Dandelion tea has a long history of human usage. Chinese medicinal practitioners used dandelion to treat digestive disorders, appendicitis, and breast problems (such as inflammation or lack of milk flow).
The early American colonial settlers loved the common weed and taught the Native American Indians how to use it. The Indian tribes created their own ways to use dandelion: The Iroquois Indians ate boiled dandelion leaves along with fatty meats to avoid indigestion. When the Ojibwas had heartburn, they drank dandelion root tea. The Kiowa women mixed dandelion blossoms with pennyroyal as a cure for cramps and PMS. The Mohegans drank dandelion leaf tea daily as a tonic to keep their energy levels high and to stay free of stomach aches and constipation.
Other Indian tribes collected the young leaves in the spring and ate them with other leafy vegetables. And even now, it is not considered old-fashioned to use dandelion root, leaves or extract for common ailments.
When people talk about dandelion tea, they are largely talking about one of two different beverages: an infusion made of the plant’s leaves, or one made of roasted dandelion roots. Both are considered safe (so long as you haven’t sprayed your yard with herbicides or pesticides) and are used for a variety of purposes.
If you are trying to kick the coffee habit, dandelion root tea can be an excellent substitute in the morning. It can give you a “grounded” type of energy without the side effects of caffeine.
Simply put a single teaspoon of dandelion root in a cup of boiling water and add a touch of agave nectar (or a sweetener if you can’t get a hold of agave nectar) to make your own beverage just as quickly as you make a cup of coffee. Delicious and nutritious!
Dandelion tea can be used as a herbal detox to help cleanse your liver and kidneys. It can be taken on its own, or in combination with other herbs.
Dandelion leaf is a diuretic that increases urine production by promoting the excretion of salts and water from the kidney.
It may be used for a wide range of conditions requiring mild diuretic treatment, such as poor digestion, liver disorders, and high blood pressure. One advantage of dandelion is that dandelion is a source of potassium, a nutrient often lost through the use of other natural and synthetic diuretics.
A recent Korean study suggests that dandelion could have similar effects on the body as the weight loss drug Orlistat, which works by inhibiting pancreatic lipase, an enzyme released during digestion to break down fat. Testing the impact of dandelion extract in mice revealed similar results, prompting researchers to recommend further study on the possible anti-obesity effects of dandelion.
Dandelion roots, leaves and petals all contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, from zinc and vitamin C to iron and potassium, to boost your immune system, provide antioxidants and promote overall health.
Dandelions generally have a light taste that translates into a mild tea that is easily mixed with sweetener, lemon or even other stronger-flavoured teas, especially if you are drinking a formula made from the greens. However, there are also dandelion teas — sometimes called dandelion coffee — that are made from roasted roots, resulting in a stronger, slightly bitter tasting tea.
Whenever you take a new medication or supplement, you may run into side effects. Dandelion is no different. Like many other herbal supplements out there, can cause reactions, interactions, or health problems even if used properly and cautiously. It's always important to speak with your doctor to see if a herbal supplement may be right for your current medical condition.
Dandelion tea is contraindicated with irritable conditions of the bowels or stomach (i.e. ulcers). It should be avoided in the case of bile duct obstruction. Because of its diuretic properties, it may cause a buildup of the drug lithium in the body - so avoid if taking lithium.
If you're pregnant and concerned that dandelion tea could cause problems, there is "insufficient reliable information available, so it's best to check with your doctor. It is recommended that dandelion is avoided during pregnancy.
Antacids, blood-thinning medications, diabetes medication and anything else that is broken down in the liver may interact with dandelion tea. Dandelion may decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics, such as Cipro, so it is best to avoid dandelion if taking this type of medication.
How to Brew
Let’s break this one down step by step:
- Pick the dandelion greens and wash them thoroughly to remove dirt particles.
- Store them in a plastic bag with small holes punched for air circulation, keeping them cold and humid. Use them as soon as possible, since greens are quite perishable.
Pour one cup of boiling water in a cup with 1 teaspoon dried dandelion leaves
Cover and let steep for three minutes.
- Stir and let steep another minute.
- Serve with your choice of lemon, orange, mint or honey
To serve dandelion tea ideally in your own home, make use of the Fellow Raven Tea Kettle and Steeper. The 2 in 1 kettle and tea steeper lets you brew dandelion tea easily with lots of balance and flavour - all within the one device.
In addition, the inbuilt thermometer displays the temperature so you know when to pour and serve!