My mom would say dandelions are a major nuisance. She’s a gardener. She watches kids in the schoolyard kick the white fluff that catches the wind and reseeds so successful in her backyard. Now she just laughs when I tell her those “weeds” are the backbone of two of our herbal wellness teas. “You sell people weeds?” Yes mom, I do!
Dandelion has traditionally been used to stimulate the function of the liver, kidneys and gallbladder. Dandelion has been used to relieve constipation, indigestion, inflammation and to remove water from the body. Dandelion is also rich in micro-nutrients like potassium, calcium and vitamins A and C.
Dandelion leaves are a great bitter to add to salads. Mix with other bitter greens such as arugula and kale to prepare a pre-meal salad that stimulates appetite and digestion. The bitters activate taste buds and stimulate enzyme production and bile flow. This promotes digestion and better absorption of nutrients.
The root is the part of the dandelion we use in our teas Cleanse and Digest. As I’m sure you can guess, these are teas for detoxification and digestion support. We've had several people ask us at events recently why we use dandelion root in both blends. Here's a quick overview of why.
To Stimulate the Digestive System
Dandelion root can relieve gas and poor digestion due to a sluggish liver. In Chinese Medicine, dandelion root is a liver and gallbladder tonic that stimulates the flow of bile. Why does that matter? Bile is essential to the digestive process and for the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Drinking dandelion root tea also has mild laxative effects.
To Detoxify the Liver
Dandelion root has a long history of use for improving the liver’s ability to detoxify. Many waste products are eliminated from the body through bile and as we previously mentioned, dandelion root can stimulate bile flow. As a blood purifier or detoxifier, dandelion root can help treat inflammatory conditions such as eczema, acne and arthritis.
Incorporating Dandelion Root Into Your Day
Dandelion is safe and gentle and can be added to your daily routine by sipping on 2 cups of tea a day. The rich roasted flavour and slight bitterness makes it a good replacement for coffee if you’ve got a multiple- cups-a-day habit. It’s caffeine-free, so can be enjoyed any time of day. As with any herb, take a day off from it each week. Have it twice a day for 6 days then take a day off. Do this cycle for a month and then take a few days off.
Dandelion root tea is accessible and used by many different people for different reasons. I know someone who considered dandelion tea to be part of their boxing training. He drank two cups of dandelion root tea a day to reduce water retention and help with better nutrient absorption. I personally drink it to support my digestive system and cleansing as season's change.
Have you tried dandelion root tea? What did you think?