Weed haters may vilify the dandelion, but health conscious gardeners know the hidden power behind the weed. All parts of a dandelion can be eaten and have wonderful benefits. Dandelion tea is one of the better known uses for the plant. Is dandelion tea good for you? Yes, there are many dandelion tea benefits, plus it is a tasty, cozy drink.
Is Dandelion Tea Good for You?
Before you pull that weed, you may want to consider its usefulness in your well-being. Dandelion has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties. It is also a yummy addition to salads and the root can be roasted as a vegetable. Healthy dandelion tea brings a load of vitamins and minerals and has certain detoxifying properties that can result in the reduction of many health complaints.
Making dandelion tea for health has been part of the natural pharmacopeia probably as long as humans have been gathering plants. The benefits of dandelion tea vary depending upon the research, but all users agree it has loads of Vitamins A, C, and D, zinc, magnesium, and iron. It has long been noted that consumption of the tea is an excellent diuretic, leading to such names as “piddle bed.” More than its ability to enhance urine flow though, the other benefits of dandelion tea can have curative effects.
Using Dandelion Tea for Health
Dandelion tea benefits cross into the realms of cosmetic and internal medicine. As an astringent, it can help with acne and other issues with the skin. Used on the hair it reduces dandruff and brings the shine back to your tresses. Taken internally, healthy dandelion tea is touted as a detox, which is beneficial to the liver and kidneys. The tea can also help prevent cell damage and fight diabetes. Most astoundingly, a study conducted in 2011 found the plant had the ability to fight certain cancers.
How to Make Dandelion Tea
The first step to harnessing the health benefits of dandelion tea, is to harvest it. Select plants that have not been exposed to herbicides or pesticides. The roots, either roasted or fresh, will make the most robust tea. Harvest in fall or spring when the plant is dormant and has stored plenty of energy in the root. Dig deeply, as dandelion forms a long taproot. Wash the root well and either roast or grate them to use fresh. Steep the plant material and then strain. If you want a more delicate tea, harvest flowers and steep them in hot water. Once you enjoy the tea and its attributes, you won’t feel the same about those pesky, golden flowered weeds.
Note – Not all dandelions are equal. Many, especially in public parks, have been sprayed with herbicides or other chemicals. Only ever eat dandelions you know to be untreated.