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Celebrating Dandelion’s Health Benefits

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Interesting Trivia:

  • 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.

Nutrition:

  • 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.

Next: how to grow dandelions at home

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).

54 comments

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2:48PM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

i made the syrup once and it was phenomenal but a lot of work. I also cooked the leaves once and ate and prepared them like one would greens. I found them to be very bitter, but I liked them over all. Great info and cool ideas.. thank you!

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Dandelions are a delight, love their vibrant yellow flowers, their jagged leaves and their marvellous taste!

2:18PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

l responded to a co-worker once with "Do not use the words dandelion and undesirable weed in the same sentence." We now have an understanding of each others' belief, actually he came in to work one day smiling and said the side lawn was in full bloom and did I see it? Has become a fun kidding around situation now. Long live the dandelion! ( In my lawn)

10:25AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

I am always thankful for Dandelions......

5:18AM PDT on Jun 20, 2012

I make a tea out of it,for my stomach aches..really helps.

9:15AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

Great article :-)
Be careful with the sap when picking Dandelions, as it stains fabric. Got some on a favourite tee-shirt, it left a brown stain that took years to wash out (there may be something that neutralises it, like lemon juice on red wine spills).

2:17AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

What a wonderfully informative article.

12:33AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

The dandelion season is so short where I live, so each day, I make sure I enjoy steaming the leaves to add to other veggies.
I love the idea of dandelion wine made from the flowers, but haven't attempted that yet

12:32AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

I actually bought some dandelion leaves at the store today. I had them in my salad. Love them. This was a very interesting post, so much good information. Thank you!

12:17AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

great info.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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