How to Make Dandelion Tea (and Why You Should)
How to Make Dandelion Tea from the Flowers, Leaves and Roots of Dandelion
If you are wondering how to make dandelion tea, you must have discovered somewhere that there are large and vast benefits in doing so. If you haven’t realized this, definitely keep reading, and I will tell you why It would be a really good idea to put away the cancer-inducing weed killer and use these so-called “weeds” for something beneficial to your health.
Let’s first talk about these benefits a bit.
What Are the Benefits of Dandelion Tea?
First, let’s break it down into the different parts of the dandelion, and find out about the different benefits of the flowers, leaves and roots, individually.
All of these parts of the dandelion are useful, and all can be used to build a mean cocktail of goodness. And by “mean”, I mean really nice.
There are other ways to take in the goodness that lives in dandelions as well, but we’ll focus on the tea, for now.
The Health Benefits of Dandelion Root
What is the dandelion root good for?
The awesome health benefits of dandelion root include support for the liver, as well as subduing allergy symptoms, virus resistence, digestive issues, osteoarthritis, diabetes and even cancer (Shhh!!).
Other helpful uses for dandelion root include fighting acne, eczema, heartburn, gastrointestinal disorders, bad cholesterol and premenstrual issues.
Dandelion root can also be used to make coffee!
AND… it can be (dried or fresh) made into tinctures, infusions and capsules.
Because of bad chemicals in the soil, like anything that grows out of it now, there can be mild side effects from ingesting too much. But you shouldn’t have to be too concerned about anything if you have an immune system that still works.
Dandelion root also contains natural starch and sugar substitutes.
There are precautions you might consider reading about if you think you might be allergic, or if you take certain medications, etc.
Dandelion Leaves – Health Benefits
The health benefits of dandelion leaf are similar to those of the root. But dandelion leaves avail in some additional ways.
Dandelion leaves contain large amounts of vitamins A and C, giving them antioxidative superpowers. Dandelion leaf also has over 500% of the daily value of Vitamin K (I don’t think you can OD on vitamin K), as well as being quite high in calcium, fiber and iron, as well as vitamin B6 and magnesium.
Dandelion leaves are beneficial for weight loss, proper kidney, gallbladder and liver function, and, containing fatty acids, phytonutrients, as well as lots of antioxidants, dandelion leaf reduces inflammation and the pain associated with it. And, of course, the likelihood of getting diseases, including Alzheimer’s and cancer.
The high iron content of dandelion leaf also helps with a resistance to developing anemia.
Benefits of Dandelion Flowers
Taraxacum officinale flowers, again, contain most of the same goodies as the root and leaves, but are especially good for treatment of back and other pain, including headache, menstrual cramps, bad night vision and depression.
You know that white, milky stuff in the stem of a dandelion flower that fascinated you as a child? It will clean fungal infections, as well as shrinking or eliminating warts and helping heal wounds, when applied to them, topically.
You don’t want to eat the base of the flower, but pluck the petals from it. Throw them in a salad. Or make dandelion wine, if you want to try something different (but great, some say).
Just For Fun, and Then Back to Business…
(Borrowed from Cure Joy):
Folk names for ‘dandelion’ include:
Lion’s Tooth, Amarga, Bitterwort, Blowball, Cankerwort, Chicoria, Clockflower, Consuelda, Devil’s Milkpail, Doonhead Clock, Fairy Clock, Fortune-Teller, Heart-Fever Grass, Irish Daisy, Milk Gowan Milk Witch, Monk’s Head, Peasant’s Cloak, Puffball, Priest’s Crown, Sun-in the Grass, Swine’s Snout, Tell Time, Tramp with the Golden Head, Piddly Bed, Yellow Gowan, Wet-a-Bed, and Wild Endive.
I Thought This Was About How to Make Dandelion Tea…!
Ok, hopefully you now know why you should make dandelion tea, so now you won’t find yourself standing there making it and suddenly wondering why you are. So, here’s the basics of how to make dandelion tea.
There is not a lot to brewing simple dandelion tea. I should mention first that the best way to get all the medicinal benefit from dandelions is by eating them. But tea is good, too.
You will find yourself wanting to experiment with this, and you should. I will provide some suggestions as we go, as the actually building of the basic tea is as simple a process as you might imagine.
How to Prepare Dandelion Tea: Dandelion Leaf Tea
You can make dandelion tea that uses all or one or two of the parts of the plant. With the leaves, you can either dry them or use them without drying them. I think the flavor is better without drying the leaves.
You will want to experiment a bit, as tastes vary.
You can easily make dandelion leaf tea, without using the roots or flowers, by simply boiling a handful of fresh leaves (or you can use dried leaves). Just make sure to use filtered or distilled water. Using raw tap water will likely be somewhat counterproductive, as far as getting optimal health results.
Dandelion Root Tea
You can also make dandelion tea out of just the roots, by cooking the chopped roots for 20-30 minutes over low heat. This will release the healthy compounds fully, as opposed to just throwing the chopped root in a cup of boiled water.
If you are a coffee person, you can get more of a coffee flavor by first roasting the chopped root in a pan on your stovetop (after it has dried) on medium-ish heat until they are slightly browned. I would then add some chicory to the brew.
Dandelion Flower Tea
For dandelion flower tea, just make sure you cut the (bitter) base of the flower off and put the rest in your cup and pour your boiled (and filtered!) water over it and let it steep for 10 minutes or more. Add milk or honey, or whatever else you think might improve the flavor. This goes for however you make your tea–using just the flower, just the leaves, just the root, or all of the above.
As mentioned, these are basic guidelines. You can experiment throughout the process.
Some suggestions of things you can add to tailor your dandelion tea to your personal taste, plus add some extra health benefits:
- Orange Peel
- Lemon Balm
- Creeping Charlie
You can really go mad-scientist with making dandelion tea by adding in whatever you want, and using different combinations of ingredients. It will be hard to go wrong, but if you do, you can always just start over. If you live in North America, dandelions are plentiful. And free!
Hopefully this will be a good starting point for you, as far as how to make dandelion tea, and why you should make it often!
And if you weren’t aware of the health benefits of dandelion root, dandelion leaves and dandelion flowers, you now do!
Also, remember that the way to really capitalize on the benefits of dandelion is to eat them. You can go mad-scientist with salad, too.
We would love to hear about your dandelion tea or other related endeavors, via the comments form below.