A staple in so many pantries across Arab households, it is unsurprising that dandelion tea has a medley of impressive health benefits. When we talk about dandelion tea, we are basically talking about one of two beverages: an infusion of the plant’s leaves or an infusion of roasted dandelion roots.
Cultures around the world have historically enjoyed dandelion roots and tea for a variety of reasons. The ancient Egyptians used it as a herbal medicine, while Native Americans used it as relief from stomach aches. In traditional medicine practices, dandelion is revered for its wide range of medicinal properties. From clearing up your skin to helping you keep your acid reflux at bay, uncover with us eight surprising and fantastic health benefits a cup of dandelion tea could offer.
Dandelion tea benefits
1- It Boasts a High Nutritional Density
The dandelion plant is very nutritious and is a good source of vitamins and minerals.. Dandelion greens (the stems) are chock full of vitamins A and C, as well as vitamin K. With a healthy dose of vitamin C and other helpful minerals, dandelion can help you fight everything from seasonal colds to other diseases. The polysaccharides in dandelions have also been found to be beneficial in reducing stress on the liver by improving its ability to produce bile. The vitamin A that is present in the dandelion greens, as well as the tea made from the stems, also provides a great boost for immune health. In fact, one cup of dandelions has an impressive 112% of your daily needed vitamin A, and 525% of your daily need of vitamin K. These vital vitamins are known for reducing the occurrence of cataracts, sustaining healthy bones, and even preventing some cancers.
2- It Can Protect Against Skin Damage
Studies have shown that dandelion leaves and flowers have been proven to protect against skin damage! Dandelion root extract was also shown to increase skin cell turnover, thus slowing down the aging process and resulting in younger-looking, healthier skin. Dandelion’s anti-inflammatory properties may also contribute to reducing some forms of inflammatory acne and other skin irritations. Dandelion extracts subject to clinical tests also revealed that it may protect the skin from harmful UVB damage (sun damage).
3- It has Anti-inflammatory Properties
Hidden in the amazing dandelion plant are plenty of phytochemicals and compounds that act as antioxidants and anticoagulants. One of these compounds is called taraxasterol. While that may sound like a mouthful, it is an anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant compound. This underdog of a compound has been shown to decrease the occurrence of colon and breast cancer development, and is currently being studied for its benefits with Alzheimer’s. Taraxasterol can also help your white blood cells by keeping them from triggering an inflammatory response. It is also known to benefit diabetes, talk about a superfood!
4- It May Improve Kidney Function and Reduce Cholesterol
Dandelion roots and leaves have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in animal studies. The potassium found in this herbal drink may also help the kidney filter out toxins more effectively, thus increasing kidney function.
Research showed a decrease in levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in rats that consumed dandelion extracts. Additionally, this fantastic plant is known to aid in the lowering of blood pressure. Please note that if you are taking blood pressure medication, it is best to consult with your doctor before using drinks as a supplement for health issues.
5- It Works to Reduce Water Weight and Supports Healthy Digestion
Dandelion tea has historically been used to eliminate excess water from the body due to its function as a diuretic. Due to the plant’s high potassium levels, it can assist the body in flushing out excess water and sodium which can work to relieve bloating and fluid retention. Dandelion root is also filled with a plethora of fibers, all of which aid in relieving digestive issues.
More importantly, due to its ability to stimulate urine production, dandelion tea is seen to have benefits in fighting urinary tract infections.
6- Antioxidants and Anti-diabetic Properties for the Win
The flowers, greens, and roots of dandelion plants are chock full of a variety of vitamins and minerals. All these benefit the body by reducing inflammation and working as anti-oxidizing agents that work to promote the overall health of cells. Additionally, dandelion contains high levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant known to offer strong protection against cellular damage and oxidative stress.
Moreover, according to some studies, dandelion tea has anti-diabetic properties due to chemical components such as chicory acid and taraxasterol. These chemicals are present in all parts of the plant and can help reduce blood sugar levels. While dandelion tea is not a replacement for traditional treatments of diabetes, it provides a bright future for future treatments that can be created using this compound.
7- It Promotes Bowel Regularity
Dandelion tea can aid in the relief of minor digestive issues such as constipation and gas. Considering the fact that it is oftentimes enjoyed as a liquid, this drink adds water to the digestive system thus easing constipation. Since it also minimizes fluids in the body, dandelion tea can also help with bloating and water weight.
8- It is Enjoyable
But the dandelion tea benefits don’t stop there! Dandelion tea also happens to be a very enjoyable drink that our Arab ancestors have been enjoying for hundreds of years. Many find that sipping this herbal drink can help curb late-night snacking, create a wholesome nighttime routine, and is generally enjoyable! Switching out one of your daily coffees for a healthy herbal alternative like dandelion tea is a surefire way to gain a ton of benefits while still enjoying a warm and tasty beverage. Since caffeine dependency causes side effects such as headaches and insomnia, it may be wise to limit your coffee intake to two cups per day. The rest of the time, you can enjoy a wide variety of healthy herbal infusion drinks. So the next time you want to reach for that sugary soda, brew yourself a warm, comforting, and beneficiary cup of dandelion tea —your future self will thank you for it!
Possible side effects of dandelion tea
Dandelion is generally considered safe for most people. However, some people may experience an allergic reaction when touching or ingesting dandelion. Dandelion has also been shown to interact with certain medications, including some diuretics and antibiotics.
If you are taking prescription medications, check with your doctor before drinking dandelion tea.
We find that dandelions are so much more than just a flower or a weed that grows in our gardens. Given the wide medley of benefits it offers, it is no surprise that dandelion root is frequently included in detox teas and supplements. By adding this wonderful and vitamin-rich herbal drink to our daily routine, we could support immune functions all the while benefiting from an enjoyable addition to our night (or day!) ritual.