Most people probably think “unwanted pest” when they hear the word dandelion. After all, dandelions are a nightmare for homeowners and their carefully manicured lawns. So it may come as a surprise that dandelions are an extremely effective source of many nutrients and minerals that our body needs for wellbeing. And dandelion tea tastes pleasant under the right circumstances. The only problem is how to make dandelion tea that is enjoyable to drink.
Dandelions are flowering plants which grow in almost all areas in the world. Not only are dandelions extremely common, but they also create a relaxing drink that provides numerous benefits. That's why many people wonder how to make dandelion tea.
Dandelions as a Source of Nutrition
Dandelion tea is a popular beverage that you can make from dandelions. And surprisingly, learning how to make dandelion tea is quite easy. This drink can instantly relax you. You do not even have to throw away any part of the dandelion. The flowers, leaves, and roots are all excellent sources of nutrition for your next cup of tea.
Dandelions are a versatile food additive and have high nutritional value. You can eat the plant's leaves and flowers dried or even fresh. The dried root is in some herbal products such as tea or coffee. The white juice from its stem has also been used for a long time to treat warts. Dandelion root is immensely rich in inulin, a starchy substance. Nowadays, many probiotic formulas contain inulin.
Dandelions are common in North America and Eurasia. It mainly grows in the form of two different species, namely T. officinale and T. erythrospermum. Dandelions are part of the Asteraceae family and also belong to the Taraxacum species.
Dandelions look like tiny flowers gathered in a single flower head. The leaves of a dandelion approximately measure 25 centimeters and bloom to a yellow or orange color. The plant is usually open during the daytime and closed at night time. When the plant matures, it transforms into a white ball which looks as if it has countless fine hairs.
Learning how to make dandelion tea is easy. Simply boil the parts of the dandelion, including its roots, leaves, and blossoms, in hot water. This process releases all the beneficial nutritional elements of the plant. Depending on the plant parts that you use, its nutritional value and taste will differ. For example, the leaves work wonders for the kidneys. Its root is amazing for the liver, and its flowers will provide a slight flavor and other health benefits.
Benefits of Dandelions
Dandelions are low in calories and rich in fiber and carbohydrates. Also, dandelions are an excellent source of dietary fiber, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C, zinc, luteolin, and as many other nutrients and minerals. We now look at some of the amazing health benefits provided by the dandelion plant.
Promote Liver Health
Historically, dandelion was for liver problems and cleansing. It still is today. Dandelion can improve the strength of the liver as well as stimulate bile flow to help digest fats. Regarded for centuries as a “liver tonic,” dandelion tea can also help alleviate symptoms of liver disease.
Substitute for Coffee
If you are a confessed coffee addict and you want to give your body a break from caffeine, you can always learn how to make dandelion tea. It can be a fantastic substitute. You can harvest dandelions yourself at home. But just make sure that they don't have insecticides on them. Then, you can roast the roots until they turn a dark color. However, if you want to make your job easier, you can buy dandelion roots from a local food store or farmer’s market.
Reduce Water Weight
If you feel bloated, the key to solving your problem might just be knowing how to make dandelion tea. That can provide you with relief because it functions as a diuretic and it elevates your urine output. Dandelions are so effective at inducing urination that their name in French -- pissenlit -- translates in English as “wet the bed.” Studies have shown that you can increase your urine even by just drinking one cup of tea made from dandelion leaves.
Like other teas, the tea that you can make from dandelions has fewer calories compared to sodas, coffee, and milk. Think about it: a single cup of dandelion tea will only add two calories to your diet. Despite the lack of calories, dandelion tea is full of nutrients. It makes it the perfect drink of choice for those on a diet.
If you are suffering from water retention, you can take the tea in the morning so that it won't interfere with your sleep. However, if your water retention is severe, remember to consult with your doctor before you try any home remedies.
Recent research has revealed that dandelion root has the potential to fight cancer. Dandelion extracts contain large amounts of antioxidants (such as vitamin C and luteolin) that eliminate free radicals in the body. That, in turn, reduces the risk of cancer developing. The root extract from the plant stimulates cell death of melanoma cells without affecting cells that are noncancerous. Dandelion root extract has also induced death in pancreatic cancer cells. Additionally, a study suggested that dandelion root extract affects colorectal cancer proliferation. Although its anti-cancer potential application is not fully tested, the potential is promising.
Rich in Vitamin K
Dandelions are also rich in Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin which has an essential role in heart and bone health. Dandelions contain 500 percent of our daily Vitamin K needs. So if you have a deficiency, you know what the solution is. Vitamin K has been shown as a key factor to reduce the risk of many kinds of cancers such as oral cancers, nasal cancer, prostate cancer, and even colon cancer.
Prevent Urinary Tract Infection
There is no question that various roots and leaves can aid people in preventing urinary tract infections. People can use uva ursi, another herb, in combination with dandelion tea to achieve this purpose. Uva ursi has anti-bacterial properties that can work together with the dandelion’s ability to increase urination level.
