Did you know that dandelions make the most marvelous tea, which helps to detox the liver? These “considered weed” plants, have a number of powerful health benefits. In fact, humans have been using dandelions in food for much of recorded history.
Dandelions are used for the , loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, liver disorder, gallstones, joint pain, eczema and bruises. It also increases urine production and serves as a laxative to , improves bone health
Some people use dandelions to treat infections, especially viral infections and even cancer. It’s also used as a skin toner, blood tonic and a digestive tonic.
Dandelion greens can be chopped up and used as a garnish or an addition to a sauce, or they can be eaten raw or cooked to minimize their somewhat bitter flavor. You can also use the dandelion’s root, stems and flowers to make a delicious and super-healthy tea. Either way, you reap the benefits of this unexpected nutritional plant.
Dandelion Tea Nutrition Facts
The name dandelion comes from the French word dent-de-lion, meaning “lion’s tooth.” It’s safe (and healthy) to eat an entire dandelion. The stem or floret can be eaten raw, boiled or infused into tea.
One cup of dandelion greens contains:
- 25 calories
- 42 milligrams of sodium
- 218 milligrams of potassium
- 5 grams of carbohydrates
- 7 percent dietary fiber
- 535 percent vitamin K
- 111 percent vitamin A
- 32 percent vitamin C
- 5 percent vitamin B6
- 10 percent calcium
- 9 percent iron
- 5 percent magnesium
Dandelions and Skin Care
Dandelion sap, also known as dandelion milk, is useful in treating certain skin diseases, which are caused by microbial and fungal infections. This treatment stems from the fact that the sap is highly alkaline and has germicidal, insecticidal, and fungicidal properties. You should be careful while using this sap and avoid anycontact with the eyes.This sap can be used on itches, ringworm, eczema, and other skin conditions without the risk of side effects or hormonal disturbances commonly caused by pharmaceutical skin treatments.
How to Pick and Use Dandelion Flowers and Leaves
If you pick your own dandelions, make sure to avoid areas where weed-killer may have been sprayed. You don’t want to consume the nasty chemicals found in weed-killer.
Try to pick from an area that is free from pollution, too. You want to look for the younger and tender plants; they’re less bitter. You can also find bunches of dandelion plants in your local health store.
Once you’re ready to eat your dandelions, make sure to wash them thoroughly. They can be stored in the refrigerator for a week — sometimes wrapping the greens in a damp paper towel keeps them fresh longer.
If you plan on using the roots, the best time to harvest them is in the fall. Dig down deep and pull up the entire mass — sometimes it’s attached to several stems. Clean it with water until all of the dirt is removed. You can use the raw root to make dandelion root tea or roast the root to make coffee.
DIY Dandelion Tea
There are so many ways to incorporate the dandelion plant into your every day meals. One of the best ways to experience all of the dandelion benefits is by making your own dandelion tea. You can make tea with the flowers, or the leaves. It’s very easy — steep the flowers or cut up leaves for 30 minutes in boiling water. You can strain the flowers and leaves, or drink them up with your tea.
*Dandelion tea is considered safe for most people, as long as it’s consumed in moderate amounts. When consumed excessively (more than 3 cups a day), it may cause a few side effects, such as abdominal issues and dehydration. It may also trigger an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to dandelion and other related plants. If you have health concerns, it’s best to consult your physician before drinking this herbal tea.
To read more information about the health benefits of eating Dandelions: