In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat dandelion root?”, and what are the potential health benefits of eating dandelions?
Can you eat dandelion root?
Yes, you can eat dandelions. There are a variety of ways to incorporate dandelion roots, flowers, and whole dandelions into your diet.
Dandelion green salad
Pluck some green dandelion roots and toss them in your salad for the green pop. Old roots tend to have a bitter taste. A dandelion-only-green salad is also a good idea. However, it won’t be palatable due to its super bitter taste.
Sauteing and boiling will make the dandelions taste less acrid. First, boil the dandelions for 2 minutes. Heat olive oil in a pan.
Then add the garlic and boiled dandelions and saute for 3-5 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant.
Alternatively, you can add the boiled dandelions to your favorite pasta or scrambled eggs for flavor and nutrition.
Make a pancake mix using eggs, milk, and flour, and add the flower heads to the batter. Make sure to wash them before tossing them in the batter. Pour the batter in heated oil and cook just like pancakes until golden brown from both sides.
Baking with dandelion petals
Pluck the dandelion petals from the flower heads and freeze them in a plastic bag for long-term storage. Throw a couple of these petals into muffins, cakes, quiche, or even hamburgers for a subtle aroma.
Dandelion root coffee/tea
Wash the dandelion roots and dry them in the dehydrator or the oven at 250℉. Roast the dried roots in the oven at 350℉ until they achieve a golden color. Boil 2 Tbs root in 16 oz water and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and enjoy your tea.
Health benefits of dandelion
Dandelion greens are packed with vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamin E, folate and some of the other B vitamins are also present. Dandelion greens are a rich source of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and, potassium.
Dandelion roots are a good source of a soluble fiber called inulin which is beneficial to the proliferation of the gut microflora.
Rich source of antioxidants
Dandelions are a rich source of the antioxidant beta-carotene and polyphenols which are effective against cellular damage and oxidative stress and play an important role in the prevention of diseases and impede aging.
The antioxidants called polyphenols have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation occurs after injury or an illness. A persistent and consistent increase in inflammation will damage the tissues and DNA.
Polyphenols are concentrated in the flowers of the dandelions but roots, leaves, and stems also contain good reserves.
Controls blood sugar
All parts of the dandelion are a rich source of chicoric and chlorogenic acid. Both of these bioactive compounds promote insulin production while triggering the absorption of glucose from the muscles. Both these simultaneous processes improve insulin sensitivity and keep the blood sugar in check.
Studies have shown that dandelions lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels in mice and rabbits. However, there is not much scientific evidence that confirms the cholesterol-lowering properties of dandelions in humans.
Lower blood pressure
Dandelions are used in diuretic medications because of their ability to detoxify certain organs and drain excess fluid from the body which is linked to lowered blood pressure.
Dandelions are a good source of Potassium. This mineral has been long known for its blood pressure-lowering properties. So the blood pressure-lowering claims of the dandelions may be true.
Studies have shown that dandelions reduce oxidative stress from the liver tissues and help remove the toxic substances from it in mice. There is limited evidence that supports this claim in humans.
Aids weight loss
It has been theorized that the improved carbohydrate metabolism and reduced fat absorption properties of dandelions could aid in weight loss. However, there is a lack of focused studies in humans that support this claim scientifically.
Dandelion leaf extract has been found to possess anti-cancer properties. Other studies have revealed that dandelion root extract is effective against liver, colon, and pancreatic cancer.
Traditional herbal medicine has been using dandelion for its ability to prevent constipation and promote digestion. Dandelion is a rich source of inulin, which is a prebiotic or a soluble fiber that promotes healthy bowel movements and relieves constipation.
Several test-tube studies and research have revealed the anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of dandelions. However, the scientific evidence is limited to fully support this claim in humans.
In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat dandelion root?”, and what are the potential health benefits of eating dandelions?