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Sunday, March 27, 2011

How to Make Dandelion Root Tea


Did you know those pesky dandelions growing in your yard are edible? Yup, and they are actually good for you too.  Dandelion tea is considered a diuretic and a mild laxative. It is believed to help cleanse the liver and gallbladder. It can increase the flow of bile through the liver and biliary tract.  According to the University of Michigan the dandelion is rich in vitamins A, B complex, C and D.  It is also a source of iron, potassium and zinc.
You can use pretty much the whole dandelion plant in different ways to make food and beverages.  The leaves and flowers can be added to salads and even used to make wine. Today I’m going to  show you how to make tea out of dandelion root.  This a great tea to drink if you feel like your body needs a bit of a cleanse. Dandelion should not be used in place of prescription medication or as a substitute to medical care.  If you are unsure if you should be using dandelion root for medicinal purposes check with your doctor first.


Step 1: Harvesting the roots

This is the hardest part. The roots are tough to get out. The bigger the bunch of leaves growing out of the ground, the bigger the roots. Try to harvest after it has rained. The ground will be considerably softer and it will be easier to pull out  the roots . Using a small shovel slice into the dirt surrounding the root. Try to loosen the soil and then grasp the root as deep as you can and pull. Some will come out nicely, some will just snap off.  Trim the leaves off the root. You can discard them or add them to a salad. Two important things to remember, 1) only use roots of plants that you know for sure are dandelion 2) Only harvest from dandelions you know have not been sprayed with weed killer or other nasty chemicals.  You can harvest any time of the year but it is believed that the roots will have the most nutritional value in the spring and fall.

big roots on this one
Step 2: Cleaning and cooking

Once you have gathered enough roots wash them thoroughly and pick off the fibrous stringy bits. Rinse them again and then  cut into small pieces. You want them ¼ - ½ inch pieces or smaller
Place on a roasting pan and bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours.  Flip after one hour to make sure all the sides are roasted.  Once they are cooked try to chop them  even smaller. You  can put them in a coffee grinder to make them even more fine


Dirty roots waiting to be rinsed
Chopped up in the pan, waiting to be roasted

Out of the oven. Notice how much they shriveled up

This was how much was yielded after the roots were roasted and chopped
Step 3: The tea

Put your root powder in a tea infuser and steep for about 20 minutes. It tastes very light and kind of earthy, a little sweet and a little bitter. I added a cinnamon stick to mine for a little more flavor. Next time I think I will add some cloves and some nutmeg for even more flavor. You can drink it on it’s own, it’s just a little bland for my taste.  Store extra root powder in an airtight container.



The tea was a lot lighter in taste and color than I was expecting. I steeped it for a very long time but it didn't get very strong. Considering the time it takes to prepare the root this isn't something I would make on a regular basis but I did have fun making it. I was pleasantly surprised, I was planning on not liking the taste very much but I actually don't mind it at all. Since I have so many dandelions growing in my yard I will be experimenting with other recipes like dandelion salad and wine. Stay tuned.
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23 comments:

  1. Hi Adrienne!

    How are you?

    I sure am glad I stumbled upon your blog. Haha. It's cool and the crafts and recipes you posted are quite fun - they are the kinds I enjoy perusing.

    This is definitely a cool type of tea. I really love tea - I doubt if we have dandelion from where I live but this is definitely cool.


    Have a good week! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt if we have (my farts dont stink but i hold my nose in the air anyway) from where I live but this is definitely cool.
      if you live in the united states you have dandelions

      Delete
  2. Thanks Paula, glad you are enjoying my little blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello,

    Thanks for the informative post. The reason your tea was so light was because you need to boil water with the root for at 5-10min (5 min minimum) and then I let it sit for a good 5-10 min again. You'll get full body taste from doing this. It's delicious, nutrition and very healthy for the liver and other organs.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the tip. I will try boiling it like you suggested next time! Thanks for visiting!

