Dandelion Nutritional Value
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Kathy O.
Posted on: May 14, 1998

Could you tell me everything and anything on dandelion: both leaves and roots. I have been juicing them every morning with mint (I think it is spearmint). It is very tasty as a hot tea. My question is: What vitamins are in these herbs and what other nutrients does it contain?

Dandelion is a nutritious fresh or cooked vegetable, a source of a nutritious coffee-like hot drink, and a valuable medicinal herb. The fresh leaves in spring or blanched like endive are delicious in salads or as a cooked green. The roots can be roasted and ground for dandelion coffee, or mixed with chicory or even real coffee.

The roots are used for many medicinal purposes. They are used a simple bitter and for treatment of chronic liver and kidney problems. They are regarded as alterative, stomachic and tonic in Chinese herbal medicine.

According to James Duke’s "Handbook of Medicinal Herbs" (CRC Press 1985) the leaves contain (per 100 grams): 45 calories, 85% water, 2.7 gram protein, 0.7 gram fat, 9.2 gram carbohydrate, 1.6 gram fibre, 1.8 gram ash, 187 milligram calcium, 66 milligram phosphorus, 3.1 milligram iron, 76 milligram sodium, 297 milligram potassium, 8400 micrograms beta-carotene equivalent, 0.19 milligram thiamine, 0.26 milligram riboflavin, and 35-73 milligram vitamin C.

Cooked leaves contain 140 milligram calcium and 18 milligram vitamin C.

The fresh roots contain 7 milligram vitamin C (dried roots contain 0.3 milligram).

The cultivated variety of dandelion is known as ‘french dandelion’. It has broader, more fleshier and tender leaves than the wild variety. Both belong to the same species and have otherwise much the same medicinal and culinary value.

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