Benefits of Dandelion Tea
While dandelion tea may not be something you come across too often, there are a number of impressive health benefits associated with this beverage, including its ability to detoxify the body, regulate digestion, help in weight loss efforts, prevent cancer and chronic illness, protect the skin and increase bone strength, among others.
When most people think of dandelions, a sea of annoying yellow flowers invading their lawn usually comes to mind, but there is more to this unassuming flower than meets the eye. For thousands of years, dandelions have also been used in a variety of herbal preparations to improve health. The most popular use of dandelions is in the brewing of tea, also known as dandelion coffee in some places, depending on the preparation. The flowers can be used to make dandelion tea, while the nutrient-rich roots can be used to brew dandelion coffee. Both beverages have similar health benefits, and are becoming more and more popular every year. The tea is made quite simply by steeping the plucked flower petals in boiling water, as with most other types of tea. The coffee requires the roots to be dried, chopped, roasted and then ground down to be brewed into the powerful coffee substitute.
Dandelions are packed with healthy nutrients, ranging from sterols and flavonoids to carotenoids, sesquiterpenes, vitamins and minerals. Many of these powerful organic compounds can have significant effects on the body, which has made this particular beverage such a common choice for herbal practitioners and those who want to give their body a boost! So, next time you are weeding your garden (provided you haven’t used any pesticides on the plants), pluck some of those pesky dandelions and put them to good use. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the excellent health benefits of dandelion tea.
Benefits of Dandelion Tea
Detoxify the Body: One of the first reasons people reach for dandelion tea is to help detoxify their liver and get their body back on track. First of all, dandelion tea is a powerful diuretic, which will help the body eliminate toxins more rapidly and promote healthy kidney function. Furthermore, dandelion tea also increases the concentration of certain detoxifying enzymes in the liver, so if you’ve been running yourself down, grab a cup of this healthy tea!
Help Weight Loss: Early research on the complex mix of organic compounds in dandelion tea has shown that it can have certain anti-obesity effects by suppressing various fat-metabolizing enzymes, preventing them from taking that fat into the body. On top of this, the diuretic effects of this tea will help eliminate water weight and bloating, which can be frustrating for anyone trying to lose weight.
Prevent Chronic Disease: The rich blend of antioxidants found in dandelion tea, including flavonoids, phenolic compounds and sesquiterpenes can all help the body eliminate free radicals and minimize oxidative stress, which is a major cause of chronic illness, including cancer. By neutralizing these free radicals, this tea can help strengthen the immune system and improve your overall health and wellness.
Build Strong Bones: Dandelion tea also possess measurable amounts of essential minerals, including calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium, all of which are needed by the body to create strong bones and prevent the onset of osteoporosis. As we age, bone mineral density begins to decrease, leading to weakened bones and joints, an inability to perform certain physical activities and a lower quality of life. Constant mineral supplementation is crucial to keep you feeling young and physically fit as you age.
Boosts Circulation: One of the most important minerals in our body is iron, and it serves a number of important purposes. Most notably, it is needed to produce red blood cells, and without it, we begin to suffer from anemia, characterized by weakness, cognitive issues and fatigue. The iron found in dandelion tea can prevent this condition and improve circulation, ensuring that different parts of the body are properly oxygenated for maximal function.
Balance Blood Sugar: For people suffering from diabetes, maintaining a stable level of blood sugar is crucial for a healthy life. Dandelion tea has shown an ability to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent the spikes and drops that can be so dangerous. Research on this effect is limited, but the early results are very encouraging for those trying to manage diabetic symptoms.
Improves Digestion: The various compounds found in dandelion tea act as a diuretic, laxative and a digestive stimulant, while also causing a release of extra bile. This can all help to speed up digestion and make it more efficient, which eliminates symptoms of constipation, bloating, cramping, diarrhea and even hemorrhoids. Given how important the stomach is to our overall health and immune system function, optimizing the activities in our gut may be one of the most important benefits of this tea.
Reduces Inflammation: Some people have praised dandelion tea for its anti-inflammatory effects, particularly on aching joints, headaches and overall muscle tenderness. The antioxidants and other active compounds in this tea are able to reduce pain and inflammation in affected tissues, while also helping to regulate circulation and water balance.
Urinary Tract Infections: For many people around the world, urinary tract infections are a frequent and endlessly irritating problem, but dandelion tea may present an effective remedy or preventative measure. The increased urination associated with dandelion tea’s diuretic actions can help to regularly clean out the kidney and urinary tract, making it more difficult for a UTI to take hold.
Final Word of Warning: Dandelions are closely related to a number of other plants, many of which are highly allergenic in nature, such as ragweed, daisies, chamomile, marigold and sunflower, among others. If you are allergic to these plants, or to dandelions themselves, you should probably avoid use of this tea, unless you receive permission from your allergist/doctor. Furthermore, pregnant women are encouraged to use this tea with caution. Finally, if you are using antacids or blood-thinning medications, there can be interactions with the compounds in dandelion tea, so check with your doctor before adding this herbal remedy to your health regimen.