All about dandelion with my 8 year-experiment

Regardless of the global warming impact,
dandelions appear any time of the year.
But as we see the full blooming dandelions in the wild fields in March, they are certainly a big messenger for Spring.

by Yujin A Hwang, Apr. 2015
Harvested Non GMO-Edible-Weed-Dandelion photo by Yujin A Hwang, Apr 2015

Dandelions are also known as one of the most resilient weeds.
I have observed the natural environment for many years.
Dandelions are increasing in number to infinity
without damages from pest.

The whole plant of young dandelions are used as medical herbs,
which is called Po-gong-young (蒲公英) and
it refers to before the blooming season from mid-March to mid-May
as the best quality of medical herbs.

Most information on the pharmaceutical properties of herbal medicine using dandelions that is floating on the Internet is sourced mostly from Korean folk remedies, quoted from “Compendium of Materia Medica” or “Dong-ui-bo-gam“.

Compendium of Materia Medica
also known as Bencao Gangmu or Pen-tsao Kang-mu,
is a Chinese materia medica work, 52 books written by
Li Shizhen during the Ming Dynasty(1590).

Compendium of Materia Medica is
regarded as the most complete and
comprehensive medical book ever written
in the history of traditional Chinese medicine.
It lists all the plants, animals, minerals,
and other items that were believed to have medicinal properties.

The text consists of 1,892 entries,
each entry with its own name called a gang.
The mu in the title refers to the synonyms of each name.

Oriental Medicine Encyclopedia;
Dong-ui-bo-gam [東 醫 寶 鑑],
written by Jun Huh, South Korea
 ( 1596 ~ 1610, King, Gwang-hae year, Joseon Dynasty).

In the book, the author,
Huh divided each medicine departments into specialized
such as internal medicine, surgery and
diagnosis and prescriptions for each diseases.

Dong-ui-bo-gam is assessed as one of
the best medical books in the East:
The hundreds of species and the name of
the native herbs are written by Korean in the medicine part.
A total 25 books has published a metal type.

– Source: South Korean Language Dictionary

By picking dandelions in the undeveloped area behind my house for many years,
and based on my experiments and experience in cooking dandelions,
let’ me sum up the characteristics of dandelions for folk remedies…

Dandelions are known for bitter taste without poisons,
which is obvious since I have cooked and eaten the whole dandelion plants
in various ways for many years.

There is almost no end to the list of good things in dandelions,
so, here’s a small sampling what I have researched based on the Korean folk remedies. Dandelions:

  • Aid the liver and gastrointestinal health.
  • Play a role of anti-febrile
  • Anti inflammatory action
  • Regulate urinary problems
  • Treatment of breast inflammation
  • Support breast milk
  • Work for detox and clean the blood
  • Prevent respiratory diseases
  • Maintain healthy skin and hair
  • Prevent eye disease
  • Strengthen bones and muscles

Based on these native Korean dandelion treatment histories,
I researched the modern science news information
as follows:

“Colin, a component of Dandelion root, is a liver supplement
and it treats Hepatitis, cirrhosis,
gallstones and the symptoms of jaundice”.

“In animals tests, Inulin in dandelions
helps to control blood sugar, so
it has been reported to be useful in the treatment of diabetes”.

“In Europe, dandelion roots have been used for the treatment of hypertension. Mannitol, a blood pressure lowering component,
is found in dandelion roots”.

“The manganese component in
dandelions (Po-gong-young, young dandelions)
will help to increase stamina.
Others such as Rutin, Palmitin, and Serotin, the vertical detox component, cool down fever or scattered lumped aura”.

“Vitamin A contained in dandelions prevents Nyctalopia,
and Vitamin C enhances the immune system and
prevents infectious diseases and helps to heal wounds”.

“Dandelions help the bones and teeth stay healthy.
They contain Calcium which also adjusts blood pressure
and iron to prevent anemia”.

“Eating dandelion leaves makes urine come easier,
unlike diuretics, it does not exhaust the potassium”.

