Created 20-Mar-14
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Dandelions are wildcrafted or grown on a small scale as a leaf vegetable. The leaves (called dandelion greens) can be eaten cooked or raw in various forms, such as in soup or salad. They are probably closest in character to mustard greens. Usually the young leaves and unopened buds are eaten raw in salads, while older leaves are cooked. Raw leaves have a slightly bitter taste. Dandelion salad is often accompanied with hard boiled eggs. The leaves are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and iron, carrying more iron and calcium than spinach.

Dandelion flowers can be used to make dandelion wine, for which there are many recipes.

Most of these are more accurately described as "dandelion-flavored wine," as some other sort of fermented juice or extract serves as the main ingredient.

It has also been used in a saison ale called Pissenlit (literally "wet the bed" in French) made by Brasserie Fantôme in Belgium. Dandelion and burdock is a soft drink that has long been popular in the United Kingdom.

Another recipe using the plant is dandelion flower jam. In Silesia and also other parts of Poland and world, dandelion flowers are used to make a honey substitute syrup with added lemon (so-called May-honey). This "honey" is believed to have a medicinal value, in particular against liver problems.

Ground roasted dandelion root can be used as a non-caffeinated coffee substitute.

Herbal medicine

Dandelion root is a registered drug in Canada, sold principally as a diuretic.

A hepatoprotective effect in mice of chemicals extracted from dandelion root has been reported.
Dandelion is used in herbal medicine as a mild laxative, for increasing appetite, and for improving digestion.
The milky latex has been used as a mosquito repellent
and as a folk remedy to treat warts.


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