- The word “dandelion” comes from the French name for the plant, dent-de-lion, which means “teeth of the lion” and refers to the jagged edges of the leaf of the plant.
- Every year, 55 tons of a coffee substitute made from roasted dandelion roots are sold in England, Australia and Canada.
- Dandelions are important for bees: they are a key source of nectar, as they flower early and continue flowering right into the fall.
- Dandelion seeds are food for many small birds.
- Another French name is pis-en-lit, which means “wet the bed.” This comes from the fact that when dandelion greens are eaten, they remove water from the body.
- The leaves contain almost as much iron as spinach (the first powerfood), and four times its Vitamin A content.
- Its leaves have the highest vitamin A content of any of the greens.
- Leaves also contain copper, potassium zinc and several vitamins: they are nutrient-dense.
- Dandelion root heads are excellent foods for the liver because of their relatively high amounts of choline, an important liver nutrient.
- Dandelion flowers are full of lecithin, which has proven useful in various liver ailments.
Tips on Choosing your Dandelions:
- The best leaves to eat are from new dandelion plants. These are small dandelion plants with small roots.
- The best roots to use in dandelion coffee come from the big, well-established dandelions.
Safety Note: Dandelion pollen may cause allergic reactions when eaten, or adverse skin reactions in sensitive individuals. Because of its high potassium level, dandelion can increase the risk of hyperkalemia when taken with potassium-sparing diuretics.
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