– Source: South Korean- Internet News Research –

At last, I would like to write what I found at
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Dandelions:

  • Name. Taraxacum /təˈræksəkʉm/ is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae that consists of species commonly known as a
    dandelion( dan-di-ly-ən) is from French dent-de-lion, meaning “lion’s tooth”.
  • Species. They are native to Eurdandelionasia and North and South America,
    and two species, T. officinale and T. erythrospermum.
    Both species are edible in their entirety.
  • Producing. Many Taraxacum species produce seeds asexually by apomixis,
    where the seeds are produced without pollination, resulting in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant.
  • Medicinal uses. Medicinal properties of dandelion.
    Historically, dandelion was prized for a variety of medicinal properties,
    and it contains a wide number of pharmacologically active compounds.
    Dandelion is used as a herbal remedy in Europe, North America and China.
    It has been used in herbal medicine to treat infections, bile and liver problems, and as a diuretic.
  • Benefits to gardeners. The dandelion plant is a beneficial weed, with a wide range of uses, and is even a good companion plant for gardening.
    Its taproot will bring up nutrients for shallower-rooting plants, and add minerals and nitrogen to soil. It is also known to attract pollinating insects and release ethylene gas which helps fruit to ripen.
  • Dangers. Dandelion pollen may cause allergic reactions when eaten,
    or adverse skin reactions in sensitive individuals.
    Contact dermatitis after handling has also been reported,
    probably from the latex in the stems and leaves.
    Due to its high potassium level, dandelion can also increase the risk of
    hyperkalemia when taken with potassium-sparing diuretics. The consumption of dandelion leaves has also been implicated in occurrences of fasciolosis.

Although I have found the dangerous parts of dandelions on Wikipedia,
which I have not seen anywhere else so far;
but it is too common in many other greens;
spinach is also dangerous if we eat in excess amounts-especially in the form of raw (because of a toxic, called Oxalic-acid).
Instead of blaming the poison in vegetables, indeed, it’s important how to eat in moderation. Related data links below:

Oxalic Acid Content of Selected Vegetables(USDA)

USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory

Anyway, my experience of dandelions has been great,
as is said in the two oriental medical books.

All parts of the dandelion can be eaten and all have good properties. Therefore, dandelions have countless recipes and storage methods:

  • Vegetables. Whole young dandelions, grown in early spring,
    cooked and seasoned or used in wrap with lettuce and meat or in miso soup.
  • Energy-liquor. Harvested dandelion flowers or the roots in the spring can make an energy-liquor after soaking in vodka or So-ju for 20 days and add honey for an adult energy drink.
  • Salad. In Europe, people use the dandelion in their salad.
  • Decaffeinated tea. In Japan, dried and roasted dandelion root can be a decaffeinate tea, flavor and color is similar to coffee, hence it is called dandelion coffee.
  • Fermented. The roots also can be dipped in soybean paste and pickled or made into Kim-chi in the fall or spring.
  • Fried roots. The root also can be boiled down in soy sauce or fried in oil.
  • Enzyme for cooking. Of course, the whole dandelion plant can make Y’s(Yujin) Famous Fermented Raw Enzyme with honey and use it instead of sugar for cooking.
  • Storage. After being boiled slightly, dandelion leaves can be kept frozen or dried in the sun.
  • Danger. Do not eat dandelions grown from environmental pollution or with remaining herbicides in the garden.
20 ways to eat dandelion by Yujin A. Hwang
20 ways to eat dandelion by Yujin A. Hwang

In addition, over the past eight years
I’ve been experimenting, eating and cooking with dandelions
and here’s a small sampling (the entire list can be found
on my Korean
My featured dandelion recipes:

  • Salmon Steak With Dandelion Rice
  • Dandelion-Apple quick Kim-chi
  • Dandelion Raw Fermented Enzyme
  • Wild Vegetable Bi-bim-bap(mixed vegetable rice)
  • Dandelion Root-Meat Burgers
  • Dandelion Blossom Banana Muffins
  • Dandelion Root Nut-Snack
  • Dandelion Wine & Vinegar
  • Dandelion Blossom Noodle Salad
  • Dandelion Blossom Tea
  • Dried Dandelion and Vegetable Mixed Rice
  • Dandelion Green & Meat Rice Roll(Kim-bab)
  • Dandelion-Root Kim-chi
  • Picnic Salad
  • Dandelion Blossom Tea
  • Dandelion greens on Pizza
  • Powdered Dandelion Root in Fermented Soybean Paste
  • Dandelion detox juice

The recipe pictures are linked to my YouTube,

20 Ways to eat Free-Edible Weed-Priceless-Non GMO-Dandelion

Author Note:

My blog is a private research Kitchen Laboratory.
The contents are based on the information that historical scientists or nutritionists have released to the public.
I have been writing healthy research and creating
vibrant recipes based on experiments and experiences
for 9 years as healthy reports and advice for maintaining healthy lifestyles.
The information included in this article is for educational purpose only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

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