Properties of Tragopogon pratensis
Health benefits of meadow salsify
Meadow salsify (Tragopogon pratensis) is an edible and medicinal wild plant, which is used as a remedy and in food.
Found in open areas such as fields, meadows, wastelands, in cultivated fields like weeds, or by the side of roads.
Its large yellow flower heads stand out among the vegetation.
The young shoots and the root are consumed. It is aperitif, digestive, hepatic, purifying, astringent, expectorant and diuretic.
Medicinal properties of meadow salsify
The benefits of meadow salsify have been studied given its importance in the diet of some regions. It stands out for being one of the most consumed edible wild plants in Crete, whose diet is very rich in a great diversity of vegetables.
Currently most wild vegetables have been displaced by more productive plants, like for example spinach or chard. But the study of plants shows us that the more variety of vegetables we introduce into our diet, the greater possibilities we will have to prevent diseases, given their nutritional wealth.
The root is also consumed. It is harvested in the fall and dried for later use as a medicinal plant, or used fresh in culinary preparations.
Meadow salsify for the liver
Young shoots are considered a very healthy food for the liver. Contains bitter principles that increase digestive secretions, resulting in an increase in appetite and improved digestion.
All this indicates this plant in cases of loss of appetite (anorexia), lack of appetite, heavy or slow digestion, or a feeling of swollen belly after meals.
Purifying properties of meadow salsify
Due to its fiber content, it prevents constipation.
It is a purifying spring vegetable because of its fiber content and cholagogue and choleretic properties, which stimulate the production and release of bile from the body, helping to reduce cholesterol.
Other benefits of consuming the plant
Heart diseases: The tender shoots of the plant, in addition to being rich in gallic acid, contain rutin, a flavonoid that improves circulation and prevents capillary fragility, being indicated against hypertension and heart diseases. Studies have revealed the presence of certain doses of resveratrol, the same cardioprotective component found in grapes.
- Respiratory system: Meadow salsify (roots and shoots of the plant) is very rich in gallic acid, which has astringent and anti-bronchial properties. A syrup made from the root has been reported to be of great relief in cases of cough and bronchitis.
- Stomach acidity: Thanks to its richness in gallic acid, with astringent properties, it protects the stomach from acid damage.
- Diabetes: Due to its inulin content, the root is recommended for diabetics. It is a type of fiber that regulates the absorption of sugars in the diet and at the same time helps to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. It is made up of fructose units, which do not increase blood sugar levels. It also improves intestinal health by acting as a prebiotic, helping to protect against certain types of cancer such as colon cancer.
- Antioxidant: The intense green color of the plant, and the yellow of the petals, indicate a great wealth in beta-carotene and antioxidant flavonoids, which help improve the health of the body in general. It also provides caffeic, synapic and ferulic acid, antioxidants that protect from the harmful effect of nitrosamines, carcinogenic compounds that are formed in the body from tobacco smoke, some foods (like powdered milk), or food additives with nitrites.
- Cancer: Meadow salsify is a source of phenolic compounds capable of protecting against some diseases such as cancer. One of its components is gallic acid, which promotes apoptosis or natural cell death, preventing the survival of tumor cells. Scientific studies have investigated this component against lung cancer and stomach cancer.
More information on meadow salsify and other plants
10 May, 2022