Recognized as a common weed around the world, the dandelion plant is much more than a pesky intruder. Dandelion has been documented as a component of traditional medicine for centuries throughout Asia, North America, and Europe. As far back as 659 AD, dandelion leaf was used as a Chinese remedy to treat abscesses, eye inflammation and to induce diuresis.1
Today, many people use dandelion as a natural remedy by drinking dandelion root tea. Dandelion root tea bags contain either powdered or roasted dandelion root and are often marketed as a detox remedy.
For those who follow health guru Jillian Michaels, dandelion tea detox entered the spotlight several years ago when Michaels published her popular 7-day detox recipe—a drink combining roasted dandelion root tea, cranberry juice, and lemon.
With all the health buzz surrounding dandelion tea, readers are smart to ask what is dandelion tea good for? Is it simply a health trend, or is there scientific evidence for beneficial properties of dandelion tea?
In this article, we provide an introduction to dandelion root tea and explore the top health benefits of dandelion tea. At the end of the article, you’ll find practical information like how to drink dandelion tea and where to buy dandelion root tea.
Dandelion Tea Benefits
Top benefits of dandelion tea include:
- Anti-Cancer Activity
- Supports Weight Loss
- Detoxes the Kidneys
- Anti-Inflammatory Effect
- Natural Diabetic Support
Many people who look to natural health remedies have wondered what is dandelion root tea good for? Considered a natural remedy for a variety of conditions, preliminary studies focused on the health benefits of dandelion root tea have emerged in recent years.
1. Dandelion Root Tea Cancer
Of the proposed benefits of dandelion tea, cancer-fighting effects have received a large amount of attention. Dandelion is known to contain important compounds called sesquiterpene lactones, which are believed to have anti-cancer effects.1
In a 2012 study, the effects of dandelion on chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (a form of cancer) concluded that dandelion root extract demonstrated potential as an alternative, natural therapy for chemotherapy.5 A 2016 study also concluded that dandelion root extract triggers cancer cell death in colorectal cancer, with fewer and less severe side effects than chemotherapy.6
2. Dandelion Tea Weight Loss
Some people use dandelion tea for weight loss, often as a component in a broader weight loss regimen. Researchers have found evidence that bitter herbs like dandelion root tea benefits digestion by stimulating bile secretion. When taken before a meal, this may improve the metabolism of fat and cholesterol, an important factor in body weight maintenance.2 With dandelion root tea, weight loss may also occur as a result of its diuretic properties, which may help users shed water weight.
3. Dandelion Tea for Kidneys
There’s evidence that a dandelion root tea detox (like the dandelion root tea Jillian Michaels promoted in a 7-day detox recipe) may have a beneficial detoxifying effect on the body. Both ancient and modern science confirm that dandelion is a moderate diuretic agent1,2,3 This is a factor in kidney health, as diuretics are used to alleviate the fluid overload that can occur in the kidneys as a result of various health conditions.4
Because of dandelion’s detoxing status, many people believe dandelion root tea and fibroids relief may be connected. Some natural health resources recommend taking dandelion to cleanse the liver of toxins that lead to hormone imbalance, which is thought to be a factor causing fibroids. While no known studies have confirmed roasted dandelion root tea benefits for fibroid treatment, there is preliminary evidence on the hormonal effects of an herbal remedy containing dandelion. Results suggest that dandelion (and the other herbs) played a role in detoxifying certain hormones.1
4. Dandelion Tea for Inflammation
At least one study on the pharmacological properties of dandelion root has concluded that the sesquiterpene lactone compounds found in the dandelion plant have notable anti-inflammatory properties.1
5. Dandelion Tea for Diabetes
Dandelion and its various compounds are currently being studied for their potential as pharmaceuticals to regulate diabetes symptoms. Research shows that it may offer anti-hyperglycemic and antioxidant properties due to various compounds such as chlorogenic acid, chicory acid, taraxasterol and sesquiterpene lactones present in the plant.3
Dandelion Tea Side Effects
Is dandelion tea safe for everyone? While dandelion tea is generally regarded as safe, some individuals may experience negative dandelion root tea side effects. As a diuretic, drinking too much dandelion tea may induce frequent urination. Some people with conditions like acute gastrointestinal inflammation or nonatonic reflux esophagitis should consult a physician before using dandelion, as it has the potential to stimulate these conditions.1
While rare, some people may experience adverse effects from consuming dandelion due to a dandelion allergy. For expecting mothers, there are no dandelion tea pregnancy studies that show negative natal side effects. However, pregnant women should talk to their health care provide before drinking dandelion tea.
