Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.
Latin Name: Taraxacum officinale
Common names for dandelion include lion's tooth, pissabeds, fairy clock, priest's crown, Irish dairy, monk's head, blowball, puffball and canker wort.
Dandelion is a weed that is found worldwide. It is native to Asia, Europe and North America. The entire weed is edible. Dandelion is a perennial weed.
The name dandelion is derived from dent-de-lion in French which means lion's tooth and is so-called as the leaves have jagged, teeth like margins. The leaves grow in a rosette-like fashion, just above the ground and immediately on top of the thick taproot to form a crown.
The entire plant contains white, milky latex and even when the flower is plucked it oozes out of the broken stalk end and often stains the hands a brown colour that is difficult to remove.
The Dandelion Plant
The Dandelion Plant
Dandelion is a pesky weed that is detested by gardeners because of its tenacity to stick around since the more they are weeded the faster they grow.
This is because of its taproot that goes deep and breaks easily when pulled. Unless on goes deep and pulls out the entire root, the remaining root with vengeance sprouts more leaves than have been removed. Therefore to eliminate this weed the entire root should be removed.
Dandelion is among the important honey-producing plants because the flowers provide both pollen and nectar in appreciable quantities to the scores of insects that it attracts, the bees heading the list of these insects. It has been found that as many as 93 different types of insects frequent this flower.
Dandelion Flower And Seeds
The Dandelion Flower And Seeds
The dandelion flower is, in fact, a collection of hundreds of small florets, making each flower a composite flower head, with colours ranging from yellow to golden yellow. The flowers open during the day and close in the evenings and also when the weather turns hostile.
The seeds have a parachute-like body attached to each one of them which helps in their dispersal far and wide when the wind blows.
Uses Of Dandelion
The young leaves are eaten in salads and sandwiches. The full-grown leaves are bitter and should not be used. The young leaves are also eaten as a vegetable after boiling. The dried leaves are used in digestive drinks and to make herbal tea and herb beer.
The flowers are used to make dandelion wine. Roots are used to make dandelion coffee. The seeds are used by small birds as food while the entire plant is eaten by pigs and goats. The plant also makes excellent food for rabbits.
The taproot is also edible and is used to make soup or even cooked as a vegetable.
Nutrients In Dandelion
- The fresh leaves are low in calories and rich in dietary fibre.
- They provide 338% daily requirement of Vitamin A, 58% of Vitamin C and 23% of Vitamin E per 100 grams.
- The leaves are rich in many flavonoids.
- It is probably the richest vegetable source of Vitamin K providing 650% of the daily value/100 grams.
- The leaves contain good amounts of folates, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and iron, and the polysaccharide inulin and levulin which on decomposition provides levulose a simple sugar.
- They are also rich in many B-complex vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin and pyridoxine.
- The root contains Taraxacin and taraxacerin, the compounds providing various therapeutic benefits.
Nutrients In Dandelion
|Dandelion herb greens (Taraxacum officinale), Fresh|
Nutrition value per 100 gms
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Percentage of RDA
Health Benefits Of Dandelion
Traditionally, dandelion has been widely used in natural medicine worldwide and also in current day herbal medicine.
Dandelion roots have been used as a remedy for gastrointestinal problems especially for its beneficial effects on digestive and liver functions while the leaf has been used as a diuretic and digestive stimulant.
Dandelion roots have a demulcent action and prebiotic properties due to the presence of the polysaccharide inulin. They are anti-inflammatory, have a hypoglycemic effect and immune-boosting properties. They also have anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anticoagulant, laxative, anti-rheumatic and cholegogic properties.
All these properties result in various benefits to health some of which are given below.
- Dandelion improves bone health, prevents bone density loss due to the calcium, phosphorus, Vitamins C and Vitamin K in it.
- It boosts the liver and gall bladder function, helps in proper secretion of bile and consequently digestion.
- The plant keeps the blood sugar levels low as it aids insulin production. It also benefits diabetics by its diuretic property of increasing output of urine and keeping the kidneys well flushed and clean.
- It treats infection of the urinary tract and makes it healthy.
- Dandelion leaf tea has been found to reduce breast cancer cells while the root tea was found to kill leukaemia cells. Also, a dietary supplement containing dandelion showed suppression of the growth of prostate cells.
- Dandelion extracts have been found to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation which are the cause of many diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurogenerative diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's etc.
- It also increases breast milk, reduces abscess in breast and intestines.
Dandelion Tea And Its Health Benefits
Dandelion tea can be made from the leaves of the dandelion plant. For the specific method watch the video below.
Some of the benefits of drinking dandelion tea are:
- It is a healthy tea as compared to the regular tea.
