Traditionally, dandelion is also used to improve appetite, digestion and liver/kidney function. It also has mild laxative effects.
In-vitro and animal studies have revealed potential therapeutic uses for dandelion. For example, some evidence suggests dandelion may have anti-diabetic activity due to the ability of extracts to inhibit alpha-glucosidase activity (similar to certain anti-diabetic drugs).
Likewise, altered liver antioxidant activities, reduced blood glucose levels and improved lipid profiles in diabetic rats. Dandelion may also increase the flow of bile.
In addition, extracts have potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-enhancing effects. These are very preliminary results, however: much more work needs to be done before dandelion can be recommended as a treatment for human diseases.