Dandelion tea, also known as dandelion coffee, is a delicious concoction popular around the world. Made from the common dandelion plant, dandelion tea has been featured in a variety of cultures. From Chinese traditional medicine to modern American science, the pervasiveness and popularity of dandelion tea have made this drink a worldwide hit.
But just what exactly is this delicious drink, and are there any benefits of dandelion tea? This article will cover everything from brewing the perfect cup to how you, too, can use this tea to boost your health! Here are nine exceptional health benefits of dandelion tea!
What is Dandelion Tea?
One of the most instantly recognizable plants, dandelions, are these days commonly considered weeds. Also known as taraxacum officinale, these short, yellow-flowered perennials form distinctive, halo-like bulbs that you may remember wishing upon in the schoolyard.
Traditionally, however, dandelions were used to treat a variety of ailments in creams, tinctures, and tisanes. That brings us to – Dandelion Tea. Dandelion tea is a beverage made with the root part of the dandelion plant. It is rich brown gold in color with a taste and smell remarkably similar to that of coffee.
While the petals and leaves of the dandelion plant can also be used to make teas, the dandelion coffee we are talking about here is made from the roots of the dandelion plant. Mature roots are cut, dried, chopped, and roasted, before being portioned, packaged, and sold. That is what you get when you buy “Dandelion Roasted Root Tea” or “Dandelion Coffee” from the grocery store or health food shop.
Can I Harvest My Own Dandelion Root?
While it is possible to harvest your own dandelion roots, care must be taken when selecting the plant. Most sources recommend choosing plants that are at least two years old, as these will have the largest stems. It’s also essential to carefully wash, dry, and store the roasted root, as improper handling and storage can form mold.
If this is your first foray into the world of dandelion tea, we recommend leaving things to the experts and just picking up a tea bag or two from the supermarket! Remember, there is also dandelion flower tea and dandelion leaf tea available – make sure the box states roasted dandelion root tea, or ask if you are unsure.
However, if you are dead set on growing your own, it’s also interesting to note that when you harvest, your roots can dramatically affect the tea’s flavor profile.
Spring Harvested Roots – Roasted dandelion root harvested during the spring months result in a sweeter tea, lighter color and taste, and less bitter flavor.
Autumn Harvested Roots – Comparatively, dandelions harvested during the months of fall will result in a tea that is darker, richer, and with slightly more bitter notes.
Don’t forget; it’s not just the roots used in herbal medicine! All parts of the dandelion can be consumed. If you are harvesting your own, make sure you save the rest of the plant to make:
- Dandelion flower tea
- Dandelion greens
- Dandelion leaf tea
How to Make a Cup of Dandelion Coffee
Okay, so how do you go about making a cup of this delicious drink? Like most things in life, we all have our personal preferences when it comes to the perfect cuppa. Try playing around with sweeteners like maple and honey, creamers like milk and coconut cream, and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
However, the classic cup is made as follows:
- 2 Tablespoons dried dandelion root
- 500ml (about 2 cups) of freshwater
Bring the water to a rolling boil and add the roasted dandelion root. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes before straining. Serve as is, or get creative and add your own personal touches!
Health Benefits of Drinking Dandelion Tea
Okay, so now we know everything from harvesting to spicing your tea. Now it’s time to look into the actual health benefits of dandelion tea. As we already mentioned, dandelion tea has been known for centuries due to its therapeutic benefits. It has been featured in many forms of Ancient Chinese Medicine and was used by the first Americans to treat upset stomachs and help with liver function problems.
These days dandelion tea weight loss treatments have become popular, and many even claim it can help boost the immune system and fight against the flu. Let’s check out eight ways dandelion tea benefits your health in more detail.
1. Acts as a Coffee Substitute
Acting as a preventative rather than a curative, this herbal tea shines first and foremost as a passable substitute for coffee. As it is similar in taste and smell, roasted dandelion root has been used by many during times of war or hardship as a cheap and readily available alternative to the comparatively exotic coffee beans.
This substitution can also be important to those trying to reduce their coffee intake for their health. Unlike black tea or green tea, Dandelion root tea doesn’t contain any caffeine and has some powerful health benefits to boot, such as helping to reduce water weight.
2. Helps Reduce Water Weight:
Maintaining the right amount of water in your body isn’t as easy as your might have thought. Sometimes, too much fluid builds up in the body, which can lead to puffiness and bloating, especially in the tummy area. Excess water retention can be a serious medical problem, but for most of us is just a slight annoyance. So, where does dandelion come into it?
