Dandelion greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K and a good source of calcium, riboflavin, iron, manganese and fiber.

Dandelion Description & Health Benefits

  • Dandelion is a member of the Asteraceae(Compositae) family which also includes sunflower, various lettuce varieties, Jerusalem artichoke, artichoke and many herbs and flowers.
  • Dandelion greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K and a good source of calcium, riboflavin, iron, manga­nese and fiber.
    • Vitamin A assists with normal formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys as well as other organs and is involved in immune function, vision and reproduction.
    • Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron and repairs and maintains bones, teeth and cartilage; Vitamin C is involved in wound healing; Vitamin K is required for building bone and blood clotting; Calcium helps to maintain bones and teeth. It also assists nerves by carrying messages between the brain and body.
    • Riboflavin is vital for growth and red blood cell formation; Iron is required for growth and development and is also needed to make hormones and connective tissue; Manganese helps the body form connective tissue, bones and plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism a well as calcium absorption; Fiber prevents constipation and helps the digestive system to run smoothly.
  • Dandelion has a history of use in herbal medicine treating digestive disorders. Research is limited for use of dandelion and digestive disorders.
  • Dandelion may increase insulin secretion. If you are taking diabetic drugs, monitor your blood glucose levels closely.
  • Dandelion may interact with some medications. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if dandelion is safe for use with your pre­scription medications.

Purchasing, Selecting, Storing, and Preparing

  • The entire dandelion plant; roots, leaves and flowers are edible.
  • Purchase dandelion leaves that are flat and crisp with a vibrant green color. Avoid leaves that are wilted, yellow or browning and those that are slimy. You can also harvest dandelion greens yourself.
  • Avoid harvesting in areas were animals frequent or areas which are sprayed with pesticides.
  • They are best picked in the spring and tend to get bitter as the summer goes on.
  • Store the dandelion greens unwashed in a plastic bag and place in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator for two to five days.
  • Prepare by rinsing or soaking leaves in cold water to ensure any dirt is removed.
  • The leaves tend to have a bitter taste like many other dark leafy greens. Prepare by steaming or boiling prior to sautéing to decrease bitterness.
  • Dandelion greens go well with a variety of ingredients. Try garlic, onions, lemon juice, vinegars and soy sauce (perhaps not all together!) to enhance and tame its bitter flavor.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup greens, raw
Calories: 25 | Protein: 1.49 g | Fat: 0.39 g | Carbohydrate: 5.06 g | Fiber: 1.9 g | Calcium: 103 mg | Magnesium: 20 mg | Potassium: 218 mg | Vitamin C: 19.2 mg | Folate: 15 μg | Vitamin A: 5589 IU

1 cup greens, cooked
Calories: 35 | Protein: 2.10 g | Fat: 0.63 g | Carbohydrate: 6.72 g | Fiber: 3.0 g | Calcium: 147 mg | Magnesium: 25 mg | Potassium: 244 mg | Vitamin C: 18.9 mg | Folate: 14 μg | Vitamin A: 7179 IU

RecipesWant to get the Superfood emailed to you each month?

Request an Appointment

Success Stories

As printed in the La Crosse Tribune As a child, Lindsay Williams was often homebound. Williams had horrible allergies. Her bed and pillow were in a special plastic bag to keep the dust mites out. She had sinus surgery and took allergy shots, but nothing seemed to help her. “I’d get so sick every spring…
Read the rest of this story...