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Health and Healing Benefits of Dandelion Root

My love of nature led me down the path to herbs and herbal healing. I became a medical herbalist in 2002.

health-benefits-of-dandelion-root

Did you know dandelions have been used for hundreds of years as a spring tonic? During the winter months, food was limited to meat and root vegetables. But when spring came, people would eat the early spring dandelion greens to detox their bodies from the winter's "sludge" that had built up in their livers.

Don't mow dandelions but instead grow them for their terrific herbal medicinal benefits. The young leaves can be used in salads while the flowers can be made into syrup. The whole plant is useful, right down to the sap it produces, which can be used to treat warts.

Dandelion root from two-year-old plants. Root can be dried for later use.

Dandelion root from two-year-old plants. Root can be dried for later use.

What Are the Health Benefits of Dandelion Root?

Vitamins and Minerals Found in the Root

  • Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, and Vitamin C—all important for good heart health
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Potassium

Health Benefits

  • The root is an herbal bitter and, therefore, used as a liver tonic. It helps to cleanse the bile ducts and promote healthy digestion.
  • It's one of the most detoxifying herbs. It mainly works on the liver and gallbladder to promote removal of waste products. It also encourages the steady elimination of toxins due to infection or pollution.
  • Research conducted in 1974 confirmed the roots and leaves are a powerful natural diuretic due to their potassium content. This can help clean out the kidneys and promote proper kidney function. Other over-the-counter diuretics deplete potassium, which is very harmful to the body.
  • It is used by herbalists to prevent gallstones.
  • It can help with occasional constipation since it is considered a natural laxative. It is usually combined with other laxative herbs, depending on the severity.
  • It's very useful for treating skin conditions such as acne and eczema. Using a tincture or salve made with dandelion can help both skin conditions.
  • Drink a cup of dandelion root tea to help promote cleansing from the inside as well.
  • In 1999, a study in Japan showed that dandelion could be used as an anti-cancer agent.
Dandelion root powder can be made into a tea or put into capsules.

Dandelion root powder can be made into a tea or put into capsules.

How to Use Dandelion Root

  • If you have chunks of a root, or what is called cut and sifted, you will have to make a decoction, not a tea. A tea would not extract enough of the medicinal benefits.
  • You could also make a tincture with dandelion root (either fresh or dried).
  • For dandelion root powder, you can make a tea using a cotton tea bag. Use 1 teaspoon per coffee-sized cup of water. Add honey or your favorite sweetener. You can also buy dandelion already bagged. It is sold in most health food stores.

How Do You Dry Dandelion Root?

  1. You can either buy dandelion root or dig it up and dry it yourself.
  2. After collecting the roots, wash them thoroughly.
  3. Slice or cut them into small pieces and put them on a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake in the oven on a very low temp for several hours until dry. Alternatively, you can use a dehydrator set between 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit
  5. .Be sure they are completely dry, otherwise, mold can occur.
  6. Store in paper bags or sealed glass jars. Do not use plastic since the plastic can leach into the root.

How to Make Coffee Using a Dandelion Root

Dandelion root makes a very earthy-tasting coffee. It can be drunk alone or added to your favorite coffee mix.

  1. Powder or crush the herb in a blender since it's best to get it to a coffee-like texture.
  2. To roast it, bake on a medium temperature, around 300 degrees. Stir and shake often. Don't let it burn, as this will taste awful and ruin the herb. Time will vary depending on your oven.
  3. Roast until brown. Let it cool, and then store in a glass jar out of sunlight, which will destroy the properties.

Growing Dandelions

Dandelions grow wild in most parts of the world. Germany and France cultivate them for medicinal use around the world. The plant is propagated from seed in spring. You can also allow it to go to seed and let nature take its course. The root of two-year-old plants is pulled in autumn and dried. Plants that are too young do not contain the key constituents of the mature plant.

Interested in growing your own? It is very easy. Get some seeds from a reputable seed company. We prefer buying ours at Johnny's Seeds. They are of great quality, and we have had good luck with both their herbs seeds as well as their veggie seeds.

If you don't plant by seed, you can just allow the ones in your yard to go to seed every year. Your lawn will become a beautiful sea of yellow in just a couple of years.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Healing Herbalist

Comments

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on January 14, 2013:

lorddraven2000, thanks for stopping by. Dandelion Root tea is a great tea. It has a bit of an earthy taste. It has great healing benefits, and I hope you like it.

Sam Little from Wheelwright KY on January 14, 2013:

I have always wanted to try this type of tea but never really got around to it. It seems I should really consider making time. Very interesting work here. Thanks.

