Catsear, also known as Flatweed, Hawkweed, Cat’s ear and False dandelion, is an aromatic plant with green colored lobed leaves,which  are used in various culinary preparations. The plant, botanically known as Hypochaeris radicata or Hypochoeris radicata, has bright yellow flowers similar to dandelion, hence, the name “false dandelion”. The long leaves of this herb and flowers are used in the same manner as dandelion; however, the leaves of this herb are not as bitter as that of dandelion.





Catsear is a low lying perennial herb that is found growing in most lawns. It is native to Europe; however, it was also introduced into America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.



Culinary Uses


Catsear has many culinary uses, similar to that of dandelion -

  • The leaves are usually blanched, steamed and cooked like any other leafy vegetable. This helps in removing the bitterness of the leaves, if any.
  •  Salads are made with the leaves, raw as well as boiled or steamed.
  • The flowers can be battered and made into fritters.
  • A number of dishes are flavored with the petals of the flowers, which are also added to sautéed dishes.
  • In Greece and Crete, leaves of this plant are eaten raw, along with other similar herbs such as pachies and agrioradika.
  • Alcoholic beverages such as wine are flavored with the petals of these flowers.
  • The roots of this herb are ground and roasted and used as a substitute for coffee.



Medicinal Uses


Catsear leaves and catsear oil have many medicinal properties which include -

  • The ability to treat liver infections and bile related problems.
  • It is also used for treating kidney problems and acts as a diuretic.
  • It is a wonderful detoxifier and is also used for controlling cancer.
  • As per studies, the herb helps in treating urinary tract infections in women and also helps in controlling inflammation.
  • This herb can treat weak stomach, cirrhosis, gall stones, gall bladder problems, jaundice, rheumatism, dyspepsia, constipation and hypoglycemia.





  • Catsear, like dandelion, is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. However, the pollen can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to pollen. It can also cause allergies in some people, if eaten raw.
  • The leaves and flowers can cause skin irritation in sensitive people; hence, care needs to be taken.
  • People on potassium-sparing diuretics should avoid taking this herb, as the high content of potassium in the herb can lead to hyperkalemia.





Catsear is believed to cause “stringhalt” in horses, in which the hind legs (one or both) go through a sudden flexion. This can cause the horse to trip and fall.