Just wondering if anybody out there might know anything about the toxicity of carrot tops. Are they dangerous to eat or just really unpleasent? If they are somewhat toxic are the miniature versions less so?
Thanks in advance,
Funny you should ask. I always wondered about carrot tops. Just learned this information today...
There is some debate about whether you can eat the green leaves.
Despite the presence of celery and carrots in the carrot family of Apiaceae ("umbellifers"), many other members of the family are highly poisonous, but not carrot.
They ARE edible and are highly nutritive, rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. The tops of the carrots are loaded with potassium which can make them bitter, so the use of them in food is limited, but there some ideas and recipes below. The tops are antiseptic and can be juiced and used as a mouthwash.
However, it is edible, so you may mix some in with a mixed lettuce salad. You may also use it for garnish. Combine your common sense and your creative skills, and invent something! That's what makes cooking fun. It is a form of art. Carrot greens are high in vitamin K, which is lacking in the carrot itself.
Carrot tops are an outstanding source of chlorophyll, the green pigment that studies have shown to combat the growth of tumours. Chlorophyll contains cleansing properties that purify the blood, lymph nodes, and adrenal glands. Scientists have been unable to synthesize chlorophyll in the laboratory, but green plant foods contain sufficient quantities to protect the human body.
The leaves do contain furocoumarins that may cause allergic contact dermatitis from the leaves, especially when wet. Later exposure to the sun may cause mild photodermatitis. (This is NOT the same as 'poisonous' - it will only affect susceptible people with allergies to the plant. Some people have the same reaction to yarrow, ragwort, chamomile etc.)
There is a distinct difference between toxins and allergens. Carrots (Daucus carota), whether wild or domesticated, are not toxic, they are allergenic. This is like peanuts, which are not toxic but can kill those who are allergic to them.
It is however important that any wild plant be positively identified before it is used for food.
The tiny tops have tiny almost feathery branches. Carrot seedlings look a lot like bindweed. It takes a while to figure out the differences. Bindweed is redder and the leaf arrangement looks sort of branchy.
Also watch the video link on the cultivation page.
Information copied from the following website.