Roots - raw or cooked. It is usually peeled before use. It can be boiled and eaten like potatoes or macerated and boiled to yield a sweet syrup. The root can also be dried, ground into a flour and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereal flours. Rich in protein, this flour is used to make biscuits etc. The root contains a lot of fibre. One way to remove this fibre is to peel lengths of the root that are about 20 - 25cm long, place them by a fire for a short while to dry and then twist and loosen the fibres when the starch of the root can be shaken out. Young shoots in spring - raw or cooked. An asparagus substitute. Base of mature stem - raw or cooked. Remove the outer part of the stem. Young flowering stem - raw, cooked or made into a soup. Tastes like sweet corn. Seed - cooked. A pleasant nutty taste when roasted. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. Due to the small size of the seed this is probably not a very worthwhile crop. Pollen - raw or cooked. A protein rich additive to flour used in making bread, porridge etc[. It can also be eaten with the young flowers, which makes it considerably easier to utilize.e - raw or cooked. Remove the outer stem. Flowering stem - cooked. Tastes like sweet corn.
The pollen is astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, haemostatic and . The dried pollen is said to be anticoagulant, but when roasted with charcoal it becomes haemostatic. It is used internally in the treatment of kidney stones, haemorrhage, painful menstruation, abnormal uterine bleeding, post-partum pains, abscesses and cancer of the lymphatic system. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tapeworms, diarrhoea and injuries.
Seed - surface sow in a pot and stand it in 3cm of water. Pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible and, as the plants develop, increase the depth of water. Plant out in summer. Division in spring.
data regenerated on Thu, 01 Mar 2018 11:45:37 -0500