Are Oklahoma dandelion leaves poison? Are they edible with no side effects?

Asked April 20, 2020, 5:20 PM EDT

Are Oklahoma dandelion leaves poison? Are they edible with no side effects?

Oklahoma County Oklahoma

1 Response

The dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is an abundant “weed” plant found growing in Oklahoma and throughout the country that also happens to be edible.

As with any edible plant, especially those that are wild, the following guidelines should be followed.

  • Know the areas you are harvesting from. Have the plants been treated with pesticides, or could they be contaminated by chemical runoff?
  • Introduce new plants into your diet in moderation to make sure there are no side effects.
  • Harvest plants when they are young because some will not be as tasty as they age.
  • Wash plants before consuming just like you prepare other vegetable items.
As far as side effects, I am not aware of any particular cautions, but as with any food some may find they are allergic to it after handling or consuming.

Here are a couple links from Michigan State University with good information regarding the use of dandelion.
https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/dandelions_for_food; https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/five_ways_to_eat_dandilions