to watch out for when you’re pregnant, and we’ll dive into that, too.

Is Dandelion Tea Safe During Pregnancy?

Dandelion leaves are rich in several vitamins, plus calcium and iron (source: Nutrition Data).

The American Pregnancy Association lists dandelion as an herb that requires more research as well as discussion with your healthcare provider to determine if it is safe for you to consume dandelion, as it is quite a potent herb (Source: APA).

All parts of the dandelion can be used for tea. The flowers tend to make the sweetest dandelion tea, but roots are the most common ingredient.

Dandelion tea can be made with fresh plants, dried, or roasted ones.

Dandelion tea is promoted widely as a tonic and diuretic and some say that it can help with infections and digestive troubles, but we actually know very little about the health of dandelions as there is not a lot of scientific evidence (Source: NIH).

Generally speaking, the use of dandelion in small amounts such as those found in food is considered to be safe.

For example, dandelion-flavored vinegar, salad dressings and other sauces. However, less is known about consuming large amounts of it.

If you’ve already been eating the leaves or having the occasional cup of dandelion tea, there’s probably no cause for concern as these are small food amounts that are unlikely to be harmful.

Some people are allergic, so if you are allergic to related plants such as marigolds, ragweed, chrysanthemums and daisies, you are better off avoiding dandelion altogether (Source: NIH).

It is worth knowing some of the other names for dandelion so that you can look for them on labels to know what you’re consuming. Dandelion also goes by the names of:

  • Clock flower
  • Taraxacum
  • Cankerwort
  • Bitterwort
  • Irish daisy
  • Priest’s crown
  • Lion’s tooth
  • Telltime
  • Swine’s snout
  • Puffball,
  • Yellow gowan

Plus many others. That’s quite a list! (Source: OARDC).

Dandelion doesn’t just appear on its own, but is also in many tea blends. Common ingredients in dandelion tea are:

Red raspberry leaf. Red raspberry leaf is listed as likely or possibly safe to consume in pregnancy and is rich in iron. You can read our complete guide to red raspberry leaf during pregnancy here.

Chamomile (German). German chamomile is high in magnesium and calcium and is often added to dandelion tea, and is also listed as possibly safe. Check with your health professional before drinking chamomile while pregnant.

Nettles (Stinging Nettles). Nettles are high in many minerals and is often used as an all-round pregnancy tonic, but some sources say nettles are not safe to consume during pregnancy whereas others encourage it because of the health benefits.

Consult with your doctor to see if nettles can work for you in pregnancy – you can read our pregnancy nettle article here too.

Dandelion tea

What’s the Best Dandelion tea for Pregnancy?

If you do choose to drink dandelion tea, look for organic tea with flavorings and other ingredients that are pregnancy-safe.

Here are a few good quality dandelion teas you can choose from:

  • The Republic of Tea Organic Dandelion Superherb Herbal Tea
  • Dandy Blend Instant Herbal Beverage with Dandelion
  • Traditional Medicinals Dandelion Leaf & Root Herbal Teas
  • Traditional Medicinals Roasted Dandelion Root
  • Yogi Tea Roasted Dandelion Spice DeTox

Note: A popular brand is the Raw Organic Dandelion Root Tea, but this tea is not safe to consume while pregnant as it contains hibiscus which is a known uterine stimulant (Source: ARYA).

Is Dandelion Root Safe In Pregnancy?

There is not enough scientific evidence to provide a definitive answer as to whether dandelion root is safe during pregnancy.

To be on the safe side, check with your medical practitioner before consuming dandelion root while pregnant.

This is best whether you are consuming the root in the form of a tea, as a supplement, or as a food (e.g., steamed dandelion roots which can be cooked and served as a vegetable).

You may also come across dandelion roots in dandelion ‘chai’, dandelion root ‘coffee’, or even dandelion kombucha.

Herbal supplements in particular are discouraged during pregnancy, as there is not enough evidence of safety available (Source: OG).

Can Dandelion Reduce Pregnancy Swelling?

There is some scientific evidence that dandelion can act as a diuretic and can therefore help reduce swelling caused by excess water in the body.

However, the existing results are only based on a single study, so more research is needed to come to a definitive conclusion (Source: JACM).

If this is something you’re suffering from in particular, you might want to read our guide to foods that can reduce pregnancy swelling – there are lots of safe options there!

fresh dandelion greens on a plate

Can I Eat Dandelion Greens (Leaves) When Pregnant?

Dandelion greens, shoots and leaves are often found in salad mixes that you can buy at the store.

These small amounts of dandelion mixed in with other foods is generally considered safe to eat while pregnant, but there is not scientific evidence to back this up (Source: NIH).

Some common foods containing dandelion leaves or greens are:

  • Braised or sauteed dandelion greens
  • Dandelion salad (using the raw leaves mixed with other salad greens like watercress and rocket)
  • Dandelion fritters (made using the flower heads and sometimes leaves too)
  • Dandelion jelly (typically using the flower heads)
  • Dandelion pesto (blitzing the raw leaves in a food processor with parmesan cheese and olive oil)
  • Dandelion soup
  • Dandelion smoothies (a few leaves are tossed into the blender with spinach, mango, water and other ingredients as part of a smoothie)

If you choose to eat raw dandelion greens, be sure to wash them thoroughly to eliminate bacteria and pesticides.

There are studies that show dandelions that might be beneficial in pregnancy, such as a digestive stimulant, anti-inflammation, prebiotic, and an insulin stimulant. However, more research is needed here too to confirm benefits and effectiveness (Source: CUP).

You can also find dandelion in body care products. For example, dandelion infused oil is a known home treatment for sore joints.

There are also dandelion lotion bars, dandelion lip balms, sunscreens, body lotions, bath bombs, and other products. Most of these are OK in pregnancy, but check the other ingredients to make sure they are pregnancy safe.

Can I Drink Dandelion and Burdock During Pregnancy?

Dandelion and Burdock is a popular drink in the UK and other countries. It used to be made from fermented dandelion and burdock leaves, but that’s very rarely the case these days.

Dandelion and burdock is usually safe for pregnant women to drink because modern versions don’t have any dandelion or burdock in it! Instead, it’s usually artificially flavored.

If you’re drinking these sweet, fizzy drinks, you can read our guide to whether pregnant women can drink soda – including some health considerations.

You may also find dandelion in drinks, such as dandelion wine or mead which is made by infusing the flowers. Dandelion sodas are popular, too, but check the label as many brands can be full of sugar.

Dandelion and burdock is a common blend for a mixer recipe, but burdock is to be avoided during pregnancy as it can act as a uterine stimulant that could hasten childbirth (Source: WileyLibrary).

Most drinks with ‘burdock’ in the name rarely contain the real thing, so check the ingredients first. For more on burdock during pregnancy, see our dedicated article.

Can Dandelion Leaves Be Used as a Pregnancy Test?

There are various blogs on the internet that promote using dandelion leaves as a pregnancy test.

You are supposed to pour a urine sample over a few dandelion leaves laid out on a plastic sheet, wait 10 minutes, and then see if the leaves turn reddish-brown.

However, there is no scientific evidence that backs up the validity of dandelion as a pregnancy a test, so you are better off purchasing a standard pregnancy test – or visiting your doctor to get tested – to be 100% sure!

Overall, while all parts of the dandelion plant are edible, it isn’t always advisable to consume dandelion without first checking with your health practitioner.

Small amounts of dandelion tea are likely to be fine – but it’s better to check anything stronger than that.