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Dandelions are usually considered weeds that grows plentiful throughout the yard. So, most homeowners go to great lengths and cost to eradicate this small yellow flower from their lawn. However, you’d be surprised to know there are numerous healing properties associated with this flower. Learn more about dandelion tea, how to prepare it and the benefits of drinking nature’s herbal tonic.
What is a Dandelion?
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Dandelions are found throughout the world. Held up by a stem that contains a milky substance. The leaves of the dandelion resemble a spatula. The seeds of the dandelion can be seen after the flower dries and begins to resemble a white puff-ball shape made of silky stems. The seeds are transported by the wind, which blows the strands and seeds off the top of the plant, spreading its “children” easily throughout the area. One reason that homeowners struggle to remove it from their lawns is because they feel the weed detracts from the beauty of the lawn. The dandelion is also a very hearty plant and as such, causes a fear in homeowners that it will take over the lawn.
What is Dandelion Tea?
Dandelion tea is made by steeping parts or the entire dandelion in water. The key to getting the most out of your dandelion tea is to use the parts you need for the specific ailment you’re looking to treat. Of course, you can always drink the tea just for the flavor and reap the benefits of dandelion tea as a side effect.
Make Dandelion Tea
To make dandelion tea and get the most out of it, dry the parts of the dandelion that you plan to use in your tea. Then, put the dried parts in a tea bag of your choosing. Note that dried dandelions have extremely small pieces, so you may want to line your tea pouch with a thin material if the pouch has large holes. Otherwise you may get pieces of dandelion in your tea.
Place the tea bag in boiling water and bring the water to a simmer. Allow the tea to steep for about 10-20 minutes to allow the active ingredients to infuse. If you plan to drink the tea for flavor only and aren’t worried about the benefits, you can simply drop the tea bag into a cup of hot water and drink immediately.
Of course, you don’t have to make dandelion tea from scratch. You can purchase pre-made packets of dandelion root that can save you some time and effort and have just as many benefits (which we’ll discuss in the next section). We recommend Traditional Medicinals Organic Roasted Dandelion Root packets which you can purchase from Amazon.
General Benefits of Dandelion Tea
Dandelions are used for treating many ailments. They can even be used to detoxify the body in general, allowing you to cleanse the impurities from your body, giving you the opportunity for somewhat of a fresh start.
Perhaps the best place to start is with the immediate impact of dandelion tea. It’s known for causing an increase in urination, which in turn helps to remove toxins from the body. It seems as if the flower knows what it does because even though it causes an increase in urination, it also replenishes potassium that can be lost through frequent urination.
Weight Loss, Improve Liver Function and Reduce PMS
This process alone leads to benefits such as weight loss, improved liver function for those who do not ingest alcohol, lower sugar levels, fresh looking skin and a reduction in inflammation. In other words, if you’re going to flush toxins from your body while adding essential vitamins and minerals, you’re bound to see some health benefits. Dandelion tea can even reduce menstrual issues such as bloating, cramping and PMS. Overall, the benefit are too numerous to mention.
Do Not Drink Dandelion Tea if you have Ragweed Allergies
The only drawback to dandelion tea is that some people are allergic to dandelions. For instance, those that are allergic to ragweed will most likely also have an allergy to dandelions. While you can use the entire dandelion in your tea, each art does have its own uses.
Parts of the Dandelion
Each part of the dandelion has its own properties and characteristics.
The Leaves and Roots: Rich in Vitamins & MInerals
The leaves and roots of the dandelion plant are the parts that are most commonly found in teas. They can also be used in other areas that don’t require steeping, such as in salads or even eaten alone.
The leaves and roots provide a multitude of healing benefits. They are a viable source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D as well as iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, silicon and other useful materials.
The Flower: Hydrates, Improves Skin and Lessens Joint Pain
The flower of the dandelion is most commonly used to enhance taste. Some people even use it to make a sweet wine. The flower is made into a wine just like any berry or fruit would be.
As a tea the dandelion flower presents a unique method of using tea as we know it. The flowers are steeped for about two hours. Save the water and remove the flower. The flower is then placed on the eyes and any other parts of the face or skin that you feel may need rehydrating. Wash your face with the water to further assist in hydration and the repairing of pores, sun spots and other signs of aging.
This flower has such powerful healing qualities that it can also be used to create a salve. Use one part flower essence (oil) with one part beeswax to create a salve that can ease joint pains.
The Stem: Topical Wart Treatment
Though the stem can be ingested, it is most often used for external applications. The most common use of the stem is concerning inflammation and skin disorders. A wash can be made using dandelion stems alone. The wash is applied to areas of the skin that are inflamed and the result is a reduction in swelling. The “milk” found in the stem of the dandelion is said to be beneficial for removing warts if placed directly on the wart.
Watch Dandelions Grow
Watch this really cool time-lapse of dandelions blooming and growing into seeds. The colors are so vibrant it almost looks fake!
Warning: Dandelions Are Often Covered in Pesticides
Keep in mind that most people see dandelions as weeds; hence they tend to coat them with pesticides. If you’re picking your own dandelions to eat/drink, avoid areas such as the fields of commercial farmers. Also keep in mind that if the dandelions look larger than average, they may be in a fertilized area and you need to consider whether or not you want to ingest that fertilizer.
Why do you drink dandelion tea?