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. As spring turns into summer more and more dandelions will start blooming in our yard and on the rest of the farm.
There is no way we could ever destroy those weeds all no matter how hard we try. We cut the grass regularly but the roots are still growing beneath the soil. Since we don’t use chemical pesticides in our garden we can either ignore and cut the dandelions down or try to dig them up from the roots.
If you are suffering from the never-ending dandelion battle you may want to try using them to improve your health by making dandelion tea.
What does dandelion tea do for the body?
- 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 dandelion is rich in vitamins A, B complex, C and D.
- It is a source of iron, potassium and zinc.
- Dandelion is a natural, mild laxitive
According to Learning Herbs dandelion is actually a Pre-biotic:
“Dandelion roots are high in a starchy substance called inulin. Inulin is not digested by humans, but when eaten it passes to the colon where it provides foods and nutrients for healthy gut flora. Many pro-biotic formulas now boast that they also contain pre-biotics like inulin. With dandelion roots you can avoid pills and let your food be your medicine.”
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.
Does dandelion tea help with water retention?
This a great tea to drink if you feel like your body needs a bit of a cleanse.
Some herbs and dietary supplements, such as dandelion, ginger, parsley, hawthorn and juniper, may have a diuretic effect that can help with sodium and water retention. But proceed with caution before you take any supplements. … In theory, natural diuretics may help relieve fluid retention by making you urinate more.
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.
How do you make fresh dandelion tea?
Step 1: Harvesting dandelion roots for tea
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.
Here is more information from Joybilee Farm:
“Dandelion roots harvested in fall are slightly sweeter and less bitter than dandelion roots harvested in the spring. Both are helpful to your liver and bile production though. The fall dandelion roots have a higher concentration of the prebiotic inulin,that encourages the good microbes in your gut to bloom. Having more beneficial microbes in your gut like lactobacillus, improves your immune function, helps you think more clearly, protects you from bad microbes like staph, and strep, and even helps you maintain a healthy weight.”
For more in depth information check out this video from Rain Country:
|big roots on this one|
How to dry and cook dandelion root
Can you eat dandelion roots raw? Yes but they won’t taste very good. Most parts of the dandelion plant are very bitter. The roots will taste much better roasted.
You will need the following to prep dandelion roots for tea:
- dandelion roots
- Kitchen knife
- Roasting pan
- Coffee grinder
Once you have gathered enough roots, take them to the kitchen. 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 finer.
|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|
How to brew dandelion root 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.
I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t plan on liking the taste 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.
What are the side effects of using dandelion root tea?
Dandelion is likely safe for most people when used in the amounts commonly found in food. It is possibly safe when used in medicinal amounts (larger amounts than those found in food).
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of dandelion during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Ragweed allergy: Dandelion can cause allergic reactions when taken by mouth or applied to the skin of sensitive people. People who are allergic to ragweed and related plants (daisies, chrysanthemums, marigolds) are likely to be allergic to dandelion. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking dandelion.
Dandelion Root Tea
Make dandelion root tea with dandelions from your garden. Turn annoying weeds into medicinal tea
- 1 tbsp dandelion root roasted and grinded
Clean and chop dandelion roots into one inch pieces. Roast them on a pan in the oven for 2 hours at 250 degrees
Let the roots cool and grind them in a coffee grinder
Place one tbsp in a tea diffuser and steep in hot water until it reaches your desired taste.