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on January 12, 2013:

Thanks for stopping by, sarahshuihan. Dandelion is a great detox for eczema. Let me know what you think of it.

Sarah from USA on January 10, 2013:

This is a great hub! I've been thinking about drinking dandelion tea to help with my eczema and after reading this I think I will! very useful :)

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on August 23, 2012:

Sam, thanks for stopping by. Nature is amazing, isn't it!

Sam on August 22, 2012:

Wow, who would have known that a dandelion is so good for you. Thanks for sharing all the great information.

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on July 13, 2012:

Hi Katie, thanks for stopping by. It is a "weed" to most people, but is has so many health benefits. Have a great day.

Katie on July 13, 2012:

Yes here in Canada it is a weed!!! We spray to get rid if it. But we go and buy it to drink!! To funny!

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on June 24, 2012:

Hello Maraiya Storm, thanks for stopping by and reading. If you can't find the root in tea bags, you could buy the root, roast it and grind it yourself. I do it all the time.

Maraiya Storm from Prescott, Arizona on June 24, 2012:

Thanks for reminding me about dandelion. A long time ago I used to buy a jar of dandelion root coffee substitute and felt it had an energizing effect on me. Then they stopped making it so I stopped. I'm going to check for dandelion root tea bags at the health food store and start back on it. You give lots of great information here on how to do it yourself, too. I'm going to bookmark this page.

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on June 04, 2012:

Hello m0rd0r, dandelion greens in a salad is really good, and good for you. It isn't such a bad habit to have. Thanks for stopping by. It is always nice to see you.

Stoill Barzakov from Sofia, Bulgaria on June 04, 2012:

CLF, I've had a habbit to make sallad from dandellion stems and leaves and it is quite good.

I can't vote UP two times in a row, so ... you know I did in my head. ;)

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on May 26, 2012:

Hello beingwell. Thanks for stopping by. Glad to find another tea lover out there in the world. Thanks for the votes, and have a great day.

beingwell from Bangkok on May 25, 2012:

I enjoy drinking tea. We have chamomile, jasmine, oolong, jiaogulan, etc., etc... tea at home. I have tried dandelion root tea though. Thanks for the info.

Voted up!

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on March 31, 2012:

Glad you enjoyed. I teach a class on local wild edibles, and people are always amazed. I did a hub about it too. I have an article for dandelion syrup too.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on March 31, 2012:

This is very interesting. I'm working on an article about wild edibles for an on-line column I have on another site and just talked with a wild edible expert the other day. His favorite wild edible is dandelion and he uses the leaves, flowers and roots in cooking. He sent me a number of recipes. I'm actually going to give some of them a try.

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on March 28, 2012:

Thanks, Rufus. Everything in moderation is key. Coffee is okay, if you don't over do. Thanks for reading.

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on March 28, 2012:

I have never eaten it raw, but you can roast it on it's own and drink it like a coffee. Just grind in a coffee grinder and make however you do your coffee. Thanks for stopping by.

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on March 28, 2012:

Thank you Peggy. You'll have to read my hub on Wild Edibles. Dandelion "mushrooms" are awesome., Oh, how I love to lay in a field of dandelions.

Rufus rambles from Australia on March 28, 2012:

Great hub! I absolutely love Dandelion tea. It feels so much healthier than drinking coffee. Thanks and voted up!

Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on March 28, 2012:

A great hub on dandelions. I use the leaves in jambalaya, still haven't tried the root. Can it be eaten raw or roasted on it's own? Or does it need to be in a tea only?

Thanks, well done.

Ben

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 28, 2012:

We had dandelions growing in our Wisconsin half acre yard years ago and I had heard about eating the leaves and roots. Made quite a few salads using them. Very interesting hub! Voted that + up and useful and will share with my followers.

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on March 28, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by, and voting up. Have a great day.

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on March 28, 2012:

Here in the US, everyone tries to destroy it. They only know it as a weed, and try to get rid of it. We just mow around them...lol.

Healing Herbalist (author) from The Hamlet of Effingham on March 28, 2012:

Hi seattlegirl, I am glad you liked it.

Claire on March 27, 2012:

I use herbal and traditional remedies so shall add this to the list.

Voted up and interesting.

Stoill Barzakov from Sofia, Bulgaria on March 27, 2012:

Very good article.

Do you know, that in some cultures Dandelions are rooted and destroyed like an abusive weed?

Shelly on March 27, 2012:

I love this article! Thank you for taking the time to put this together. I feel infinitely more informed on this subject! In fact, I think I may have to go stock up on dandelion root ASAP!

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