The Delicious, Nutritious Secrets of Dandelion Root Tea

Dandelions are secretly nutritious

Once known as a prominent ingredient in many recipes made during the Great Depression, dandelions may surprise you! While they may seem to most people to be just unattractive, annoying little yard weeds, dandelions actually have numerous health benefits. Used medicinally through the centuries for ailments from liver problems to kidney disease, heartburn, stomach problems, as diuretics, for appetite stimulation, appendicitis, immunity-boosting, breast milk flow problems, fever, boils, diabetes, diarrhea, eye problems, gallbladder troubles, swelling and skin conditions, they are also eaten for their consistency and taste in sandwiches, soups, and salads.  According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, dandelions, or Taraxacum officinale, are overflowing with vitamins A, B, C, and D, in addition to minerals like potassium, zinc and iron.

There are many forms of dandelion available, but the roots are best for tea

While the beautiful yellow flowers, (full of excellent antioxidants), of the dandelion open when the sun is shining and close when the sky darkens, the roots are filled with a white, milky fluid with a strong smell and flavor. Although found in numerous forms including extracts, capsules, and tinctures, the dandelion root is our focus here- – and primarily as used in tea. Often enjoyed as a coffee replacement, dandelion root tea has detoxifying components to benefit the liver and gallbladder. It also has been known to provide laxative effects. Let’s take a look at some additional benefits believed to be associated with delicious dandelion root tea.

What are some other health benefits?

You can reduce bloating and/or water weight by drinking this tea. A simple two cup serving can promote urination and have a strong diuretic effect on those who need it. It may also soothe digestive issues, aid in weight loss, have anti-cancer properties, or prevent urinary tract infections.

Where can someone get dandelion root tea?

You can find packaged dandelion root tea at almost any health food store or grocery, or purchase it online. If you would like to try making your own at home, just take a walk outside for your main ingredients! Just be certain they are definitely dandelion roots (if you’re not sure, ask someone — you don’t want to ingest something toxic!), and also that they haven’t been treated with chemicals prior to harvesting. It can be tricky to get the dandelion roots out of the ground, according to one site, and it should also be noted that they pack the most nutritional content in the spring and fall. Once you’ve gathered enough of the roots, this recipe guides you through cleaning, chopping, roasting, and grinding into a powder, then brewing the tea. You can place it into a tea ball or make your own tea bags and steep in hot water for the desired length of time — in this case, 20 minutes is recommended. Add spices or natural sweeteners as you desire for the optimal taste.  

Or you could try some dandelion root….coffee??

If you need a break from the morning coffee routine, give this herbal coffee substitute a try. It’s made with dandelion root as well, so you can prepare the fresh root in the same way as here. The coffee substitute will have the same detoxifying and nutritional content as the tea and be just as flavorful as a cup of your favorite mocha latte. Just steep for five minutes and add the extras as you wish according to taste.

A tasty variation on the dandelion root coffee is worth a look

How about a slight variation on the coffee bit? Here’s a natural dandelion root coffee made with chicory root and cinnamon sticks that’s to die for.  Check at the very bottom right underneath the recipe for some interesting Ayurvedic preparation tips. Steep, add coconut (or other) milk creamer, and sip — Voila!

If it’s autumn or you just want to feel like it is, here’s a pumpkin spice latte version for those in need

If you’ve tried the basic recipes and you’re ready to spice things up a bit, check out this tasty treat! Dandelion root pumpkin spice latte is delightfully fragrant, pleasantly spiced up, and dairy-free. You’ll need to soak the cashews ahead of time for a bit (ideally for at least a full 30 minutes), so scan through the recipe prior to the moment you want to drink it to allow for enough prep time. Enjoy!

Healthy Tips