Sipping tea not only provides the hydration that your body needs, it can also provide additional health benefits from the tea itself. Dandelion tea is actually made from the roots of the circular yellow-orange weeds that grow on your lawn, and in your garden. Many people like to call them weeds, but perhaps being reclassified as an herb will be more accurate, as they contain vitamins A, C, and D, and the minerals, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, that the body needs. They also contain more beta-carotene than carrots per serving.
Dandelions can be added to salad—as long as they’re grown for consumption—and made into wine and even tea. They grow in many parts of the world. The most common type is called Taraxacum officinale from the family Asteraceae. The aboriginal peoples of North and South America would use dandelions as a medicinal herb.
A dandelion flower head can dry out and turn into fluffy white seeds that disperse in the winds and help the plants to reproduce. The best time to harvest the roots to make tea is when the plant is in the flowering stages. By the time it’s in the seeding stages it be dying and have lost most of its beneficial nutrients.
Dandelion Tea & Weight Loss Benefits
One of the most beneficial ways to use dandelion tea is to drink it for its weight loss aspects. This is because the tea can provide a diuretic effect on the body. Many people can become bloated up with water due to consuming too much salt, as well as from food intolerances. Drinking the tea can help your body flush out the water that you’re retaining.
Drinking more water has been proven to flush out fat from the body too. Studies have verified that the urinary system speeds up after drinking dandelion tea. This can last for up to five hours after drinking it.
The tea also has the benefit of making you stomach feel fuller, so you’re not going to reach for a candy bar or cake when you’re hungry between meals.
It’s believed the tea will increase your metabolism so that more calories are burned faster, and that the anti-oxidant properties of the tea will help to flush out toxins from the body that can overload the immune system.
While drinking dandelion tea alone is not going to help you lose weight, it can be one part of a total and healthier way of living.
Besides helping with weight loss, drinking dandelion tea can benefit you in other ways too.
Other Benefits of Drinking Dandelion Tea
Here are 12 ways that you can use dandelion tea to manage your most common health ailments.
1. Excellent for kidney & bladder infections.
If you have a bad kidney infection or bladder infection, and are prescribed antibiotics, ask your doctor if you can drink dandelion tea instead of cranberry juice or water. Drinking plain water can become tedious over time, but cranberry juice has too much sugar in it to be healthy. Dandelion tea’s diuretic properties will help flush out your kidneys and bladder, and help them to get rid of that bad infection. Drinking dandelion tea on a regular basis can also help to prevent kidney and bladder infections.
2. Use for liver detox.
The dandelion tea is not only good for your kidneys, it’s good for every organ in your digestive system, including the liver. The tea can encourage the production of enzymes that have detoxifying properties in the liver. For people who suffer liver disease, the tea can be an effective treatment for jaundice. This can help increase the effectiveness of the liver cleansing your body of toxins.
3. Good diabetes controller.
Dandelion tea is still in the testing stages, but could have a potential benefit for people who have diabetes. Since it’s beneficial for encouraging the production of liver enzymes, it will also help the pancreas to produce enzymes too, which help to turn sugars into energy. It helps to balance the blood sugar, so that you don’t experience any sharp drops in sugar levels that can make you feel dizzy or unwell. It’ll be interesting to see what’s ahead in how dandelions can improve pancreatic health.
4. Provides essential nutrients to the body.
Drinking dandelion tea is an easier way of providing nutrients to the body than swallowing a bunch of vitamins or pills. It contains a high amount of vitamins, B and C, beta-carotene, and calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
5. Beneficial for soothing skin conditions.
Many people suffer from inflammatory skin conditions, such as dermatitis, hives, eczema, and psoriasis. Dandelions contain natural anti-inflammatory compounds that will help to decrease the inflammation in your body that can lead to an annoying or irritating skin condition. The tea also has soothing properties that will help you to slow down, which will naturally lead to decreasing the stress in your body.
6. Use as a coffee substitute.
While dandelion tea contains no caffeine, it does contain other beneficial compounds to make you feel good. The vitamins and minerals will give a boost of energy to your body so you can get through the day. The tea will work as a good coffee replacement, and soon you’ll notice how much easier it is to fall asleep at night. Giving up caffeine won’t keep you awake into the long hours of the night, which can result in an endless loop of feeling tired all week.
7. Soothes digestive ailments.
Dandelion tea has benefits for every part of your digestive system. It can help to improve appetite in people who are anorexic, and soothe the minor stomach ailments we all get. A cup of dandelion tea can be enjoyed after a big or spicy meal. It can even help to relieve constipation.
8. Boosts your immune system.
Drinking dandelion tea can help to strengthen your immune system. There is no one person who is completely immune to all the cold viruses and flu bugs that go around every year. The tea will give a boost to your immune system and flush out foreign organisms that can cause illness in the body. It’s a better way to help elevate the defences of our immune system rather than taking a pill every morning.
