Dandelion greens – Taraxacum officinale

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Dandelion-greens-–-Taraxacum-officinale

Dandelion greens Quick Facts
Name: Dandelion greens
Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale
Origin Eurasia but have been introduced to North America, India, South America, New Zealand and Australia.
Colors Dark green
Shapes Oblanceolate, oblong or obovate; irregular, jagged tooth-shaped edges, Length: 6-40 cm, Width: 0.7-15 cm
Taste Earthy, nutty and bitter
Calories 25 Kcal. Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin K (356.75%)
Vitamin A (39.86%)
Vitamin C (21.33%)
Iron (21.25%)
Vitamin E (12.60%)
Health benefits Strong bones, Liver health, Lowers diabetes, Diuretic action, Skin health
Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, is a small genus of perennial herb in the Asteraceae family. Dandelion is native to Eurasia but has been introduced to North America, India, South America, New Zealand and Australia.

In general appearance, Dandelion is reminiscent of Agoseris and is sometimes called Blowball, Fairy Clock, Lion’s-Tooth and Faceclock. Like Agoseris the plants are mostly stemless, the leaves form a basal rosette and contain a milky sap. The flower stalks bears a single, erect and feathery flower head that possess many white bristles. The flower head is 2 to 5 cm in diameter. The fruit is cypselae between 2-3 mm in diameter.

History

Dandelions are the oldest plant on the planet. The Dandelions are believed to be appeared in Eurasia about thirty million years ago. This plant has been used by humans as food and medicinal plant.

Plant

Dandelions are herbaceous and perennial plants which grows up to 40 cm high. The stem is light green to white which contains the milky sap. It is smooth and grows 5-40 cm (2.0-15.7 inch) high. They have irregular leaves that are oblanceolate, oblong or obovate with jagged tooth-shaped edges, 6-40 cm long and 0.7-15 cm wide. The leaves are dark green with smooth or glabrous texture. The plant bears yellow to orange flowers during spring and fall. The flowers are disk shaped, feathery and 2-5 cm in diameter. The fruit of Dandelions is called cypselae which are obovoid, ribbed and 3 mm long. The fruit is olive-green or olive-brown to greyish in color. Each fruit possess white and single seeds.

Edible parts of the plants

Buds: The buds are eaten in omelettes, pancakes, fritters and schnapps.

Petals: Dandelion petals are served with rice as confetti over rice.

Flowers, leaves and roots: The young flowers are added to salad for flavor and colour. The flowers are used as ingredient in Arabic cake. The flowers can be made as jam. Dandelion flowers are used to make wines. The flowers, leaves and roots are used to make tea. Young leaves are consumed as salads. The stalks of blanched leaf are eaten raw or cooked as vegetable.

Seeds: The sprouted seeds are used in salads.

Roots: The roots are consumed raw or cooked. The roasted roots are used to make dandelion coffee.

Nutritional Value

The serving size of 1 cup (55 gm) provides 25 calories. The same amount provides 356.75% of Vitamin K, 39.86% of Vitamin A, 21.33% of Vitamin C, 21.25% of Iron, 1.89 mg of Vitamin E, 0.143 mg of Vitamin B2 and 0.138 mg of Vitamin B6.

Health Benefits of Dandelion leaves

The leaves of dandelion possess various antioxidants that have positive effect on the health. The entire plant contains high amount of kynurenic acid which is essential to maintain the digestive health. It has the ability to reduce irritation and redness. Dandelion greens possess high amount of fiber which assist bowel movements. It also contains good amount of Vitamin B6 and C, riboflavin, iron, thiamin, manganese and potassium. The other nutrients include magnesium, copper, phosphorus and folate.

  1. Strong bones

Dandelions possess high amount of calcium which is vital for the bone growth and strength. It contains antioxidants such as Luteolin and Vitamin C that prevent bones from damage due to free radicals. It prevents bone weakness, frailty and decrease in density. (1)

  1. Liver health

Dandelion contains the antioxidants such as Luteloin and Vitamin C which helps to maintain the liver function and cures the liver hemorrhage. It assists to maintain the bile flow, enhance liver and promote digestion. It lowers the chances of constipation that reduces the chances of gastrointestinal issues. (2)

  1. Lowers diabetes

The juice of Dandelion assists the diabetic patients to stimulate the insulin production from pancreas by keeping low level of blood sugar. It enhances the urination in diabetic patients which eliminates the excess sugar from the body. It prevents the deposition of sugar in the kidneys by promoting the urination. It prevents the harmful spikes and plunges in diabetic patients. (3)

  1. Diuretic action

The diuretic properties in Dandelion remove the toxic elements from the kidneys and urinary tract. The disinfectant properties prevent the microbial growth in urinary tract. (4)

