Edible Dandelion Greens
Dandelion greens are edible and a rich source of vitamin A. The dandelion flower has antioxidant properties. Dandelion may also help improve the immune system and dandelion root is a good source of potassium.
The dandelion's other names are also descriptive. "The devil's milk pail" refers to the sticky white sap that oozes from the broken root, used to remove warts and treat other skin ailments. "Swine's snout" describes the closed blossom. "Puffball" is exactly the right name for the fly-away seeds. And "monk's head" is a good way of describing the smooth, bald head that pokes up out of the grass after the seeds have blown away.
Edible Dandelion: Root and Leaves
A plant in which every part is edible, dandelions are packed full of health benefits. They help to slow the digestive system which helps a person to feel fuller for a longer period of time. In addition to its antioxidant properties, dandelions also contain crystalline compounds that are bitter. These include taracerin, inulin, taraxacin and levulin, and are thought to be behind many of the plant's therapeutic benefits. Dandelions contain fiber, beta carotene and vitamin K1 as well as other vitamins and minerals.
What Dandelion Is Used For
- Dandelion has been used in many traditional medical systems, including Native American and traditional Arabic medicine.
- Historically, dandelion was most commonly used to treat liver diseases, kidney diseases, and spleen problems. Less commonly, dandelion was used to treat digestive problems and skin conditions.
- Today, dandelion is used by some as a liver or kidney "tonic," as a diuretic, and for minor digestive problems (such as feelings of fullness, flatulence, and constipation). When you're PMS-ing or ate too much salty popcorn, drink dandeloin root tea or pop one to three capsules of dandelion root (see below) a day until you are feeling like your old self again.
How Dandelion Is Used
The leaves and roots of the dandelion, or the whole plant, are used fresh or dried in teas, capsules, or extracts. Dandelion leaves are used in salads or as a cooked green, and the flowers are used to make wine.
Chinese medicinal practitioners traditionally used dandelion to treat digestive disorders, appendicitis, and breast problems (such as inflammation or lack of milk flow).
In Europe, herbalists incorporated it into remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.
Today, dandelion roots are mainly used as an appetite stimulant, digestive aid, and for liver and gallbladder function. Dandelion leaves are used as a diuretic to stimulate the excretion of urine.
Side Effects and Cautions
If you have an allergy to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion. In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin if applied topically.
- Dandelion use is generally considered safe. However, there have been rare reports of upset stomach and diarrhea, and some people are allergic to the plant.
- People with an inflamed or infected gallbladder, or blocked bile ducts, should avoid using dandelion.
- It is important to inform your health care providers about any herb or dietary supplement you are using, including dandelion. This helps to ensure safe and coordinated care.
Dandelion Root provides you with a natural diuretic (removes unnecessary water). Is rich in vitamins A, B complex, C, and D and contains potassium, iron, zinc, and calcium. Dandelion Root is a 100 percent-pure and natural herb.
It gives one a sudden start in going down a barren, stony street, to see upon a narrow strip of grass, just within the iron fence, the radiant dandelion, shining in the grass, like a spark dropped from the sun. - Henry Ward Beecher
"Roses are red, Violets are blue; But they don't get around Like the dandelions do." - Slim Acres
See also: Dandelion as an Herb
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