Did you ever blow the seeds of a dandelion weed and make a wish? You may not have known that you were blowing on a natural superfood that has amazing nutrient qualities and health promoting properties. Dandelions are one of the most colorful and exuberantly abundant plants and they have long been used for herbal remedies, food, teas, and even magic!
Scott Cunningham, author of more than 30 books on herbs, says that dandelion is said to increase psychic abilities when taken as a tea. A tea of dandelion roots left steaming and placed beside the bed will call in the spirits. And dandelion buried in the northwest corner of the house will bring favorable winds!
Whether you are trying to increase your psychic abilities or simply boost your system with one of nature’s most diverse plants, drinking dandelion tea is an excellent addition to your diet this Spring.
There are two essential parts to the dandelion: the root and the leaf, and each has its own use. Both help regulate parts of the digestive system, but the root is best for liver problems while the leaf is best for ailments related to the kidneys. Choose your tea accordingly. The roots have a stronger taste and are typically combined with other synergistic herbs to balance the flavor.
If you are picking dandelions from the wild, be sure the plants haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or insecticides.
Here is a list of some of the benefits of drinking these incredible weeds!
1. Reduces water weight.
Dandelion tea can be used as a diuretic to help increase the urine output so it is a wonderful remedy to a bloated belly! Taking two cups of the beverage made from the leaves of the plant can help to increase the urine output effectively and relieves bloating.
2. Soothes digestive ailments.
Dandelion roots can have extremely positive effects on your digestive system. They are bitter, dry, and cooling to the system. Dandelion helps greatly to soothe digestive ailments by stimulating digestion and acting as a mild laxative.
3. Promotes liver health.
Dandelion root tea is a tonic for the liver! Studies have shown that dandelions aid in increased flow of bile which helps with the digestion of fats, indigestion, constipation and removal of toxins. Dandelion is high in vitamin C and luteolin which keep the liver in prime shape and helps prevent the effects of aging to the organ.
4. Potential Anti-Cancer Applications
Recent studies have also shown that the dandelion root has some potential cancer-fighting properties. Research has shown that dandelion root extract causes the death of melanoma cells without effecting the non-cancerous cells as well as helped to treat pancreatic cancer cells. Although the anti-cancer properties haven’t been proven yet, there is enough evidence to stay hopeful that dandelions provide natural anti-cancer effects.
5. Acts as a Substitute for Coffee
The dandelion roots of the young plant can be roasted to a dark brown color and be brewed into a coffee like beverage which can be used as an effective substitute for coffee. My favorite is called Dandy Blend and it is a great way to start the day with a big dose of dandelion nutrition while alkalizing the body ~ and it even tastes like coffee!
6. Prevents Urinary Tract Infections
This herb can also be paired with the herb uva ursi to help prevent urinary tract infections. It works well in this combination due to the anti-bacterial compounds of the uva ursi herb and the increased urine output effect of the dandelion. You can also make a tea that combines one tablespoon each of dandelion, nettle, plantain, and burdock root for an effective UTI treatment.
7. Helps control diabetes.
Dandelion tea can help diabetics by stimulating the production of insulin from the pancreas, thereby keeping the blood sugar level low. Since dandelions are diuretic in nature, they increase urination in diabetic patients, which helps remove excess sugar from the body.
A word of caution…
While dandelion is safe for most people, some may have allergic reactions. Dandelion tea can also cause side effects when mixed with certain medicines and and blood sugar modulators, so always check with your doctor before consuming if you take medication or have any doubts.
Pick your dandelions and enjoy the multitude of benefits these persistent, pesky little weeds provide!