Dandelion tea is an herbal remedy that is thought to have diuretic properties. It also may have the potential to help lower cholesterol, relieve menopausal symptoms and help with rheumatism.
Other ailments for which people might drink a dandelion infusion include abscesses, anemia, boils, breast tumors, cirrhosis of the liver, constipation, eczema, fluid retention, heartburn, hepatitis, indigestion, jaundice and joint problems.
The dandelion plant (Latin name: Taraxacum officinale) can be used in all of its parts, from flowers to leaves to roots. The leaves may be boiled and eaten like spinach, while other parts may be used to make tea.
Dandelions are often called weeds when found in suburban yards but they are grown commercially in the United States and Europe for use in supplements.
Dandelion plants grow about 12 inches high and have a yellow flower with spatula-like leaves. The plant can bloom year-round.
People have used this plant as food and as an herbal remedy for thousands of years. Some cultures consider dandelion to be a blood purifier. The herb has historically been used to treat digestive issues and water retention.
Many nutrients such as beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, zinc and Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D are found in dandelions, making it a rich source of vitamins and minerals. The leaves are especially rich in potassium.
One study showed that taking dandelion leaves at high doses produced a diuretic effect comparable to prescription medication. The bitter qualities of dandelion make it ideal for treating digestive issues. Bitter qualities also increase bile production in the gallbladder and bile flow from the liver.
When using dandelion as an herbal remedy for digestive issues, take 3-5 grams of dried root or 5-10 ml of a tincture made from the root three times a day.
When using dandelion as a diuretic, make tea by adding one cup of boiling water to 4-10 grams of dried dandelion leaves. May be used up to three times a day.
People already using diuretics should not drink dandelion tea. This herbal drink also is not recommended for people with gallstones or biliary tract obstruction.
As with any herbal treatment, always check with your healthcare provider before using dandelion to ensure it is appropriate for your medical situation.