While dandelion gets a bad rap as an annoying, pervasive weed that some say ruin the yards of home owners everywhere the truth is it is plant that is full of health benefits. Not to mention the yellow flowers look beautiful on a sunny day, but I digress. Dandelion is safe and filled with healthy goodness. It can be eaten in salads or as a side green for your meals. It can also be steeped to make dandelion tea and it can even be used to make dandelion vinegar.
You can harvest the dandelions from your own yard if you know that your yard has not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. You can also buy your dandelion greens or roots from many groceries, farmer's markets, or organic foods co-ops.
Dandelion tea is an aromatic, slightly woodsy tea, with a subtle hint of a coffee taste. Add a little cream, coconut oil and a dash of vanilla for a lovely twist and delicious treat.
How to Make Dandelion Tea
There are three ways to make your own dandelion tea.
The first is by using the washed and dried leaves, which can dehydrated in a low temp oven, or even in the sun. Once dried, simply crumble the leaves and steep for five to ten minutes in hot water to make the tea. Strain your tea before drinking. You can also use a strainer during the steeping process.
(See my tea collection here).
The second way is to use the roots of the dandelion. Wash and dry the roots then roast in the oven. Once dried, the roots can be grated, or finely chopped then steeped in hot water for 3-5 minutes. Strain your tea, or use a strainer during the steeping process.
Lastly, you can make dandelion flower tea. Pour boiling water over 8-10 washed dandelion flowers. Let steep for 3-5 minutes, add a bit of stevia or honey. Remove flowers or leave one or two for a pleasant cup of tea to brighten your day.
Buying Dandelion Tea
If you are worried about the safety of dandelion from your own yard or simply do not want to make your own, you can purchase pre-made dried teas. Here are a few that I recommend.
- Roasted Dandelion Root from Mountain Rose Herbs
- Dandelion Root Tea from Traditional Medicinals
- Dandy Blend
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DANDELION TEA
- It cleanses the kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract.
- It can also reduce the likelihood of UTI's.
- It's full of vitamins & minerals: vitamins A, B6, C, K, iron, zinc, potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium
- It can help to regulate blood sugar, and improve blood circulation by purifying the blood.
- It works to detox the liver.
- Improves digestion and eases bloating.
- Protects the bones because of the high levels of calcium and vitamin k.
- Works as an anti-inflammatory easing aching joints.
Precautions to Take with dandelion tea
You want to use dandelions that have not been treated with herbicides and pesticides. Because dandelion increases bile production it can irritate the stomach lining of some. Individuals with allergies to dandelions, or daisies will want to avoid this tea. People with diabetes should monitor blood sugar levels when drinking dandelion tea due to the effects the tea may have on lowering sugar levels. Additionally, the tea may reduce the effectiveness of antacids and other drugs that are made to reduce acid production in the stomach.
Pumpkin Spice Dandelion Tea Recipe
With fall being in full swing now is the best time for hot drinks. Of course, everyone loves pumpkin drinks during this time of the year so I thought, how about a pumpkin spice dandelion tea since it naturally has a hint of a coffee flavor. This would be a healthy way to replace those pumpkin spice lattes that everyone is fond of drinking this time of the year.
- 1 cup dandelion tea
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (or pastured cream)
- 2 T pumpkin puree
- 1 T maple syrup
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract (make your own or buy)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- Brew and steep your tea.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- In a small saucepan bring mixture to a slow simmer.
- Remove from heat and add to blender. (Be careful to vent the hot mixture in a blender.)
- Blend until frothy.
Have you given dandelion tea a try? What are your favorite ways to drink this healthy tea?