  1. Skin health

­The sap of Dandelion helps to treat the skin ailments which are the result of fungal and microbial infections. The sap is high in alkaline and possess insecticidal, germicidal and fungicidal properties. The sap could be applied on eczema, ringworm, itches and other skin conditions without any side effects. (5)

  1. Reduce acne

The juice of Dandelion is a great diuretic, detoxifier, antioxidant and stimulant which are effective to treat acne. Dandelion juice helps to regulate the hormone secretion by increasing sweat and open up pores. This helps to remove the toxins in the form of urine and sweat. The external application of Dandelion sap prevents the microbial infection and reduces the acne. As it possess Vitamin C, it also speeds up the healing process by eliminating red inflammation and scars. (6)

  1. Helps to lose weight

Urine contains about 4% fat so more urination leads to losing of more water as well as fats from the body. As Dandelions are diuretic, it enhances urination and assists to lose weight without any side effects. Additionally, Dandelions contains low calories. It is also used as sweeteners as it does not contain unhealthy sugar. (7)

  1. Prevent cancer

Vitamin C and Luteolin are the antioxidants which are found in Dandelions that helps to eradicate free radicals from the body. This also reduces the chances of cancer. It helps to detoxify the body and prevent the development of tumors and cancers. Luteolin renders the development of cancer cells. It also effectively helps with prostate cancer. (8)

  1. Treats jaundice

Dandelion is effective to counteract the jaundice and helps to cure it. It enhances the health of the liver and regulates the production of bile. It has diuretic properties that enhance the urination which helps to remove the excess bile. Luteolin and Vitamin C acts and an antioxidant and disinfectant which counteracts with the viral infections. It is effective to take with sugarcane juice because it replace the sugar that is reduced with the impact of excess bile. (9)

  1. Gall bladder function

Dandelions are effective to promote the function of liver and gall bladder. It also prevents the infections and oxidants. It regulates the secretion of both organs.

  1. Prevent constipation

Dandelion is rich in fiber which aids digestion and good intestinal health. It enhances the bowel movements as it adds bulk to the stool and reduces the constipation and diarrhea. It prevents the gastrointestinal issues by regulating the bowel movements. It also soothes the stomach. It enhances the appetite.

  1. Treats anemia

Dandelion provides good amount of vitamin, iron and proteins. Iron is a vital part of hemoglobin. Protein and Vitamin B is essential for the RBC formation and other blood components. It assist the anemic patients to improve their condition. (10)

  1. Maintains blood pressure

Dandelion juice helps to increase the frequency and quantity of urination which helps to reduce the blood pressure. The fiber helps to reduce the cholesterol which increases the blood pressure. The presence of high amount of potassium effectively reduces the blood pressure by replacing sodium. (11)

Traditional uses

  • Dandelion is used to treat health ailments such as heartburn, dyspepsia, anorexia, liver and spleen complaints, hepatitis and.
  • The root is cholagogue, diuretic, depurative, antipyretic, hepatic, galactagogue, detoxicant, stomachic, laxative and tonic.
  • In herbal medicine, dandelion is used for choleretic, anti-inflammatory, laxative, appetite stimulating and diuretic properties.
  • The root is also used as an antibiotic against yeast infection.
  • Dandelion is used as a mild laxative in habitual constipation and as a tonic in atonic dyspepsia.
  • The root acts as a gastrointestinal remedy which supports liver and digestion function.
  • The tea which is made from dandelion root, balm herb, parsley root and liquorice root helps to treat gallstones.
  • The leaf is used as a digestive stimulant and diuretic.
  • The plant is used to treat urinary and gall bladder disorders, gallstones, cirrhosis, jaundice, dyspepsia, high blood pressure, heart weakness, chronic joint, gout, eczema, boils and acne.
  • In Derbyshire, the juice of stalk is used to eliminate warts.
  • The decoction made from leaf decoction is used to treat anaemia, nervousness and jaundice.
  • The leaves are crushed and applied on lesions, insect and snake bites.
  • In Jordan folk medicine, Dandelion is used to treat chronic constipation, panophthalmitis and diabetes.
  • In Iran, Dandelion is used as an aid for Anaemia, providing immune modulation and purifying blood.
  • Dandelion is used in Korean herbal medicine to promote health and energy levels.

Dandelion greens – Taraxacum officinale Facts

Dandelion greens are toothed leaves which yield yellow flower. The central hollow stem yields the leaves that may be green or red. It possesses a distinct, assertive flavor which is tangy and bitter. The younger leaves are mild and tender whereas the larger leaves are fibrous and bitter. The plant contains a white and milky juice.

