TCM Unveils Dandelion Myth I: Why Chinese People Eat Dandelion- Is Dandelion Edible?


You might notice that in every early spring, a lot of Chinese people dig dandelion to eat.  You might wonder why? Is dandelion edible? Is it due to the taste or anything else?

edible dandelion

Why Chinese people eat dandelion?


You might have heard that traditional Chinese medicine is based on and very synchronized with nature. All the dietary remedies are based on the characteristics of natural substances, including plants and vegetables. Different shapes(shapes of all kinds of leaves, flowers, seeds, roots, etc), parts (stalk, root, leave, seed, flower, etc), and color (green, red, orange, yellow, white, dark, black, etc.) and tastes (sour, bitter, sweet, spicy, salty) have their unique interaction with internal organ systems.

 5 Element Chart in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Helps Explain Dandelion Myth

According to 5 element chart, liver has characteristic of wood.  If you observe carefully, you will notice that all wood 5 element chart of traditional Chinese medicine(including plants or vegetables) starts to boom in spring.    That’s why in TCM world, spring is corresponding to liver.    Green is representative of early spring normally.  That’s exactly the color that is boosting liver function.   So any food with natural color of green is good for liver. Those green vegetables which grows vigorously in spring locally,  are the ones that are healthy for your liver system.  Chives, dandelions , to name a few.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)  also emphasizes the taste.  Of course, by the taste here, we are talking about natural not man-made taste.  Bitter is good for heart.   And in normal situation,  liver is supposed to boost heart function.    If you have tried dandelion before,  you will know that it is a bit bitter.

Summary: Why Chinese People Eat Dandelions in Spring?

So now you might be able to guess why Chinese people eat dandelion:  it can boost both liver and heart function.   And in spring, it’s the best time to eat as spring is corresponding to liver, i.e. liver is starting to boost its function in spring and then heart in summer.

So if you have any liver or heart issue, you are advised to eat dandelion.   The only thing you need to pay attention to is:  since almost all green vegetables are slight cold by TCM definition, it is not advisable to consume too much at a time if your stomach/spleen system is a bit cold.   How will you know that?  If you feel a bit uncomfortable in stomach when you eat too much green vegetables or drink cold water,  most likely you have cold stomach system.   But anything in moderation is good.   As long as you don’t overeat dandelions.    Remember, you body is your best doctor who can tell you which is right or wrong.

I will share with you where and what kind of dandelion to get and how to prepare it.

Stay tuned for my next article about dandelion.

Embrace the right information is the key to your health.  You are invited to sign up for our free TCM related health tips.  Remember, knowledge is the power.  You can be the best health doctor of yourself and your family.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.