How to Make Dandelion Tea
It’s easy to learn how to make dandelion root tea. The simplest way is to buy the tea in bags from the grocery store and make it according to the directions on the box. However, it’s also straightforward to make your own dandelion tea from fresh dandelions. Below, see instructions for a basic dandelion tea recipe using fresh dandelion.
- Dig up the dandelion, extracting as much root as possible.
- Separate the tops from the roots and thoroughly scrub the root.
- Chop the dandelion root into small pieces so you have approx. 2 Tsp.
- Bring 1 quart of water to boil.
- Add the dandelion to the water and simmer for 1 minute.
- Remove the pot from heat and let the tea steep for 40 minutes. To serve, pour the liquid into a cup, using a strainer to separate the dandelion root pieces.
You can drink your fresh tea any time of the day, but it is especially nice to have a cup of dandelion tea before bed or before a meal to aid in digestion. For users wondering how often to drink dandelion tea, most brands suggest consuming up to three cups a day. For detoxes, drinking dandelion root tea for three to seven days if often recommended.
Where to Buy Dandelion Tea
Dandelion tea bags can be found in most grocery stores today. For conventional dandelion root tea, Walmart, Walgreens, and other chain grocery stores usually carry several brands. For organic dandelion tea, Whole Foods carries a variety of organic brands like Traditional Medicinals’ organic dandelion root tea and Yogi detox tea blends. You can also find dandelion root tea online. When looking for dandelion teas online, also search for detox teas, as dandelion might be only one ingredient of several in a general detox blend.
Best Dandelion Tea Brand
Most well-known tea brands carry a dandelion tea or a detox tea that includes dandelion as an ingredient. Based on online reviews from users, here are a few popular names:
- Alvita Dandelion Root Tea
- Yogi Dandelion Tea
- Bonvit Roasted Dandelion Tea
- Teavana Dandelion Tea
- Symington’s Dandelion Herbal Tea
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Yarnell, E., & Abascal, K. (2009) Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale and T mongolicum). Integrative Medicine (8)2, 35-38. Retrieved November 28, 2017 from http://www.imjournal.com/resources/web_pdfs/0409_yarnell.pdf
- Koithan, M., & Niemeyer, K. (2010). Using Herbal Remedies to Maintain Optimal Weight. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners : JNP, 6(2), 153–154. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2009.12.005
- Wirngo, F. E., Lambert, M. N., & Jeppesen, P. B. (2016). The Physiological Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) in Type 2 Diabetes. The Review of Diabetic Studies: RDS, 13(2-3), 113–131. http://doi.org/10.1900/RDS.2016.13.113
- Nadeau-Fredette, A. et al (2013). Fluid Management and Use of Diuretics in Acute Kidney Injury. Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease, 20 (1), 45 – 55. Retrieved from http://www.ackdjournal.org/article/S1548-5595(12)00178-4/pdf
- Ovadje P, Hamm C, Pandey S (2012) Efficient Induction of Extrinsic Cell Death by Dandelion Root Extract in Human Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML) Cells. PLoS ONE, 7(2): e30604. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0030604
- Ovadje, P., Ammar, S., Guerrero, J.-A., Arnason, J. T., & Pandey, S. (2016). Dandelion root extract affects colorectal cancer proliferation and survival through the activation of multiple death signalling pathways. Oncotarget, 7(45), 73080–73100. http://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11485