Are dandelion roots edible?

I read this article a few weeks ago… Dandelion “Weeds” Kill Cancer Cells, Leave Healthy Cells Intact and found it to be fascinating. As we know, nature is full of natural remedies and foods. Considering I’ll be riding through Alaska and Canada, there will be many areas where McDonald’s fries cannot be found, so I thought I’d do a little research on this little known “Superfood.”
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Are dandelion roots edible?
Google says… “The quintessential garden and lawn weed, dandelions have a bad reputation among those who want grass that looks as uniform as a golf course, but every part of this common edible weed is tasty both raw and cooked, from the roots to the blossoms.” OK. I have to try this. Yeah, I was the kid who wasn’t afraid to sample the plants in my Grandmother’s gardens. That probably explains some of my quirks. lol.
Apparently, two of the popular ways dandelions are used are 1) Salad greens and 2) Tea. I opted for the tea recipe this morning. First, the harvesting began, and I found some ripe specimens. I then washed them and put them in a pot to boil and then simmered for 20 minutes. In the first photo you can see one plant that had a fat root which I had to sample! I cut off a piece of the root and popped it in my mouth. One word… bitter. No problem, I sliced and dropped the root in the boiling mix and moved along to my next experiment.

After 20 minutes of boiling, I checked my concoction and noticed the coloring of the water had changed, indicating the steeping was successful.

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I poured myself a cup of tea, let it cool and a gave it a try. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as bitter as I expected. I wouldn’t say it’s sweet, but it tastes fine with nothing added. I’m sure a little honey would make it tastier, but I’m still a little concerned about the Alaskan black bears and their fondness for honey. Google says, “Bears do love honey and are attracted to beehives. But unlike in Winnie the Pooh, the bears eat more than just honey. They will also consume the bees and larvae inside the beehive, which are a good source of protein.” Hmmm… I probably won’t be transporting honey on this trip.

A man rides a bike laden with styrofoam containers down a street in Shanghai

Below is some info I found on www.realfoodforlife.com

The following list of benefits is only for the yellow flowers.  The root and the leaves have even stronger properties and are more fully researched.

Possible Health Benefits:

1.  Source of antioxidants.

2. Relieve pain from headaches,  backaches,  and menstrual cramps

3. Relieve stomach  cramps.

4.  Relieves depression.

5. A chemical compound known as helenin  may be the cure for those with a problem of reduced vision in the dark.

6.  Flowers also contain Vitamin A and Vitamin B12 which are also good the eyes.

7.  In 1956, Chauvin demonstrated the antibacterial effects of dandelion pollen, which may validate the centuries old use of dandelion flowers in Korean folk medicine to prevent boils, skin infections, tuberculosis, and edema and promote blood circulation.

Interesting Facts and Trivia:

  • Botanical name is taraxacum officinale
  • Was brought to the United States originally from Europe and Asia, and was transported for its health benefits.
  • In French they are called pissenlit – literally ‘bedpissers’, an homage to the plant’s diuretic properties.
  • Other names of this plant are:  Blow Ball Cankerwort, Lion’s Tooth, Pissabed Priest’s-crown, Puff Ball,  Pu Gong Ying,  Pu-kung-ying,  Swine Snout, Telltime, White Endive, Wild Endive
  • The syrup is sweet, yet tangy, with strong herbal, honey-pollen, and citrus notes.

 

I’m almost done with my cup of dandelion tea, I’m still breathing and I’m not laying on the floor, so I guess this can be added to my http://www.AktoCabo.com recipe book! Thank you for letting me be your Guinea pig! 🙂

6 thoughts on “Are dandelion roots edible?

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