Goat's Beard - Tragopogon pratensis
Herb: Goat's Beard
Latin name: Tragopogon pratensis
Medicinal use of Goat's Beard:Goat's beard is considered to be a useful remedy for the liver and gallbladder. It appears to have a detoxifying effect and may stimulate the appetite and digestion. Its high inulin content makes this herb a useful food for diabetics since inulin is a nutrient made of fructose rather than glucose units and therefore does not raise blood sugar levels. The root is astringent, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, nutritive and stomachic. A syrup made from the root gives great relief in cases of obstinate coughs and bronchitis. A decoction of the root is given in the treatment of heartburn, loss of appetite and disorders of the breast or liver. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The fresh juice of young plants is said to be a good dissolver of bile, relieving the stomach without side effects.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Meadows, pastures, dunes, waysides and waste places.
Edible parts of Goat's Beard:Root - raw or cooked. The roots have a sweet flavour due to their inulin content. The young roots can be eaten raw whilst older roots are best cooked like parsnips or salsify. They are often blanched before use. Young leaves and shoots - raw or cooked. They can be added to mixed salads or used in soups etc. The leaves are best used as they come into growth in the spring. The flowering stem, including the buds, is cooked and served like asparagus.
Other uses of the herb:An infusion of the petals is used to clear the skin and lighten freckles. A distilled water made from the plant is used in cleansing lotions for dry skins.
Propagation of Goat's Beard:Seed - sow spring in situ. Make sure to water the seed in if the weather is dry.
Cultivation of the herb:Meadows, pastures, dunes, waysides and waste places.
Known hazards of Tragopogon pratensis:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.