Dandelion Tea: Is It Good for You?

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. 

Nutrition Information

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: 

Dandelion is also an excellent source of Vitamin A. Studies have shown that Vitamin A may lower the risk of conditions like cataracts, diarrhea, measles, and breast cancer

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: 

Anti -i nflammatory Effects

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 S ystem 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. 

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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:

Daisy Allergies

If you’re allergic to other plants in the daisy family — like daisies, marigolds, or chrysanthemums — you will also be allergic to dandelion.

Pregnancy Concerns

The effects of dandelion tea on someone who is pregnant or breast-feeding are inconclusive. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding a baby, it is best to look for an alternative. 

Medication Interference

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.

Dandelion tea should also be avoided if you’re taking antibiotics like Cipro, Levaquin, Noroxin, and others. 

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. 

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 19, 2020

Sources

SOURCES: 

Clinical Microbiology Reviews: “Effects of vitamin a supplementation on immune responses and correlation with clinical outcomes.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: “Dandelion.”

Harvard Health Publishing: “Can Vitamin C Prevent a Cold?”

Journal of Hypertension: “Daily potassium intake and sodium-to-potassium ratio in the reduction of blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.”

Molecules: “Purification, Preliminary Characterization and Hepatoprotective Effects of Polysaccharides from Dandelion Root.”

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center: “Dandelion.”

The Review of Diabetic Studies: “The Physiological Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) in Type 2 Diabetes.”

Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology: “Risks and Benefits of Commonly used Herbal Medicines in México.”

University of Michigan Health Library: “Dandelion.”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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