Name Dandelion greens
Scientific Name Taraxacum officinale
Native Eurasia but have been introduced to North America, India, South America, New Zealand and Australia.
Common/English Name Blowball, Cankerwort, Broad-Lobed Dandelion, Faceclock, Common Dandelion, Fairy Clock, Dandelion, Lion’s-Tooth, Irish Daisy, Pissabed, Priest’s Crown, Milk Gowan, Swine’s Snout, Puffball,
Telltime, Wild Endive, Wet-A-Bed
Name in Other Languages Albanian: Luleshurdha;
Brazil: Taraxaco;
Chinese: Pu Cong Ying Yao Pu Cong Ying;
Czech: Smetánka Lékařská;
Danish: Fandens Mælkebøtte;
Dutch: Molsla;
Esperanto: Ofta Leontodo;
Estonian: Harilik Võilill;
Finnish: Voikukka;
French: Dent De Lion;
German: Lampe;
Greek: Agrioradiko;
Hawaiian: Laulele;
Hungarian: Pitypáng;
Icelandic: Fífl arætur;
India:-
Bengali: Pitachumki,
Dogri: Phull – Dudhi,
Hindi: Dudhal,
Lahaul: Quanti,
Malayalam: Dugddhapheni,
Sanskrit: Lootari,
Spiti: Sarkhen Mentok,
Telugu: Patri;
Indonesia: Jombang;
Italian: Piscacane;
Japanese: Seiyou Tanpopo;
Korean: P’ogongyong;
Nepalese: Tuki Phul;
Norwegian: Griseblom;
Pakistan: Dhudhal;
Polish: Mniszek Pospolity;
Portuguese: Taraxaco;
Russian: Oduvanchik Lekarstvennyi;
Slovašcina: Regrat;
Slovencina: Púpava Lekárska;
Spanish: Pelosilla;
Swedish: Maskros;
Turkish: Karahindiba;
Vietnam: Bồ Công Anh Lùn;
Welsh: Dant Y Llew
Plant Growth Habit Perennial, herbaceous plants
Growing Climate Mediterranean, desert, subtropical, temperate and tropic climate
Soil Loamy
Plant Size 40 cm
Root Dark brown roots, tuberous tap root
Stem Smooth, light green-white, Height: 5-40 cm (2.0-15.7 inch)
Leaf shape and size Oblanceolate, oblong or obovate; irregular, jagged tooth-shaped edges, Length: 6-40 cm, Width: 0.7-15 cm
Leaf color Dark green
Leaf texture Smooth or glabrous
Leaf taste Earthy, nutty and bitter
Leaf aroma/ flavor Distinct, assertive
Flowering Season Spring and fall
Flower Yellow-orange; disk shaped, feathery;  Diameter: 2-5 cm
Fruit shape & size Obovoid, ribbed; Length: 3 mm
Fruit color Olive-green or olive-brown to greyish
Seed White, single seeded
Major Nutritions Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 428.1 µg (356.75%)
Vitamin A, RAE 279 µg (39.86%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 19.2 mg (21.33%)
Iron, Fe 1.7 mg (21.25%)
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 1.89 mg (12.60%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.143 mg (11.00%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.138 mg (10.62%)
Copper, Cu 0.094 mg (10.44%)
Calcium, Ca 103 mg (10.30%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.104 mg (8.67%)
Health Benefits
  • Strong bones
  • Liver health
  • Lowers diabetes
  • Diuretic action
  • Skin health
  • Reduce acne
  • Helps to lose weight
  • Prevent cancer
  • Treats jaundice
  • Gall bladder function
  • Prevent constipation
  • Treats anemia
  • Maintains blood pressure
Calories in 1cup (55 gm) 25 Kcal.
Precautions
  • Some might experience an allergic reaction or mouth sores by touching dandelion.
  • Those allergic to ragweed, marigold, chrysanthemums, yarrow, daisies, chamomile and iodine should avoid dandelion.
  • Some might experience heartburn, stomach acid and skin irritation.
  • The people having gallbladder problems or kidney problems should consult the doctor before consuming dandelion.
  • Dandelion might interact with anti-diabetic drug, antihypertensive, quinolone and diuretic antibiotics.
How to Eat
  • Dandelion greens could be boiled, stir fried and sautéed.
  • Fresh Dandelion greens could be added to salads.
  • They are added to soups, sandwiches and other side dishes.
  • The leaves are used like lettuce or fried like other vegetables.
  • The young leaves are used to make sandwiches.
  • The dried dandelion leaves are added as ingredient in herb beers and diet drinks.

Dandelion greens (Taraxacum officinale)Scientific Classification

Scientific name Taraxacum officinale
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheobionta
Order Asteralaes
Family Compositae / Asteraceae
Genus Taraxacum F.H. Wigg.
Species Taraxacum officinale F.H. Wigg.
Super division Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Sub Class Asteridae

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