A perennial plant, its leaves will grow back if the taproot is left intact. The plant is edible in its entirety. To make leaves more palatable, they are often blanched to remove bitterness. Dandelion leaves and buds have been a part of traditional Sephardic, Chinese and Korean cuisine. The flower petals, along with other ingredients, are used to make dandelion wine. The roasted, ground roots can be used as a caffeine-free dandelion coffee. Dandelion leaves contain abundant amounts of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamins A, C and K, and are good sources of calcium, potassium, iron and manganese.
Dandelions are used as folk remedies in North America, Mexico and China. Culturally it was used to treat infections, bile and liver problems, as well as cancers, and as a diuretic. There is evidence to suggest it may have anti-inflammatory effects and assist with urinary tract infections in women.
So the next time you see those pretty yellow flowers gracing your front lawn, have a little more respect for the humble dandelion.
See more Macro Monday