Dandelion is a flowering plant and scientifically called Taraxacum. It belongs to the Asteraceae family. Similar to other members in the Asteraceae family, dandelions have small flowers called florets, collected together to form a flower head. The flower heads are yellow to orange coloured which open during day time and close at night. The flower heads grow on a single stem without any leaf and are about 10 centimetres above the leaf. Dandelions are perennial tap-rooted plants that reproduce by apomixis. The flower heads mature into spherical seed heads called blowballs. They contain many single-seeded fruits called achenes which is dispersed over a long distance by wind.
Dandelions are highly nutritious, loaded with vitamins minerals and fibre. Dandelion greens are an excellent source of Vitamin A, C, E and K, and folate. They consist of minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The dandelion root is rich in the carbohydrate inulin, a soluble fibre that helps the digestive system.
Dandelions contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that plays a vital role in reducing cell damage. The bioactive compound found in this flowering plant helps lower cholesterol. Other possible benefits include aids to control blood pressure, blood sugar and help fight inflammation. It aids in weight loss, promotes healthy liver and, may fight cancer. Research is fundamental to understand the actual benefits of dandelion.