What Is Pu Gong Ying (Dandelion or Taraxacum)

Pu Gong Ying is also known as Dandelion or Taraxacum, which is a perennial herb belonging to the family Asteraceae. It is a relatively common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Tang Ben Cao> in 659 AD.

Dandelion comes from French dent-de-lion, which means the lion’s teeth and is used to describe the shape of the dandelion leaves.

There are about 2,000 species of this genus, most of which are distributed in temperate and subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The Pu Gong Ying referred to herein is Taraxacum mongolicum and Taraxacum borealisinense. All parts of these two plants can be made into medicine.

Taraxacum mongolicum is easy to reproduce and often grows on hillsides, grasslands, fields, and river beaches at medium or low altitudes. It is distributed in China, North Korea, Russia, Mongolia.

Taraxacum borealisinense often grows in a slightly humid saline land or field at an altitude of 300-2,900 meters. It is distributed in some countries in Asia.

Every summer and autumn, people gather all parts of Taraxacum mongolicum or Taraxacum borealisinense, wash them with water, cut them into sections, use them directly, or dry them in the sun, and make them into Chinese herbs.

Pu Gong Ying contains luteolin, quercetin, apigenin, rutin, artemetin, genkwanin, hesperetin, hesperidin, taraxerol, taraxasterol, β-amyrin, α-amyrin, β-sitosterol, daucosterol, coumarin, organic acids, and volatile oils.

According to <Tang Ben Cao>, the medicinal property of Pu Gong Ying is relatively cold, with a bitter and sweet taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the liver and stomach meridians.

In Chinese medicine, Pu Gong Ying is often used to clear heat and remove toxin, alleviate swelling and dissipate indurated mass, drain dampness and promote urination, treat acute mastitis, pulmonary abscess, acute appendicitis, acute jaundice hepatitis, cholecystitis, gastric and duodenal ulcers, pelvic inflammation, urinary stones, pediatric heat type constipation and a variety of infectious inflammation.

There are more than 200 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions containing Pu Gong Ying, such as Fu Fang Qing Dai Wan, Zhen Zhu An Chuang Wan, and Chuan Xin Lian Kang Yan Pian.

Health benefits of Pu Gong Ying

  • Anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, and anti-tumor.
  • Enhancing macrophage phagocytosis and improving immunity.
  • Inhibiting the accumulation of fat in the liver and protecting the liver.
  • Inhibiting the activity of α-glucosidase and reducing blood sugar and blood lipids.
  • Promoting bile secretion and inhibiting gastric acid secretion induced by histamine, pentagastrin, or carbamoylcholine.
  • Promoting lactation, eliminating breast lumps, relieving breast swelling and pain, and treating acute mastitis.
  • Removing heat toxins and relieving skin ulcers and carbuncles caused by heat toxins.
  • Alleviating swelling and dissipating indurated mass, treating pulmonary abscess and acute appendicitis.
  • Draining dampness and treating jaundice caused by damp-heat.
  • Promoting urination and relieving frequent urination, urgency, difficult and painful urination caused by damp-heat.
  • Clearing liver heat, improving eyesight, and alleviating redness and swelling of the eyes caused by the up-flaming of liver fire.
  • Inhibiting enterovirus 71, herpes simplex virus, hepatitis C virus, influenza A H1N1 virus.
  • Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus haemolyticus, Diplococcus pneumoniae, neisseria meningitidis, Diphtheria bacillus, F’s dysentery bacillus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Leptospira.
  • The topical application after mashing it can treat snake bites.

Pu Gong Ying is used with other Chinese herbs

Side effects of Pu Gong Ying

Pu Gong Ying can be eaten with almost no side effects. Taking it in large doses may cause mild diarrhea.

A small proportion of patients taking it may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, heartburn, itching or urticaria

A small proportion of patients taking its medicinal liquor may cause dizziness, nausea, sweating, urticaria, or conjunctivitis. The symptoms will gradually disappear after stopping taking it.

Intravenous infusion of dandelion injection in individual patients may cause shivers and pale face.

Intramuscular injection of dandelion injection may cause local pain.

Precautions of Pu Gong Ying

  • The dosage of Pu Gong Ying should be controlled between 9-15g.
  • When using fresh Pu Gong Ying, the dose should be doubled.
  • It can be made into decoction, pills, powders, injections or mashed for external use.
  • People without syndromes of excess heat should not take it.
  • People with deficiency-cold in spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • People with loose stools and diarrhea should not take it.
  • Pregnant women should not take it.