Dandelion is much more than just a weed growing in the yard. In fact, it has been cultivated for its culinary and medicinal benefits for centuries, and modern science has even begun corroborating some of the claims traditionally made about dandelion.
Dandelion is very common in North America and most people can recognize it on sight. It’s a hardy plant, growing easily in low-sunlight areas where others struggle. The flowers, leaf, and root of dandelion can all be used to make dandelion tea. In parts of Europe and Asia, it’s known as a folk remedy for:
However, while modern science has lent some support to these and other traditional medicine claims about dandelion tea, much more research is needed.
One cup of raw dandelion contains:
- Calories: 25
- Protein: 1.5 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
- Carbohydrates: 5.1 grams
- Fiber: 1.9 grams
- Sugar: 0.4 grams
Dandelion is a good source of:
Potential Health Benefits of Dandelion Tea
Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. However, the same thing that makes dandelion so potent can also create complications for people with certain medical conditions.
Research has found a number of potential health benefits to drinking dandelion tea:
Dandelion contains taraxasterol, a compound known for having significant antioxidant properties that combat inflammation. Taraxasterol can help regulate your white blood cells and keep them from triggering inflammation unnecessarily.
Lower Blood Pressure
Dandelion tea is an excellent source of potassium, a mineral and electrolyte that stimulates the heartbeat. Potassium may help the kidney filter toxins more effectively and improve blood flow.
Improved Liver Health
The polysaccharides in dandelion are known to reduce stress on the liver and support its ability to produce bile. They also help your liver filter potentially harmful chemicals out of your food.
Immune System Support
Dandelion is also a good source of Vitamin C, one of the most helpful vitamins for the immune system. The presence of Vitamin C may account for its reported effectiveness against seasonal colds.
Potential Risks of Dandelion Tea
Because dandelion tea has such potent ingredients, you should consult with your doctor before taking it or any other supplement. Consider the following before preparing or drinking dandelion tea:
If you’re allergic to other plants in the daisy family — like daisies, marigolds, or chrysanthemums — you will also be allergic to dandelion.
Avoid dandelion tea if you’re already taking a diuretic as their actions may be compounded. Since dandelion has natural diuretic properties, it may interfere with the action of lithium and similar medications.
Liver and Kidney Function
If you’re being treated for liver or kidney issues, you should avoid consuming dandelion or dandelion tea except with their doctor’s permission. Dandelion could increase the risk of complications for someone who has kidney disease, in particular.
Blood Pressure and Clotting
Because the potassium in dandelion may impact blood flow and clotting, it’s best to avoid dandelion tea if you’re taking blood-thinner medication..
For the same reason, someone who is taking blood pressure medication should avoid dandelion tea.