Many tea drinkers have never heard of dandelion tea, let alone considered adding it to their daily routine. The drink, which originates from the same plant that produces a pesky weed known to sprout up in gardens and lawns, is said to offer benefits for both weight loss and detoxifying the body. Read about dandelion tea detox here.
What Is Dandelion Tea?
Dandelion detox tea is made from the root of the dandelion plant, Taraxacum officinale. The bright yellow flowers that bloom on top of the plant, leaves, and roots have been used for centuries in both food and beverage recipes (6). Dandelion root offers high levels of antioxidants, B vitamins, potassium, manganese, iron, and calcium. Dandelion leaves are also considered natural diuretics which may help rid the body of excess water.
How To Make Dandelion Tea For Detox?
You can make dandelion tea with roots, leaves, or flowers. Follow these steps:
- In a medium saucepan, bring five ounces of boiling water to a boil. Add one tablespoon of the stems or flowers and steep for 30 minutes.
- Strain the roots and flowers, then drink the resulting tea.
- Double or triple this recipe to make several days’ worth of detox tea.
Dandelion Detox Tea Benefits
Besides being a tasty drink, dandelion tea may provide provides several health benefits.
Reduces Water Weight
As mentioned, dandelion tea is a natural diuretic which might help rid the body of excess water weight (12). This makes it an excellent beverage to drink when you are feeling bloated from water retention.
Promotes Liver Health
Soothes Digestive Ailments
If you suffer from indigestion, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, or constipation, drinking dandelion tea might help relieve these symptoms. The anti-inflammatory effects of this beverage may make it useful for easing stomach discomfort (6).
Prevents Urinary Tract Infections
Antibacterial and antifungal properties found in dandelion tea may make it a helpful drink for preventing urinary tract infections (8). The diuretic aspect also helps prevent kidney stones and other mineral build ups that can lead to UTIs.
Boosts Skin Health
Dandelion may help promote healthier skin. Compounds from dandelion root may have an effect on the proliferation of skin cells, which could be helpful along with natural exfoliants that remove dead skin cells, revealing fresh new skin underneath (4). The effects are especially useful if you suffer from acne or scars caused by blemishes.
High In Antioxidants
Calcium is an important component in promoting bone health – drinking dandelion tea daily provides calcium that helps keep bones strong and healthy even into old age (3). The anti-inflammatory effects may also help prevent osteoarthritis by reducing inflammation in the bones and joints.
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Dandelion Tea Detox Side Effects
Dandelion is generally recognized as being safe. Some individuals, however, may be allergic to dandelion or get a negative reaction from touching or consuming it. Dandelion has also been linked to interactions with several drugs, including diuretics, lithium, and Cipro (5). Most herbal teas should be avoided during pregnancy unless discussed with your OB/GYN. Always consult with a healthcare professional before adding any supplements or herbal remedies to your routine.
Dandelion root can cause diarrhea if overused. This effect is especially prevalent in those who drink the tea as a weight loss aid – drinking only one to two cups of dandelion tea per day will likely not interfere with your health or weight, but make sure to monitor changes and discontinue usage accordingly if needed.
Dandelion tea also has a diuretic effect, which can result in dehydration if the body does not receive enough water throughout the day. Try to drink it before or after meals, and make sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water.
How To Support Your Body’s Detoxification System
The truth is, there is no tea, juice, or food that can detox your body. This is because your body has a detoxification system that works constantly to rid you of toxins. The organs such as the liver, lungs, skin, kidney, intestines, and lymphatic system all work in harmony to eliminate wastes. However, there are several things you can do to support this process.
Exercise To Eliminate Stored Fat
Fat cells act as storage for chemicals and some waste products. When you burn fat through physical activity, the fat cells release toxins back into your bloodstream where they can be eliminated. Regular exercise allows the body to clean itself more efficiently (1).
Eat Colorful Fruits And Vegetables
Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to support the detoxification process. The colorful pigments are created by phytonutrients that stimulate enzyme production necessary for proper detoxification (2). Furthermore, fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber. Fiber is important because it helps to promote the movement of wastes through your intestine.
The body is composed of about 60% water. Without enough hydration, the toxins cannot be eliminated from the body. Drinking at least 64 oz. of pure water each day helps to eliminate wastes by flushing them through your kidneys and bowels (14).
Support Your Liver
Your liver is often referred to as “the liver” because it acts as a waste filter for your entire body (9). You can tap into its detoxification powers by eating a healthy, balanced diet and limiting or avoiding alcohol.
Practice Deep Breathing
The more time you spend breathing deeply, the more carbon dioxide is released from your body. Carbon dioxide is a waste product that can make you feel sluggish. Breathing deeply also helps to increase the amount of oxygen dissolved in your blood, which further reduces fatigue and increases energy levels.
Keep Your Bowels Moving
A bowel movement every day is crucial for ridding your body of waste and toxins. If you are not regularly eliminating them, they will be reabsorbed into your bloodstream through your colon. Fiber helps to keep the bowels moving regularly (11). Foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and leafy greens are good sources of dietary fiber.
Balancing gut bacteria with probiotics and prebiotic fiber is an integral part of any detoxification regimen. If you don’t have a healthy gut microbiome, you cannot efficiently process the nutrients from food (7).
To maintain good digestive health, avoid foods that are harmful to your microbes such as refined grains, sugar, and overly processed foods (13). Eat foods rich in fiber as well as probiotic fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, etc.
Limit Your Exposure To Toxins
Some of the toxins your body needs to eliminate come from the environment. You can reduce your exposure to these toxins by doing the following:
- Use skincare products without parabens and phthalates.
- Purchase a water filter to reduce your exposure to heavy metals in tap water.
- Eat organic foods when possible, or at least rise your produce well before consuming.
- Avoid plastic containers, especially when microwaving food or beverages that might leach chemicals into the food.
- Read food labels to avoid foods with excessive artificial colors, flavorings, preservatives, and other additives.
The Bottom Line
Don’t expect any tea, juice, or supplement to detoxify your body because such claims are false. The only way you can cleanse yourself is through regular exercise and eating foods that support your liver and intestines’ ability to flush toxins from the body. By avoiding environmental toxins and choosing organic foods, you can limit additional exposure to harmful substances.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Adipose Tissue as a Site of Toxin Accumulation (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- A Review of the Science of Colorful, Plant-Based Food and Practical Strategies for “Eating the Rainbow” (2019, hindawi.com)
- Calcium and bone (2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Constituents from the roots of Taraxacum platycarpum and their effect on proliferation of human skin fibroblasts (2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- DANDELION: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews (n.d., webmd.com)
- Diverse biological activities of dandelion | Nutrition Reviews | Oxford Academic (2012, academic.oup.com)
- Effects of probiotics on gut microbiota: mechanisms of intestinal immunomodulation and neuromodulation – Peera Hemarajata, James Versalovic, 2013 (2012, journals.sagepub.com)
- Isolation and Identification of Compounds from Bioactive Extracts of Taraxacum officinale Weber ex FH Wigg. (Dandelion) as a Potential Source of Antibacterial Agents (2018, hindawi.com)
- Physiology, Liver – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Purification, Preliminary Characterization and Hepatoprotective Effects of Polysaccharides from Dandelion Root (2017, mdpi.com)
- The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre (2020, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Physiological Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) in Type 2 Diabetes (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Western Diet–Microbiome-Host Interaction and Its Role in Metabolic Disease (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Water, Hydration and Health (2010, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)