Though dandelions are often classified as nothing more than a troublesome weed, they can have surprising health benefits. Dandelion root tea is a longtime folk remedy used to treat a variety of conditions. The tea, which is simple to brew at home, can be ingested several times a day if desired for a cleansing effect.
Dandelion root tea is made from the powdered, dried roots of dandelions. Though it is possible to dry and grind up the roots yourself, this can be difficult without the equipment used in herb processing plants. Ready-to-brew dried dandelion root is often sold at health food stores and natural remedy shops.
Making dandelion root tea is a fairly simple process. Mix 1 tbsp. of dried, ground dandelion root with 1 quart of water in a saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it boils. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the tea simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour it through a fine mesh sieve to remove larger bits of dandelion root and serve immediately. Leftover tea can be refrigerated and served hot or cold.
Dandelion root tea can be bitter, so add honey to taste if desired. You can also put a cinnamon stick in the tea while it's brewing to conceal the flavor.
Drink 8 oz. of dandelion root tea up to three times daily to cleanse your body. Dandelion tea can be consumed hot or cold, but is best when it is fresh-brewed. Tea that sits in the refrigerator for more than a few hours tends to become stronger-tasting and less beneficial.
Dandelion root tea is heralded for its cleansing properties; it is a diuretic and helps cleanse the digestive tract. Drinking the tea can lead to weight loss, lowered blood pressure and lowered cholesterol, as well as improved kidney and liver function.
Dandelion root tea is also often prescribed to pregnant and nursing mothers because it can help prevent and cure jaundice in newborns. Drinking dandelion root tea can also boost the mother's milk production.
If you have seasonal allergies or asthma that are triggered by pollen, ragweed and daisies, dandelion root tea could cause a similar allergic reaction. Make sure to consult with your doctor if this is the case.
If you have specific health conditions or take prescription medications, it's very important to check with your doctor before embarking on a dandelion root tea regimen. As with all herbal supplements, dandelion root tea can interact negatively with certain conditions and medications.