Dandelion Root Tea
For centuries herbalists have been giving their patients dandelion root tea as a remedy to a number of ailments and as part of a spring tonic.
This hardy weed is actually a storehouse of important vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. The benefits are contained in the whole plant; the roots, the leaves, and even the flowers. Some of the nutrients found in dandelion are:
- Vitamin A
- B-complex vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
These are important nutrients for healthy blood as well as an efficiently functioning nervous system.
You should always talk to your doctor before adding any supplements or herbs to your diet.
What Dandelion Root Tea Is Used For
While dandelion tinctures or supplements can be taken, somepeople feel that the tea is more effective.It has long been used as a detox tea.
Dandelion tea has been traditionally used to treat thefollowing:
- Bladder infections
- Gall bladder
- Gasto-intestinal problems
- Kidney infections
- Liver detox
- Lower cholesterol
Side Effects of Dandelion
Few people have significant side effects with dandelion tea.Of these, the average side effect is a skin rash. Once in awhile there may besome small stomach upset. Some people, especially those prone to gall stonesand bile problems can develop a strong reaction, however.
Dandelion can also cause a drop in potassium in some people because of the diuretic action of the herb.
How to Make Dandelion Tea
Interestingly, dandelion root has been used to make a coffee like beverage for centuries. It has a taste very similar to coffee. It makes an excellent, caffeine free substitute when roasted and brewed.
You will need to harvest the dandelion roots when the ground is soft, as after a rain. The taproot can go down nearly a foot (in a soft soil) so just digging it out of hard dirt is not really possible.
Dunk the roots in a bucket of cold water until the water is muddy. Pour the muddy water off and refill with clear water. Continue this process until the water is clear.
Now, cut the roots up. Let them soak in a bowl of cold water until it becomes cloudy. Repeat until it is clear.
Roast the roots by spreading them on a cookie sheet and baking them at 250F until roasted and dry. You will need to keep turning them so they can roast evenly.
Grind the roasted roots until they are a coarse powder. Simmer one tablespoon of roasted dandelion in one cup of water until it reaches a strength you like, about 10 minutes.
Dandelion Tinctures and Capsules
You can get dandelion tinctures and capsules at most health food stores. These items are very effective and in many ways are more convenient that the tea.
It is especially important that you follow the recommendations of your herbalist or naturopath carefully. The tinctures and capsules are more concentrated than the tea and can therefore cause a strong reaction in some people.
- 1 cup roasted dandelion root
- ¼ cups cinnamon bark
- ¼ cup ginger root
- ¼ cup cardamom seeds
- 2 Tbs star Anise
- 2 Tbs.black peppercorns
Mix together and keep in a tightly covered glass jar. For every cup of water use 1 to 2 tablespoons mixture. Simmer until it is the strength you like (10-15 minutes) and then strain. Add cream and honey or sugar to taste.
Dandelion root tea is an excellent beverage, medicinal herb, as well as being a great way to add nutrition to your diet for free. Rather than throwing chemicals on the so called weeds in your lawn you can use them to your benefit.