    ReplyDelete
  5. sounds like so much fun I got inspired by all the dandelions on the side of the road

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  6. Well as of today Sunday April 22 2012 released on CBC news this morning the federal gov has given a sizeable grant to a team of researchers in Ontario after dandelion root extract caused cancer cells to commit suicide snd cured one man who was deemed terminal with lieukemia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's how I ended up here :)

      Is the oven step for drying, or to improve flavor? I'm asking because I would normally use a dehydrator to dry leaves and roots for tea.

      Thanks!

      Delete
    2. Likely, it is for drying. That length and temperature is indicative of a drying method.
      Additionally, if your are looking for medicinal enhancement, add chicory root (another side-of-the road plant), ginger root, licorice root, star anise, and, for females, it is always good to integrate turmeric. Turmeric is another herb associated with anti-cancer properties but specific for the female reproductive system.

      Delete
  7. Going to go pick some dandelion roots now! :D Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I picked a bunch of Dandelion roots earlier and I had no idea how to prepare them and this was a perfect and simple explaination for a newbie gardener like me. Thank you!

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  9. Also try Burdock root tea or the two together, They both share the same qualities. Did you know that Dandelion was called "yellowdock"? Also try washing your tired legs and feet with this tea (let dry naturally ie: don't wipe it off) I use fresh ingredients and therefor don't bother to dry them prior to use. Also after the tea is made I mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with lipton iced tea (lemon or green) and drink it all day and that I really enjoy. I cut about 1 cup of the roots up very small or very thin and bring to a boil, let it boil for 5 minutes then turn the burner off and let remain until cool. This is a good time to dip your cup in and try it hot with a little honey and lemon. This will keep in the refridgerator for up to a week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1 stated above 1 cup of root but I failed to mention in 1.5 gallons of water.

      Delete
    2. I believe that "yellow dock" generally refers to Rumex crispus, another weed but much larger that dandelion.

      Delete
  10. wow I found this to be very informative and plan on trying this and using on a regular basis. I am trying to use natural remedies instead of the counter stuff which you think about it after reading all the side effects these over the counter drugs have or may cause I would rather go natural.

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  11. Roots most often need to be prepared as a decoction (boiling) rather than an infusion (steeping). You could boil with a small slice of ginger root to give it a nice sweet and spicy flavor to counterbalance the earthy and slightly bitter flavor. An infusion of the flower is a good facial astringent.

    ReplyDelete
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  13. Awesome information! Came across your little page here while searching for some info on Dandelion tea. Thanks for the post! I'll try this today. :D

    ReplyDelete
  14. I just found this site today also. Last year I was in a horrific car accident and am still working on healing. My Mom saw on Dr Oz that dandelion is a great cleanse. How much root per cup and how many cups a day. Can I add the leaves?? When will I see benefits of drinking the tea? Thanks for taking time to answer.

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  15. I read that it helps reduce high blood pressure how true is that ?

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  16. I would also suggest adding some crushed green cardamom pods while steeping the dandelion roots. I had tons of these buggers in my yard and I dug them out every year and now there are just few that show up in my garden. I have planted few dandelion in my pot using organic soil and harvest the leaves for salads.
    - Anu

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  17. My neighbors think I'm crazy for not digging up my dandelions to keep them from taking over the yard. I think they're very pretty, but had never really thought about eating them before. I just pray enough come up in the yard at our new place so I can try this recipe. I love herbal teas!

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  18. Nice blog comment
    Dandelion Root(Taraxacum officinale) used in medicines and the leaves are not medically used. The chief constituents

    of Dandelion root are Taraxacin, acrystalline, bitter substance, of which the yield varies in roots collected at
    different seasons, and Taraxacerin, an acrid resin, with Inulin (a sort of sugar which replaces starch in many of the

    Dandelion family,Compositae), gluten, gum and potash.Dandelion Root provides vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and

    vitamin B complex, as well as zinc, iron and potassium. Because of its iron content, it is widely used as a remedy for

    liver ailments, and has a diuretic effect that can help rid the liver of toxins.

    http://www.adeptimpex.com/dandelion_root_india.php

    ReplyDelete