Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) grows in abundance all over the fruited plains. It’s a perennial with deeply cut leaves forming a basal rosette in the spring and flower heads born on long, hollow, milk-sapped stalks. Both leaves and flower stems grow directly from the rootstock. The root itself is surprisingly long, going straight into the ground. Its root is one of the reasons why dandelion leaves are so healthy: The plant pulls its nutrients from deep in the soil and thus is chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc.
Dandelion tea is for good for hypertension (high blood pressure): In the spring, dandelion leaves and roots produce mannitol which is used in the treatment of high blood pressure and a weak heart. A tea made from dandelion roots and leaves is good to take during this period, from about mid-March to mid-May. In this tea, both root and leaves should be used fresh.
Dandelion tea also helps reduce fever during childhood infections like mumps, measles and chicken pox, and is excellent for upper respiratory infections like chronic bronchitis and even pneumonia. For this tea, dried roots and leaves are used.
Below are the two tea recipes, the first for high blood pressure, the second for childhood infections.
Dandelion Tea for Hypertension
For dandelion tea, bring one quart of water to a boil, reduce heat and add about 2 Tbl cleaned and chopped fresh roots. Simmer for 1 minute, covered, then remove from heat and add 2 Tbl chopped, freshly picked leaves. Steep for 40 minutes. Strain and drink 2 cups per day.
Dandelion Tea for Childhood Infections and Upper Respiratory Infections
Bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Reduce heat and add 2 1/2 Tbl dried, cut dandelion root and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add 3 tsp dried, cut leaves. Steep for half an hour. Strain and sweeten with 1 tsp of pure maple syrup or 1 tsp of blackstrap molasses per cup of tea and give to the child, lukewarm, every 5 hours or so until the fever breaks and the lung congestion clears up.
Disclaimer: The author is not an medical professional, nutritionist, or dietitian. Content on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for legal or medical advice, or medical treatment or diagnosis. Consult your health care provider if you are experiencing any symptoms and before using any herbal product or beginning a new health regimen. When wildcrafting or foraging for plants, do so ethically and always have absolute certainty of plant identification before using or consuming any herbs. By using any or all of this information, you do so at your own risk. Any application of the material provided is at the reader’s discretion and is his or her sole responsibility.