Homeowners often misunderstand this bright yellow buttery flower as an invasive weed. They spend countless hours removing dandelions from their yard. Over time, the yellow flower disappears and turns into seed pods carried by the wind to create even more dandelions. The truth is that there is so much more to this pretty wildflower than meets the eye.
What is Dandelion Root Tea?
Dandelion (taraxacum officinale) has had a long history of being an ancient herbal medicine. It is responsible for helping with flushing the system as a diuretic, leveling out blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol, and even helping with weight loss.
Dandelion tea is typically made from the dandelion root, but sometimes leaves, stems, and even the whole plant are used to make a brew. Often called dandelion coffee due to the dark coloring from the dandelion root, many coffee drinkers appreciate the smokey flavor as a substitute for their morning cup of coffee. But the flavor is lighter and delicately floral when you brew the leaves and stems.
The versatility of the flower has made it a popular choice for tea companies and tea enthusiasts everywhere. Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and essential nutrients, this drink is sure to give you a boost. Since you'll find dandelions in almost every field and lawn, you can easily pick some and make your own tea. However, picking your own dandelions should be done with caution. Many places spray pesticides, so it is best to know the area you will be harvesting from before making any teas from the dandelions.
So many tea drinkers simply love the taste of dandelion root tea! It can range from having a pleasant and delicately sweet taste to a more robust and hearty drink. Dandelion tea is caffeine-free and loaded with healthy antioxidants.
The best part is that since dandelions are so plentiful, so is the tea. You can find it in grocery stores and health shops, and you can even order it at some restaurants and tea houses. You can buy it in tea bags, or you can use a loose-leaf tea variety. But are there really health benefits to drinking this tea? Let's look at what this summer lawn flower can do for the human body.
Important Note: Before you take any new supplement or dietary aid, including dandelion tea, talk to a healthcare provider or doctor to see if it will have any serious side effects when taken with your prescribed medications.
The Health Benefits of Drinking Dandelion Tea
As an ancient traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion plants have been harvested for centuries to help people overcome health conditions. These days there is scientific research done to see if the dandelion plant has any potential health benefits for the human body. Here are some of the main ways drinking dandelion tea might help.
#1. Diuretic Effect
Dandelion tea can be a natural diuretic if you ever feel sluggish or bloated or just want to flush your system. A hot cup of this tea delivers enough diuretic properties to flush out systems removing excess sugar and ridding the body of toxins in the liver and kidneys.
#2. Lowers Blood Sugar
Dandelion tea may help fight diabetes naturally. Some scientific evidence points to dandelions moderating blood sugar levels, which can also help improve insulin tolerance. This study shows a direct link between dandelion extracts and the insulin release in the pancreas and how it may counteract the effects of hyperglycemia.
#3. Loaded With Antioxidants
Research suggests that antioxidants are good for your body, and dandelion tea is loaded with them. It is also high in beta-carotene, which can help your body avoid cell damage and oxidative stress. Antioxidants generally boost the immune system and contain free radical fighting abilities. When the body can fight free radical damage, it helps prevent premature aging and disease.
#4. A Great Way To Detox
A great way to eliminate toxins from the body is by sipping a cup of dandelion tea regularly. The effects of dandelion tea on liver function show that it has the potential to flush the liver of toxins, improve liver health and reduce the risk of liver disease.
#5. Lowers Cholesterol
Another one of the many potential health benefits of dandelion tea is lower cholesterol and reduced risk of heart-related problems such as heart disease. A 2012 animal study showed that dandelion extract might help reduce high lipid levels and cholesterol in the blood. More research in human studies is needed to fully support taking dandelion leaf extract fully or dandelion tea to lower cholesterol.
#6. Dandelion Tea And Weight Loss
Recent studies from Korea compared dandelion roots' ability to lower triglycerides with the weight loss drug Orlistat. Dandelion tea may also help inhibit pancreatic lipase. Since it can also stop the body from retaining water, those two factors give dandelion the potential for weight loss in obese subjects.
#7. Lowers Blood Pressure
Another one of the many health benefits of dandelion tea is its ability to lower blood pressure. Dandelion packs a healthy punch when it comes to potassium, and potassium is a great way to create electrolytes for the body. Potassium also helps prevent blood clotting and improves blood flow.
#8. Loaded With Vitamins
Whether you're taking dandelion root extract, dandelion greens, or dandelion flowers, all of the plant material is loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Vitamin K is excellent for bone health. Vitamin A and vitamin C are great for general health. The other nutrients present in dandelion are potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which aid a person's overall health.
#9. Helps Prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
The dandelion plant is packed with healthy antioxidants and contains anti-inflammatory properties. This means that a dandelion herbal tea may help with fighting infections and bladder disorders such as UTIs. In some studies, combing dandelion with uva ursi shows that it can help stop UTIs altogether.
Among the many health benefits of dandelion tea, dandelions contain exceptional natural anti-inflammatory properties. Every single part of the plant, from the dandelion leaves to the roots, contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body. According to Harvard Health Publishing, inflammation is a key factor in causing several serious health conditions in the human body. Drinking this tea can help reduce those risks by reducing inflammation.
#11. Boost To The Immune System
Who would have thought that a nice cup of roasted dandelion root tea could help protect you from harmful bacteria and fight off infection? Dandelion root may contain antiviral and antimicrobial properties, which help defend your body against short-term and long-term ailments. Studies using test tubes found that dandelion stopped viruses from replicating and spreading throughout the body.
#12. Lower Cancer Risk
Dandelion has been studied as a natural medicinal remedy for its cancer-fighting capabilities. A recent study showed how dandelion roots played an important role in melanoma cells in humans. Researchers revealed that dandelions aid in killing skin cancer cells.
#13. Dandelion And The Flu
When the flu strikes, a nice cup of dandelion tea will soothe and warm your body, but it might be doing more to help you get through flu season. Studies show that the extract can reduce virus levels in the body without creating any adverse effects.
#14. Improves Skin Health
Spend just a little time in health food stores, and you begin to notice many skincare products use images of flowers to sell everything from shampoos to body creams. It makes sense since many flower extracts and plant properties can heal damaged or dry skin, and dandelions are no exception. Dandelions can help protect skin from UVB rays, prevent premature aging, and even help with acne. This little wonder flower may even help boost collagen production and hydration in the skin.
#15. Great For The Digestive System
For anyone suffering from an upset stomach, make dandelion tea! Dandelions may reduce stress on the liver and help it produce bile which helps the body break down fats into fatty acids. It can also soothe the stomach lining and assist the gut in absorbing minerals. Dandelions also may increase the gut's natural probiotic properties by boosting the good lactobacillus.
Side Effects Of Taking Dandelion
While there are plenty of good things that come from dandelions, some people should avoid drinking dandelion tea if they have any of the following:
People who have allergic reactions to daisies and all plants that fall under the daisy family, including ragweed and dandelion.
People suffering from kidney problems like kidney stones should avoid taking dandelion.
Pregnant women should also avoid taking dandelion.
People taking certain medications, such as diuretic medicine for kidneys, should avoid taking dandelion as it could cause serious side effects.
It would be best if you always spoke to your doctor before taking alternative and complementary medicine like dandelion leaf extracts or drinking dandelion tea.
The next time you think of pulling out that pesky weed, it might just be that those dandelions popping up all over your yard are full of fantastic health benefits. Even though more research is needed to secure dandelion's place among healing plants, nothing beats that warm and fresh feeling you'll get from each sip. Here's a dandelion blend we're sure you'll love!