Dandelions are often unappreciated, but in ancient times, they were highly praised for their medicinal properties. They existed throughout history as a medicinal plant. It’s part of Chinese traditional medicine, Greek, Roman or Egyptian medicine and even came over with early settlers of America as a plant that provided both medicine, dye and food. While there are two varieties of dandelion that are native to America, the most common varieties came from seed the early settlers brought. Dandelions are packed with nutrients and many of the benefits of dandelion tea occur because of that fact. They contain vitamins A, C, D and E, plus the minerals-calcium, potassium, zinc and iron.
Dandelion tea can be made from the roots or the leaves.
If you drink a dandelion tea made from the roots of the dandelion plant, you’ll be drinking a tea that was made from the root, it’s often used as a substitute for coffee. If you just use the leaves you get a lighter colored tea that also has many health benefits. People often call dandelion tea made from the roots, dandelion coffee. It is far less bitter than regular coffee and has no caffeine. Just like dandelion tea made from leaves, it contains all the same nutrients. When the root is roasted, probiotics and antioxidants are added to the impressive list of nutrients. It acts like a diuretic, which can help lower high blood pressure, aids digestion and improves circulation.
Dandelion tea made from leaves and stems also provide benefits.
The darker the color of the tea, the more root is used to make it. If you use the flowers and stems, it creates a light yellow tea that provides benefits similar to the root. It also is a diuretic and can aid in ridding the liver and kidneys of toxins. If you have type 2 diabetes, you also should consider drinking dandelion tea, since it can help boost insulin tolerance and level out blood sugar.
Dandelion tea is a potent antioxidant.
Antioxidants help protect you at a cellular level. Dandelion tea is high in beta-carotene that neutralizes free radicals in your body. Not only does that help protect the cells and contribute to good health, it slows the signs of aging. In ancient times, dandelion tea was used to detox the body and drinking it daily was important for good health. Today, it’s often used to help lower the risk of liver disease and boost the health of the liver.
- One study in 2012 showed that dandelions could reduce hyperlipidemia. Hyperlipidemia is a term used for high fat levels in the blood, which include cholesterol. Drinking dandelion tea could reduce cholesterol levels.
- Studies done in Korea show that drinking dandelion root tea could help weight loss as well as many weight loss drugs. It helped reduce pancreatic lipase, which aids in fat absorption. The diuretic properties also aid in weight control.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of dandelion tea can help with all types of infections. It’s especially good for UTIs when combined with uva ursi.
- Besides boosting the immune system, dandelion tea can lower the risk of cancer and shorten the length of influenza according to studies. It also improves gut and skin health. In fact, it’s often found in skin care creams.
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