Dandelion Root Tea
Buying Guide

How does one buy dandelion root tea? What are the different types of dandelion available?



There are at least three different types of dandelion tea - those made from dandelion roots, those made from the leaves, and those made from the flowers. I will go through each in turn, and explore dandelion root tea in more detail.

Dandelion Flower

Dandelion flower is used mainly to make dandelion wine. Traditionally, it is known to be "an excellent tonic, extremely good for the blood".

This claim was verified in 2004 when a study conducted by University of British Columbia reported that dandelion flower contains luteolin and luteolin-7-O-glucosid. Both compounds were found to have significant antioxidant and anticancer benefits.

You can make dandelion flower tea by infusing the blossoms in hot water.

Dandelion Leaf

You can make dandelion tea by infusing 1 to 2 teaspoonful of dried dandelion leaves in hot water. Drink up to 3 times daily. The cut leaf form of the herb can be easily brewed inside a stainless steel tea ball or a wicker tea cup basket.

Dandelion leaf is a natural diuretic that increases urine production by promoting the excretion of salts and water from the kidney.

It may be used for a wide range of conditions requiring mild diuretic treatment, such as poor digestion, liver disorders, and high blood pressure. One advantage of dandelion over other diuretics is that it is a source of potassium, a nutrient often lost through the use of both natural and synthetic diuretics.

Don’t neglect adding dandelion leaves from your garden to your salads, casseroles, soups and even wok dishes.

Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. You will be boosting the nutritional content of your meal significantly.

Try to pick the young, tender leaves, as they are more palatable than matured leaves, which are bitter.

Pick your leaves away from road traffic. Avoid locations that pets frequent or any area in which chemicals are currently or have been dumped in the past.

How About Dandelion Root Tea?

Compared to dandelion flowers and leaves, dandelion root used more frequently for medicinal purposes and provides the most health benefits.

Dandelion root tea is available in teabags, dried powder form, or in capsules. The best tea, of course, is found fresh from your own garden - since the dandelion "weed" is literally everywhere. As with other herbs and foods, organic or wildcrafted is always your best choice.

Here are the things to look out for when buying fresh or dried roots for making your own dandelion root tea:

  • At least 2 years old.

  • Large, fleshy and well formed, and not slender and forked.

  • Harvested either in spring or autumn.

  • Stored in a dry place after drying to avoid moulds, moths and beetles. Dried dandelion root attracts maggots. It should not be kept beyond one season.

  • Dried roots should be hard and brittle enough to snap. The inside of the roots is white, not gray.

Beware of Counterfeits

According to Margaret Grieve, author of the excellent herbal encyclopedia A Modern Herbal, one should be aware of counterfeits when buying dandelion roots.

Here is further information on how to distinguish the root:

Dried dandelion root is 1/2 inch or less in thickness, dark brown, shriveled, with wrinkles running lengthwise, often in a spiral direction; when quite dry, it breaks easily with a short, corky fracture, showing a very thick, white bark, surrounding a wooden column.

The latter is yellowish, very porous, without pith or rays. A rather broad but indistinct cambium zone separates the wood from the bark, which latter exhibits numerous well-defined, concentric layers, due to the milk vessels.

This structure is quite characteristic and serves to distinguish dandelion roots from other roots like it.

Dried dandelion root somewhat resembles pellitory and liquorice roots, but pellitory differs in having oil glands and also a large radiate wood, and liquorice has also a large radiate wood and a sweet taste.

The root of hawkbit (Leontodon hispidus) is sometimes substituted for dandelion root. It is a plant with hairy, not smooth leaves, and the fresh root is tough, breaking with difficulty and rarely exuding much milky juice.

Some kinds of dock have also been substituted, and also chicory root. The latter is of a paler co lour, more bitter and has the laticiferous vessels in radiating lines. In the United States it is often substituted for dandelion. Dock roots have a prevailing yellowish co lour and an astringent taste.

Roasted Dandelion Root Tea

Dandelion root tea may also be available roasted. If you are trying to give up coffee, it can be an excellent substitute in the morning. For further information, read

Dandelion Uses - Replace Coffee and Lose Weight.

Although roasting increases advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) of a food, having a cup of roasted dandelion tea once a day should not appreciably cause the production of rampant AGEs that destroy your health.

However, limit the amount you consume to only one cup a day if you have any AGE-related diseases such as diabetes, dementia, aging, cancer and inflammation.

Tea Versus Extract

Your choice of how use dandelion root tea is dependent on your lifestyle.

If you have time for a cup of tea, you can enjoy a few minutes of relaxation while you sip and smell its earthy aroma. Herbalists believe that aromas play an important part in the healing process, since they travel straight up to the brain and activate specific receptors not activated when one uses capsules.

When using the root, one teaspoon per cup is enough. Always simmer roots in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes because the chemical constituents are released in “levels” during the cooking time.

If you don’t have time for a cup of tea, take two capsules three times daily along with your meals.

Tinctures of the herb are also widely available. Read the label on the back of the tincture; one cup of tea is generally equal to 5 to 10 ml, so take 5 to 10 ml three times a day.

There are numerous health benefits waiting to be received from a simple daily cup of dandelion tea! Why not start today?

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