- Improves digestion and relieves diarrhoea and constipation.
- Cleanses the blood and improves skin condition.
- Detoxifies the body.
- Reduces inflammations thereby benefiting in arthritis and rheumatic pains.
- Lowers high cholesterol.
- Helps in weight management.
- Boosts immunity.
- Helps people suffering from diabetes (both types) and manage blood cholesterol better.
Dandelion coffee is made from the root of the plant and can act as a healthy substitute for regular coffee. The roots are chopped, dried, roasted and ground to yield a powder that can be used like coffee to make a coffee-like drink in appearance and taste. Add honey and milk to enhance the taste.
Some health benefits of dandelion coffee are :
- Reduces caffeine intake therefore beneficial to those with heart issues, sleep problems, anxiety issues, muscle tremors etc.
- A good tonic for the liver.
- Provides many of the benefits of dandelion tea.
Please Rate This Hub. Thanks!
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.
Make Your Own Dandelion Tea
Some Of My Other Hubs On Healthy Foods
- Loquat Tropical Fruit
Loquat is a tropical fruit tree that is native to China and Japan but grows in subtropical and warm areas around the world. Learn about the many health benefits of loquat fruit and leaves, by reading on...
- The Nutritional And Health Benefits Of Pine Nuts And Pine Nut Oil
Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pine trees that are not only tasty but very healthy. Learn about the amazing nutritional benefits and the many health benefits of pine nuts and pine oil by reading on...
- What Is Water Chestnut, Water Caltrop Or Singhara And What Are Its Health Benefits?
Singhara, Water caltrop or Water chestnut is a popular snack and its flour is used by Hindus during fasting kept during festivals like Navratri. Learn about the many health benefits of Singhara, Water Chestnut...
- Health Benefits Of Lotus Roots Or Stem, Seeds, Leaves And Flowers
Lotus stems are usually eaten. But the entire plant is edible. Also, lotus plant treats a wide variety of health issues. Learn about the health benefits of lotus roots or stem, seeds, leaves and flowers...
How To Make Dandelion Root Coffee
Great Depression Cooking : Dandelion Salad
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 06, 2013:
Good to know this information was helpful, Marlene. Thanks for stopping by.
Marlene Bertrand from USA on August 06, 2013:
I always learn something new from your hubs. I had no idea dandelion was used for so many ailments. Also, I have never in my life heard of dandelion coffee. I just may venture out to try it.
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 22, 2013:
Thanks for the visit, brownella.
brownella from New England on May 21, 2013:
Interesting hub. I've always wanted to try making dandelion wine but have yet to get around to it. I've never heard of using the tap root (that might be easier) I'll have to look up some recipes. Thanks for sharing :)
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 30, 2013:
Thanks GTF. I'm glad you like and appreciate the healthy foods' hubs. Thanks.
Claudia Porter on April 30, 2013:
Ah I love dandelion greens in a salad. They add such a nice bite. Never knew what the roots looked like. Another awesome hub rajan. I'm learning so much from your writing.
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 27, 2013:
Interesting feedback, Au fait. And yes, dandelion flowers are pretty. Thanks for stopping by, leaving your votes and sharing the hub.
C E Clark from North Texas on April 27, 2013:
Dandelions are one of the first signs of spring up north where I'm originally from (WI), and I always thought our lawn looked so pretty when it was covered with them. I grew up on a farm, so a perfect lawn wasn't at the top of the list the way it seems to be in the suburbs.
My mother cooked dandelion greens a couple of times, but they weren't that well liked. I think maybe the leaves weren't young enough. My father made dandelion wine from them one year and I guess it turned out OK because he drank it. Yes, the livestock did appreciate dandelions, which was a good thing since the dandelions were plentiful.
Great hub! Voted up, UI, and will share!
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 21, 2013:
Sheila, good to know you have dandelions growing around your house. Maybe you could try making some tea or coffee from it. Thanks for the visit and votes.
Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on April 21, 2013:
This is very interesting! I have many dandelions around my house and am always trying to dig them up. Now, after digging them up, I may try some of your suggestions with them. I will have to shortage of dandelions! Voted up, interesting and useful! :)
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 21, 2013:
They are a bit bitter, sweetie.
sweetie1 from India on April 19, 2013:
Rajan so since the fresh leaves are so less in calories.. how do they taste?
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 18, 2013:
@Paul-thanks and I know you will look at dandelions with more love. Lol! Just kidding. As a weed it is troublesome but as a health food it is wonderful.
@Devika-thanks for reading.
@joan-glad this provided you with new info. Appreciate thee read and comments.
Joan Whetzel on April 18, 2013:
wow. didn't know dandelion did so much.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 18, 2013:
The aroma of dandelion has quite a strength sounds a great idea, and thanks for passing this information on to Hubpages you certainly know what you are talking about.
Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on April 17, 2013:
This is a very interesting and useful hub which is absolutely awesome! When I had a big lawn in Maryland which was overrun by dandelions, I hated this weed. God knows how many hours I spend digging up the weed by the roots only to see many more appear the next day! I knew, however, that there were some benefits from these weeds because my late uncle used to make dandelion wine from the flowers. I tried it once and it was great. I have never had dandelion tea or coffee, but I'd like to try it after reading about its health benefits. I haven't seen any dandelions in Thailand. Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning and Tweeting.
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 17, 2013:
@WND-thanks for stopping by.
@Kas-thanks buddy. Appreciate the visit and sharing.
@Peggy-roots or leaves they are both beneficial. Thanks for passing this on.
@Rasma-good to hear that. Thanks for sharing.
@wabash-you'll like the tea as well. Thanks for dropping by.
wabash annie from Colorado Front Range on April 17, 2013:
I've used lots of new dandelion leaves chopped up in salads and as an addition to soups and stews but never thought to make tea. Thanks much.
Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on April 17, 2013:
Another great and informative hub. Now you're talking. Love dandelion salad. Our garden is full of dandelions and the salad among other ways to use dandelions is our basic diet during the summer. Passing this on.
Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on April 16, 2013:
rajan, this is a very useful and interesting hub that I really enjoyed reading. Thank you for sharing all this wonderful information about dandelions. I love to see dandelions sprouting up in the spring.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 16, 2013:
When we lived in Wisconsin we had an endless supply of dandelions growing in our half acre yard. I was once very energetic and dug up a great supply of dandelion roots...peeled them...and ate them in a salad. I did not know that I should have been eating the leaves instead. Ha! From reading this hub, it looks like that are benefits to consuming the entire plant...so all was not lost. UUI votes and sharing.
Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on April 16, 2013:
Alright Rajan, now you've got me looking at my yard and not wanting to mow it just yet! I've never thought of weeds as food, tea, or much of anything except something to be killed! This is a very different hub and I am impressed by the information. Who knew I had such edible stuff that costs me nothing growing on my lawn. I don't have to buy tea from the store anymore! Thanks a lot man, you just saved me money! Voting this up and sharing!
wetnosedogs from Alabama on April 16, 2013:
What a dandy yellow flower considering it is also known as a weed.
Thanks for the education.
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 16, 2013:
@Margaret-I hope the dandelion tea gives you relief. Appreciate the read and sharing.
@Shining-Good to know you have fond memories of your dad and you working with the dandelions. Thanks for stopping by.
@My Cook Book-thank you.
@Bill-thanks and good to know you enjoy dandelion tea.
@catmalone-I'm glad this information is useful to you. Thanks.
@MaggieMarie-yes, it is a great to see them all over. Thanks for stopping by.
@livingsta-they are indeed a beautiful sight growing in the fields. Thanks for the read, vote and sharing.
livingsta from United Kingdom on April 16, 2013:
Useful information here Rajan. Spring has just started here and I can see these dandelions here everywhere. I like these yellow flowers scattered everywhere on the green grass and it is a beautiful sight, but this plant has far too many benefits too. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Voted up and sharing!
MaggieMarie M from Western Washington - Puget Sound Area on April 16, 2013:
Living in WA, we have an overabundance of dandelions, as most fields and yards turn yellow this time of year from the blooms! This is a wonderful article. Fully enjoyed reading it!
catmalone on April 16, 2013:
Very great hub! I like to buy my salad mixture with dandelion. The dandelion help me with my low iron and also help cleanses the blood. Dandelion has so many wonderful and healthly benefits. Very useful hub with a lot of important information.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 16, 2013:
I have been drinking dandelion tea for some time now. There is no shortage of dandelions in our area so we never run out of ingredients. :) Excellent and informative as always, Rajan.
Dil Vil from India on April 16, 2013:
All your hubs are very informative. Am again today learning something new and useful. All about Dandelion, i like the above hub. Voted it UP.
Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on April 16, 2013:
Rajan my friend - You have no idea how dear I hold the dandelion to my heart. Many an early spring morning, my dear Dad and I would dig up the pre-flowered, infant dandelions, boil them and enjoy the fresh meal. On a more "spirited" note. As I became an adult, he showed me how to make dandelion wine and it was surprisingly delicious!
For those who weren't in the know, this article spotlights the versatile dandelion.
Margaret Perrottet from San Antonio, FL on April 16, 2013:
I know dandelions are weeds, but I've always loved them. I may just try some dandelion tea - looks like it may be good for my arthritis. Voted Up, Useful and Interesting, and sharing.