Many people just get annoyed when they see their lawns covered with dandelions. But few people know that dandelion is edible and makes fantastic tea. The flowers can be used for a light, refreshing brew while the leaves and roots will give you an earthy, strong flavor. The tea can be very tasty and help with your digestion. The tea is safe for most people, but it’s always smart to speak with your doctor before trying a new herbal tea.
How to Make Dandelion Tea
You don’t want to get your dandelions from just any place. The fact is that most lawns are sprayed with chemicals and pesticides. Make sure that your picks are untouched and natural for the best flavor and most benefits.
1. Dandelion Flower Tea
- To make a tea from the flowers, you will need to collect several handfuls of the buds.
- Rinse well with cold water to remove any insects or dirt.
- Separate the petals from the flower into a dish. Compost other flower parts.
- You need about a handful of petals for every cup of tea you wish to brew.
- Steep the flower in boiling water for at least three minutes.
- Add sugar or honey to taste and serve.
2. Dandelion Leaf Tea
- Pick a few handfuls of the leaves. The smaller the leaf is, the better the taste will be.
- Take these in a colander and rinse with cold running water.
- Pat dry with a towel or paper towel and spread out to dry on a tray.
- Air dry in a cupboard or warm room, turning every leaf occasionally.
- Place in a canning jar with lid and store out of the sun.
- Use a teaspoon of the dried leaf for every cup of tea you are brewing. It mixes well with mint leaves if you prefer.
3. Dandelion Root Tea
How to make dandelion tea with root? First pluck out as much of the dandelion root, using a spade or weed fork. This root tends to be twisted and long and will take some work to dig up, but it is worth it.
- Rinse it very well under cool, running water. Once the dirt is scrubbed off, chop it up in coarse chunks.
- Use a dehydrator to dry the root for later use. The root will be done when you can pinch between your fingernails and no moisture can be felt. Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dark, and dry place.
- To brew a tea, use one tablespoon for each cup.
- Place this through a coffee grinder or food processor or finely dice with a knife.
- Don’t overgrind and then place in a tea ball. This is a container used to hold herbs for brewing. If you don’t have a tea ball, you can use cheesecloth.
- Use with around nine ounces of boiling water to steep your tea in for about ten minutes.
Health Benefits of Drinking Dandelion Tea
Now you know how to make dandelion tea. Then what are the benefits of drinking the tea?
1. Increased Bone Health
Dandelion roots provide a rich amount of calcium which is needed for healthy bone growth and strength. There is also a large amount of vitamin C and other antioxidants like luteolin. These can help protect your bones from damage.
2. Liver Benefit
Your liver can benefit from dandelion tea in a few ways.
- The antioxidants promote proper liver function, preventing premature aging.
- Dandelions also provide compounds that help treat the hemorrhaging of the liver.
- They can help stabilize the bile flow and treat the liver disorder jaundice.
3. Urinary Disorder Treatment
Because dandelions are diuretic in nature, they can help your body to pass toxins from the kidneys and urinary tract. There are also disinfectant qualities with the tea, preventing the growth of undesirable microbes in the urinary tract.
4. Diabetes Control
Another benefit of dandelion tea is stimulating insulin production, helping to keep your blood sugars lower. It is important to remember that there will be increased urination due to the diuretic properties. This will help pass excess sugar through your urine as well.
5. Cancer Treatment
Many are surprised that dandelion tea offers cancer fighting benefits. This is because of the large amounts of vitamin C and luteolin. They will help to reduce free radicals in the body. The tea also promotes detoxification; this can help your body fight tumors and other cancers.
6. Improved Bowel Function
You get high levels of dietary fiber when you drink dandelion tea. The fiber promotes intestinal health and digestion. It will help add bulk to stools and ease the instances of constipation or diarrhea.
7. Weight Loss
Your urine holds around 4% fat, so when you pass more, you will lose more fat and water. Learning how to make dandelion tea can help you enjoy this benefit.
8. Inflammation Reduction
There is some research with animals suggesting dandelion root is an excellent way to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is said to be the cause of many ailments including cancer and heart disease. Reducing inflammation can also improve joint pain.
A Note of Caution
If you are allergic to ragweed, you may see an allergic reaction from dandelion. Those with allergies should be doubly sure to check with their physician before taking dandelion tea.
Because of its diuretic properties, dandelion tea can force drugs out of your system. Be sure to check with your doctor if you are on any medication.
- Diuretics: If you are already on diuretics, dandelion tea can cause you to shed too much water, leading to dehydration.
- Lithium: Taken for bipolar disorders, lithium side effects can become exacerbated by dandelion tea.
- Diabetes Medication: Blood sugar levels may drop too low when dandelion tea is taken and you’re on diabetes meds.
- Anticoagulants: Warfarin and aspirin thin blood and dandelion may escalate your risk of heavy bleeding.
- Antibiotics: If you are taking dandelion, your body may not absorb the antibiotics well. This may cause them to be less effective.
- Antacids: Dandelion can increase stomach acid, which may interfere with antacids.