Taraxacum or Dandelion (Latin name: Taraxacum Officinale) belongs to the Astereceae family. It is a perennial plant that blooms from April to May. It is found mainly in temperate climates, both in mountainous and lowland areas. The name comes from the Greek word «ταραχή» because it was believed to cure it any kind of turmoil. The root is collected in the fall and the plant has to be at least 2 years old. In contrast, the leaves are collected in the spring when the plant is in bloom. Both parts of the plant can be used fresh or dried for later use.
Health Benefits and Uses
Taraxacum can be used in salads and consumed raw, although it offers a bitter taste. For this use, leaves that have faded due to sunlight are preferred, because they are less bitter but at the same time, they contain fewer vitamins and minerals. Generally, 100 gr of raw leaves is considered to have about:
• 2.7 g protein,
• 9.2 g of carbohydrates,
• 187 mg of calcium,
• 66 mg of phosphorus,
• 3.1 mg of iron and
• 397 mg of magnesium
While it is also rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, and C. It is also found as an ingredient in soft drinks and beer.
It is a diuretic and laxative and at the same time can replace the high levels of potassium that are reduced with the usual diuretics. In general, the plant has anti-bacterial properties. Its drink has anti-inflammatory action and can even dissolve kidney stones. It helps the liver to function well. It lowers cholesterol and regulates blood sugar levels. The root of the plant is considered an antibiotic for fungal infections.
Available Forms of Taraxacum:
- Whole leaves
Caution! Herbs should not be consumed uncontrollably. Consult your doctor before consumption. They are not substitutes for drugs and can cause side effects and allergies.