Well, dandelion coffee has long been considered a natural diuretic, that is, something that helps you pee to expel excess water from your body. The diuretic effect of dandelion tea is, in fact, so pervasive that its common French name, piss en lit, actually means to wet the bed. While we can safely say that is no one here’s intent, an occasional cup of dandelion tea can safely help you expel excess water without putting your bed sheets in danger!
3. Lower Your Blood Pressure:
The diuretic effect of dandelion tea has flow-on effects. It not only helps as a short-term dandelion tea weight loss boost, but the diuretic effect may also even help lower blood pressure. Your body will have to struggle less to maintain homeostasis by expelling the excess fluid in the body, and your blood pressure will naturally lower.
If you are on any medications or have serious problems with your health, we always recommend seeking medical advice from a doctor or health care professional before playing around with treatments. Even natural plants and herbal tea can have pretty powerful effects, and it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
4. Maintains Good Kidney Health and Improves Blood Flow:
Dandelion tea is also a rich source of certain essential elements and minerals, including Vitamins A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and potassium. Potassium isn’t just what you remember from science class.
This important mineral is crucial for the proper functioning of many bodily systems, a notable example being the kidneys. Potassium, especially working in combination with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, helps kidneys function correctly, which helps improve blood flow around the body. This super tea also plays a vital role in the function of other essential organs, including the liver.
5. Helps to Detoxify the Liver:
The benefits of dandelion tea extend to many of our body’s organs, notably liver function. The liver, essential for filtering and detoxifying the body, is a workhorse for many. The dandelion plant has long been known to treat liver ailments and may help boost liver function and health.
6. Help Control Diabetes:
Studies into the benefits of dandelion tea even suggest that it can help balance your body’s blood sugar level. That means that drinking dandelion tea could help prevent, control, and manage diabetes. Doing so could also help improve heart health and lower oxidative stress; however, further research is necessary to determine the extent of this effect.
7. Treat Urinary Tract Infection:
Dandelions could even help treat Urinary Tract Infections, also known as UTIs. Partly due to the diuretic effect of the dandelion roots, it could also be because of its natural ability to detoxify the body and the anti-inflammatory properties of the roasted dandelion root tea.
8. Help with Digestive Issues:
Apart from the anti-inflammatory properties, the health benefits of dandelion tea extend to its ability to help with digestive issues and promote proper digestion. Its effects are multifaceted, as dandelion root extract has been shown to improve bile production, soothe upset tummies, and act as a mild laxative.
9. Fighting Flu:
This exceptional drink can even help stave off the flu. Consuming a cup of dandelion coffee every day could be just what the doctor ordered. That is partly due to this tisane’s natural detoxification abilities and its reported antiviral properties.
In fact, modern studies show that dandelion extract can help stop viruses from replicating. That means that a cup of dandelion root tea could help keep mild infections, cases of flu, and colds at bay.
Dandelion Tea Side Effects
Okay, so now we know all about the benefits of dandelion tea. Are there any dandelion tea side effects I should be aware of?
As with any herbal tea or natural medicine, dandelion tea is typically safe for the majority of the population. However, those at risks, such as pregnant women or children, or anyone with a chronic disease or illness, should always consult with a health care professional before making any changes to their diet.
Overconsumption of dandelion tea may also result in symptoms of mild discomfort, which may present itself in the form of:
- Stomach Pain
It is well worth noting that dandelion root tea may provoke an allergic reaction in some people. It is also not recommended that those taking certain forms of antibiotics or medications consume dandelion tea, as its diuretic effects may impede the absorption of the medicine.
Is it ok to drink dandelion tea daily?
Most people should be able to drink dandelion root tea daily safely. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
Can anyone drink dandelion tea?
For some people, including those at risk or on certain medications, dandelion tea is not recommended. Those who are at risk should always take care when experimenting with natural medicine. Dandelion extract has also been shown to evoke an allergic reaction. Seek medical advice if you are at all unsure.
What is the dosage limitation of Dandelion in a day?
There are no specific dosage limitations for drinking dandelion tea. However, most people should be able to handle 1 – 2 cups of tea a day safely.
The depth to which the humble dandelion has pervaded traditional medicine reflects the truly exceptional health benefits that we now know can be found in this sunny plant. From soothing upset tummies to improving liver function; From promoting heart health and lowering oxidative stress, the delicate dandelion is truly a natural warrior in the realm of holistic care. Try incorporating a cup of dandelion coffee into your daily routine, and see how the wisdom of generations can help you too.
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Rosily Ryan is an experienced health and fitness writer, editor, and health activist in Sydney, Australia. She’s written for several publications like Pure Green Magazine.