7 Benefits of Dandelion Tea, According to Medical Doctors
Here's why medical doctors from around the country told us the health benefits of dandelion tea call for a change in the way we often think about this perky plant.
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Those bright yellow buds are a sign of sunny weather, and some of us think of the dandelion as a nuisance that’s necessary to pluck. But what if we told you that dandelions hold some powerful effects for your health?
Dr. Peter Michael, MD, MBA, a doctor who specializes in the science of aging and chief medical officer at VUE—along with Dr. Mahmud Kara, MD, a former physician at The Cleveland Clinic and founder of KaraMD—suggest that while popular blends like green tea and chamomile tea tend to dominate the market, dandelion tea is the loose-leaf underdog you may want to reconsider. Between all the long-term and day-to-day dandelion tea benefits, it may be worth tossing a box into your shopping cart.
For starters, says Dr. Michael: “Since the beginning of time, people have revered the dandelion—known as Taraxacum officinale—for its amazing medicinal properties. In particular, ‘taraxacum‘ is a Greek word that means ‘anti-inflammatory,’ and ‘officinale‘ is the common name for plants.”
Dr. Kara adds: “Dandelion tea can be a great alternative to less healthy beverages like sugary coffees or even diet sodas that contain artificial sweeteners. If you’re looking to cut back on these items but still want to enjoy a daily beverage, dandelion tea has numerous health benefits.”
Want to reap all of those medicinal properties and benefits of dandelion tea? Here’s why you should consider brewing yourself a cup to sip on at the end of the day.
Dandelion tea benefits
1. Dandelion tea improves liver health
Dr. Michael explains that dandelion tea can help liver function by working as a natural detox, relieving symptoms of liver disease and promoting all-around good liver health—including improved kidney function.
“In more ancient medicine practices dandelion was used for liver support and some recent studies suggest that it can help increase bile flow and encourage detoxification which are both important components of liver health,” says Dr. Kara, who points to a 2017 study in Molecules that finds dandelion root can help protect the liver from injury.
2. Dandelion tea is nutrient dense
That’s right—dandelion tea is loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals that can boost your health with every sip.
“Dandelion itself is full of important nutrients like vitamin C, iron, potassium, as well as soluble fiber that can be crucial for gut health,” says Dr. Kara. “Therefore, dandelion tea is a great nutrient-dense beverage to include in your routine to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.”
Other nutrients include beta-carotene, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin A. Sounds like the kind of sip you want to have in your daily repertoire!
3. Dandelion tea helps fight free radical damage
“Free radical damage caused by oxidative stress can lead to numerous health issues including increased risk for disease, inflammation, weight gain, low energy, poor cognitive health, and more,” says Dr. Kara.
While many antioxidant-rich foods can help with fighting those free radicals, a 2016 study in The Review of Diabetic Studies was able to determine that dandelion also has powerful antioxidant properties, fighting back at those free radicals and oxidative stress.
4. Dandelion tea can reduce inflammation
As Dr. Michael points out, dandelion root was specifically named for being anti-inflammatory, which makes it one of the major benefits of sipping on dandelion tea.
“I always say that chronic inflammation is the root of all evil because many of the health issues we face in the 21st century can be tied back to inflammation,” says Dr. Kara. “Research has suggested that dandelion can reduce inflammatory markers in the body.”
Dandelion tea can also help with any topical inflammation you may be experiencing, fighting inflammation on the skin and relieving spots of eczema, according to Dr. Michael.
5. Dandelion tea can improve cardiovascular health
According to Dr. Kara, one of the leading risk factors of cardiovascular-related health issues—which is currently the leading cause of death in America—is high blood pressure. Thankfully, dandelion tea can help with that. “Some studies have found that dandelion can help control blood pressure because it acts as a diuretic and helps rid the body of excess fluid,” he says.
Dandelion has also been shown to lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL “good” cholesterol in some animal studies, making an even stronger connection to improved cardiovascular disease when you sip this tea.
6. Dandelion tea can lead to better digestion
Is your stomach feeling bloated, a little round, tough to firm up with muscles if you wanted to? Dandelion tea can help with that, relieving those uncomfortable symptoms and giving you a natural, flat tummy.
Dr. Kara points to a 2011 study published in Neurogastroenterology & Motility that found dandelion can help improve the digestive process by assisting with gastric emptying.
Dr. Michael adds that it can help with gas, stomach pains, and even alleviate constipation since dandelion tea it is a natural laxative.
The Healthy @Reader’s Digest Medical Review Board co-chair adds, “This tea is great to pack for a vacation or destination where water and food is processed differently, as dandelion can act like a probiotic for the gut.”
7. Dandelion tea increases urine output and prevents UTIs
Because dandelion leaves are known to be a natural diuretic, sipping on dandelion tea can actually help with increasing the urine in your body, according to experts at Mount Siani. Recent research has even found dandelion extract to be effective when working to treat urinary tract infections in women.
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