Tragopogon / Morgenster

Morgenster of Boksbaard, Tragopogon pratensis L., is een meerjarige plant uit de Composietenfamilie of Asteraceae. Voordat ze gaat bloeien overwintert ze meestal een aantal jaren als rozetplant. Ze vormt daarbij een diepe penwortel. De penwortel is op zijn schorseneers eetbaar.
Een opvallend kenmerk van de soort, waar ze haar naam aan te danken heeft is het gegeven dat het bloemhoofdje zich tegen de middag sluit en de dag daarna weer vroeg open gaat. 

De Nederlandse naam Boksbaard dankt de Morgenster aan het gegeven dat het omwindsel na de bloei weer dichtvouwt. De lange spitse punten van de omwindselblaadjes sluiten dan niet meer mooi aaneen, maar vertonen een gerafeld geheel. De gelijkenis met de baard van een bok heeft tot de Nederlandse en ook Duitse naam, Bocksbart, geleid.

Medicinal Uses
Astringent;  Depurative;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Stomachic.
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.

Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root;  Stem.
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.

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 skin.

Phenolic compounds from Allium schoenoprasum, Tragopogon pratensis and Rumex acetosa and their antiproliferative effects.
Experimental studies have shown that phenolic compounds have antiproliferative and tumour arresting effects. The aim of this original study was to investigate the content of phenolic compounds (PhC) in flowers of Allium schoenoprasum (chive), Tragopogon pratensis (meadow salsify) and Rumex acetosa (common sorrel) and their effect on proliferation of HaCaT cells. Antiproliferative effects were evaluated in vitro using the following concentrations of phenolic compounds in cultivation medium: 100, 75, 50 and 25 µg/mL. Phenolic composition was also determined by HPLC. The results indicate that even low concentrations of these flowers' phenolic compounds inhibited cell proliferation significantly and the possible use of the studied herb's flowers as sources of active phenolic compounds for human nutrition.
Kucekova Z, Mlcek J, Humpolicek P, et al. 
Phenolic compounds from Allium schoenoprasum, Tragopogon pratensis and Rumex acetosa and their antiproliferative effects. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]vMolecules 2011; 16(11):9207-17.