Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) from the daisy family (Asteraceae) is often considered a weed. However, like many of the plants labeled as weeds, the dandelion is a valuable medicinal plant that contains many healthy ingredients. For example, you can make a healthy dandelion tea yourself from the leaves and roots of the dandelion.
The diuretic effect of dandelion tea was already mentioned in herbal books in the 16th century. Even today, the plant, with tooth-shaped notched leaves, yolk-yellow flowers and feathery seeds, is made into dandelion tea, which is mainly used for diseases of the liver and gall bladder, bloating and digestive complaints.
Dandelion tea: ingredients and health effects
Dandelion tea contains important secondary plant compounds, including the bitter substances taraxin and quinoline, as well as triterpenes, flavonoids and tannins. These have a detoxifying effect on the liver and gall bladder, as they stimulate the kidneys to excrete toxins through the urine. Thus, a course of dandelion tea can help flush accumulated “waste” from the body and stimulate digestion, especially after an infection.
In addition, dandelion tea is drunk for bloating, constipation, flatulence and to stimulate the flow of urine. And because of its high content of bitter substances, a large amount of dandelion tea can even set gallstones in motion or have a positive effect on them. Dandelion tea also has therapeutic benefits for arthritic conditions such as gout.
Since dandelion tea generally drains and detoxifies, it has a very beneficial effect on a weakened immune system and is often part of fasting or spring cures. As a blood-purifying drink, it also helps with skin problems such as acne or eczema.
How to make your own dandelion tea from leaves, flowers and roots
Generally, you can use the leaves, the flowers and the roots of the dandelion for tea. To make dandelion tea yourself, it is best to collect the leaves in spring and only from plants that have grown in unpolluted places. The roots are pricked either in spring or in autumn with a root pricker, then cleaned without water, crushed and dried at no more than 40 °C / 104 °F, in an airy and dark place in the house.
Preparation of dandelion tea from flowers
For one cup of this variant take two to three dried dandelion flowers. These are infused with hot water. When picking the flowers should still be fresh and beautiful yellow. Let this tea brew for 5 to 10 minutes.
Preparation of dandelion tea from leaves and roots
Put one to two teaspoons of the freshly collected leaves and the dried roots in a cup of boiling water, let the mixture brew for ten minutes, and then strain the plant parts.
Dandelion tea from the roots of the plant
For a kidney-strengthening dandelion tea from the roots, put two tablespoons of dried dandelion roots in half a liter of cold water overnight and boil the liquid briefly the next morning. Let the mixture steep for five minutes and then strain the plant parts with a tea strainer. Fill up this strong infusion with one and a half liters of warm water. To neutralize the slightly bitter taste, you can sweeten the tea with honey. Drink the dandelion tea throughout the day or as a cure in the morning on an empty stomach.