9. Beneficial nutrients for good circulatory health.
The fibre in the dandelion roots will help to keep your arteries clear of fat, while the potassium is an essential nutrient needed for healthy heart function. Drinking the tea will work as a diuretic that will help to keep excess water away from heart and chest, which will then lower blood pressure. The roots will also work to lower LDL cholesterol, while raising the good HDL levels.
10. Improves bone health.
Dandelions naturally contain minerals, including calcium, which are essential for building bone health in the body. The tea also contains vitamin C, and luteolin, which protect the bones from aging. The free radicals in the dandelion will also help to fight the damage they can cause in the bones.
11. Prevents acne conditions.
Pimples can frequently occur on the face, scalp, and upper chest regions, but can appear anywhere on the body. The antioxidant properties from the tea can help to discourage the growth of the bacteria on the skin that causes acne. It can also help to regulate the hormonal balance in the body, as changes can affect acne growth, particularly during the teenage years. If the liver is efficiently removing toxins, they can be sweated out, which naturally leads to excess growth of bacteria on the skin that causes acne.
12. Used to treat scurvy.
Dandelion tea can be used to treat scurvy, a condition that affects the bones and is caused by a lack of vitamin C, or from the body failing to adequately process it. Since the tea can be stored for upwards of a year or more, it can be helpful to keep in your cupboard if you don’t have time to buy fresh fruit. It’s also helpful to have some in the cupboard in the winter time, particularly if you live in a colder climate where fruit doesn’t grow in the winter.
How Do I Make Dandelion Tea?
Dandelion tea is actually made from the roots of the plant. If you’re specifically growing dandelions in your garden for consumption, you can go ahead and pick them to make into tea.
You’ll first want to harvest the roots. Usually this is ideal in the fall months. You’ll have to carefully pull the roots from the ground. Ensure you thoroughly wash the roots and shake as much of the excess water from them in a sieve, then dry with a paper towel.
Use a knife and cutting board and mince up the roots as best as you can. Separate the flowers and leaves and use them for something else. You’ll want to set the roots aside to dry. You can also use a dehydrator.
Once the roots are thoroughly dried, you’ll want to roast them in a cast iron frying pan. Be sure to constantly stir them to keep them from getting singed. They should turn a darker shade of brown but never black, and have a nice aromatic smell. They can now be stored in a dark airtight container for up to one year.
When you’re ready to make your drink, measure 2 tbsp/30 ml dried dandelion into a tea diffuser. Make your hot water and pour it into a cup. Place your diffuser into the water and let it soak for 5 minutes. Remove the diffuser and discard the contents into your organics recycling bin or compost heap. Then enjoy the tea!
How Much Dandelion Tea Do I Need to Drink?
You can drink one or two cups of the tea each day to enjoy the benefits. Drink it during your morning and mid-afternoon breaks, rather than with meals. You do not want to drink the tea before bedtime, otherwise you’ll spend your all sleeping hours in the bathroom!
Where Do I Buy Dandelion Tea?
Even though dandelion tea sounds like it may be hard to find, you’ll discover that if you head to your local grocer’s, or big box supermarket, that there should be at least one or two brands of the dandelion tea on offer.
Do read the box to ensure that it’s 100% pure dandelion tea, and that it contains no other herbs or ingredients, especially if you’re drinking it for medicinal reasons.
You may also buy a high-quality tea online, or from local health, vitamin, or supplements shops.
Are There Any Dandelion Tea Side Effects?
Just like with any other type of medicinal herb, you want to be aware of the risks of drinking this natural tea.
- If you’re taking lithium, it can increase its toxic effects when drinking dandelion tea.
- Dandelion tea has been noted for causing problems for people with major digestive disorders, such as blocked bile ducts or ulcers. Consult your physician first.
- Do not drink the tea if you must take antacids, antibiotics, or diabetic medication. Ask your doctor first.
- If you have allergies to ragweed or related plants, or iodine or latex, you may be allergic to dandelions too.
- Unless you have a commercial herb farm, or a dedicated dandelion garden in your yard, it’s recommended to purchase fresh edible dandelions from a grocer or supplier, or to buy the dried dandelion tea. Pesticides, weed killers, and fertilizers can be on lawns and turn dandelions poisonous, so you should never pick them from random spots.
- Visit a doctor if you have any serious health conditions or diseases. Dandelion tea is meant as a supportive tea, not a cure.
Closing Thoughts on Drinking Dandelion Tea
Dandelion tea may take a bit of getting used to, as it has a slightly bitter and herbal taste, but it goes down well. If you’re searching for a simple way to drink dandelion tea, you can simply buy a box, rather than growing your own herbs or drying the roots yourself. Your body will benefit from the vitamins and minerals it contains, as well as helping your liver and digestive system to detox.