Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen (1887)
Learn all about Dandelion. What this herbal classic is used for and how to mix up a powerful detoxification tea with it!
If there’s one herb to add to your tea collection right now, it’s Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), and I’m about to tell you why. I’ll give you some well honed insights into Dandelion’s medicinal qualities and share my tea recipe for your daily Dandelion infusion. I’m never without Dandelion and it’s a feature herb in my garden as well. I’m a little obsessed (don’t tell the other herbs!). And ignore anybody who tells you Dandelion is a weed. It’s perhaps the most valuable detoxification herb in our materia medica (collection of medicinal plants) and it features in all holistic medicine systems from East to West. Why? Because this is a herb that:
- Detoxifies: it boosts liver and kidney function
- Cleanses: removes toxins from the body and your blood
- Nourishes: it’s FULL of vitamins and minerals
- Ignites: your digestive fire and stimulates gut secretions
Dandelion for weight management
A daily cup of Dandelion tea can assist with gradual weight loss naturally by removing excess fluids from your system. The more sluggish and congested our metabolic systems become, the harder it is to get into those jeans! That’s what I love about Dandelion, it regains our fluid balance and does so safely. No overdosing on green tea supplements and weight loss products that just don’t work. Dandelion cleanses you from the inside out. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals and nourishes while it detoxifies. That’s pretty amazing isn’t it :).
A herb that detoxifies the earth
Dandelion likes to grow in areas where the soil has become malnourished and compacted, or where nutrients are low and soil quality degraded. So if you see Dandelion in your garden, leave it. Let it do its work. The root system of Dandelion is a tap root system, a type of root that belongs to the flowering plants (Angiosperms) and it’s designed to reach down into the earth to access nutrients buried deep below. Dandelion can similarly gather toxins and heavy metals gathered in the soil and absorb them, removing them from the soil and detoxifying the earth. So always use certified organic Dandelion where possible because it has a tendency to absorb toxins in poor quality soil.
Root, flower or leaf? Which part to use.
The root of Dandelion acts on the liver (mainly because of its bitterness) stimulating liver function in order to increase elimination of waste materials and by increasing frequency of bowel motions. It also softens stools so it’s particularly good in people who feel sluggish or in those who suffer from constipation. Use the root dried in teas and lattes with a touch of honey to sweeten.
The leaf of Dandelion acts on the kidneys by increasing the function and activity of these organs. You will notice when drinking Dandelion leaf tea, that your frequency of urination increases.
The flowers are sweet and delicious and I use them in compotes as well as anti-rheumatics in salves, lotions and rub bars.
Photo credit: Conger Design
This is a recipe I often prescribe for clients on a detoxification protocol. I make my own teas, powders, elixirs and more. So enjoy this beautiful recipe, it gets lots of rave reviews! And if you’re coming in to see me, let me know in advance, and I’ll have some ready for you.
- Dandelion leaf (dried) 1 tsp
- Cleavers leaf (dried) 1 tsp
- Nettle leaf (dried) 1/2 tsp
- Peppermint leaf (dried) 1/2 tsp
- Hot boiled water 250mL
- Honey (optional)
- Combine the herbs in a herb strainer placed inside your tea cup. Then pour the boiled hot water over the herbs and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
- It will be lukewarm when you drink it, so you may want to add some freshly boiled water later on when you’re ready to drink.
I like to cover my herbal teas when they’re infusing and that retains the volatile components like essential oils which occur naturally in plants like Peppermint.
When I make a cup of Dandelion tea I like to sip slowly think about all the places this medicine will travel in my body, doing it’s work, healing and cleansing.
As with any herbal teas, you may need to adjust the amount of herb per cup to suit your tastes. While you’ll get a therapeutic dose of herbs with this recipe, some of you may prefer to start with a smaller dose and then work up.
Hey there! Welcome to my world of totally natural and powerful healing medicines. Medicines from nature. Medicine from Source. I’m a naturopath and herbalist with extensive clinical experience working with a range of health conditions including hormonal, metabolic, mental health, sleep and more.
I’ve brought together years of clinical and teaching experience, academic skill and curiosity to bring you this blog. I hope you enjoy it! If you do, leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!