Aside from having many important benefits for our liver health, learning how to make dandelion tea can also help with digestive health. Learning how to make dandelion tea can help you cure minor digestive ailments and improve your appetite. Furthermore, this can immensely help with other problems such as constipation and indigestion.
Dandelion protects the skin from acne, sunlight, and even aging. Applying dandelion leaf and flower before and immediately after exposure to UV rays or sunlight reduces signs of skin damage.
Another recent study found that dandelion root extract increases the generation of new skin cells. These new cells can significantly slow down the process of aging. This benefit stems from the fact that aging skin cells result from a decrease in the production of new cells. Furthermore, dandelion extract can also reduce skin irritation and inflammation. And it can even elevate the collagen production of the skin. That can prove particularly useful for people who suffer from acne.
Dosage of the Drink
There is no scientifically recommended dosage of dandelion tea because clinical trials are limited. However, most people advise taking it three times a day. Some users have recommended adding a half-tablespoon of dandelion in a cup of hot water. Another method is to mix up to 10 grams of dry dandelion leaf in hot water. Note that one tablespoon of dry dandelion leaf is approximately two grams. Additionally, you can add fresh roots and leaves to salads.
The use of dandelion as a food product is generally considered safe. However, in some instances, it is known to cause skin irritation. Some people are allergic, and it can cause watery eyes and runny nose. Additionally, ingesting dandelions can cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. There has also been a report of high oxalate levels found in the urine resulting from taking too much dandelion tea throughout half a year. High oxalate levels can cause kidney stones.
Because dandelion can help with your bile production, people suffering from gallbladder issues or blocked bile ducts may need to forego dandelion tea. There have also been reports of heart and liver toxicity for dandelion when taken with other herbs.
In short, you should consult your doctor before self-medicating with anything -- including dandelion.
How to Pick the Right Dandelion
Before learning how to make dandelion tea, it is essential to master the art of harvesting dandelions properly first. If you decide to harvest or get your own supply of dandelion, make sure that it's free of weed killers. The last thing you want is to consume something with chemicals. Also, try to choose an area without much pollution. To make sure that your tea will not taste bitter, choose dandelions which are still tender and young. If you want to use the root for your tea, dig deep and pull up the entire root.
Do not worry about the dirt; you can just clean it with water. After you’ve picked your supply of dandelions, wash them well. You can store your clean dandelions in your refrigerator for around a week. To keep them fresh, you can wrap your dandelions in a slightly wet paper towel. If you choose to roast them, they can last for approximately a year if you store them properly in an airtight container.
To know how to make dandelion tea, you have to get all the ingredients ready. But all you need is a half-cup of dandelions, four cups of water, and honey as needed. You can also add additional herbs.
Instructions on How to Make Dandelion Tea
And now we detail some ways to make some incredible dandelion tea. Note that with experience, you will find the right system that produces delicious dandelion tea that best suits your preferences. But these starters should get your going.
Dandelion Flower Tea
First, gather all the dandelion flowers that you have collected. Then, wash them thoroughly to get rid of all the unwanted insects or dirt. Remove all its petals from the base and place them in a bowl. Using your teapot, boil water and put about a cup of flowers into the teapot. Allow it to steep for around three to five minutes, depending on how intense you want it to taste. If you want it to be sweeter, just add honey or any sweetener you prefer.
Dandelion Leaf Tea
Gather the small dandelion leaves that you can find. Then, rinse them well and dry these leaves using a towel. After they are dry, get a tray and spread the leaves out in order to dry them out further. For better results, you can place the leaves in an air cupboard or a hot room. Remember to turn the leaves from time to time, so they dry evenly. If they are already free from water or moisture, you can store them in an airtight jar.
To make your dandelion tea, add a teaspoon of the leaves to a teapot and let it steep for approximately five minutes. To enhance the taste of the tea, you can adjust it to your liking. You can even mix the dandelion with other herbs such as cleavers. Add a couple of mint leaves to lessen the bitterness of the tea and serve with lemon.
Dandelion Tea (all parts)
Gather around two cups of clean dandelion in a pan. Make sure to include the flowers, roots, and leaves. Two cups of dandelion mixed with four cups of water produces an excellent beverage. Bring the water to a boil. And then remove it from the heat and cover the pan. Allow the dandelion parts to infuse for around three hours or even overnight if you opt for an intense flavor. If you think the flavor is too strong, you can always add more water to dilute the mixture and lessen the flavor.
Dandelion Tea Can Be a Big Boost to Your Health
Don't be afraid to change your view of dandelions. This wonderful plant is not just an annoying weed. There are numerous ways to make use of the dandelion plant for your diet, and one of the best ways to experience the health benefits of dandelions is to make your own drink.
Dandelions have incredible health benefits for the human body. So the next time you blame this “weed” for ruining your beautifully-landscaped backyard, remember that you can use dandelions to promote good health. And not to mention, dandelion tea and dandelions used as salad greens taste really good. So why not be a glass-half-full kind of person and take advantage of this incredible gift from nature?