Last Updated on August 6, 2021
Ever tried dandelion tea? It may sound a little odd to the uninitiated, but dandelion tea has numerous health benefits, and can be made in several different ways. It’s pretty tasty, too! Here’s everything you need to know about how to make dandelion tea from roots, flowers, or leaves with fresh or dried dandelion. The humble dandelion has so much to offer!
WHY MAKE DANDELION TEA?
One of most foragers’ favorite edible weeds, dandelions are packed with nutrients and medicinal compounds, whether you use them in dandelion tea or in numerous other delicious and nutritious recipes. Here’s loads more on the benefits and uses of dandelions.
Medicinal teas are one of the easiest ways to get more beneficial herbs like dandelion into our diets. We sip drinks throughout the day, and if a couple of them are health-supporting herbal teas, we get additional benefits along with hydration.
Best of all, dandelions are free for the picking just about everywhere, and you can make dandelion tea from the flowers, leaves, or roots. When roasted, dandelion root takes on a coffee-like flavor that’s delicious on its own or combined with chicory, a dandelion relative.
Free, great for you, and delicious? What’s not to love?
In addition to dandelion tea, you can try nettle leaf tea, elderberry tea, mulberry tree leaf tea, spruce tea, pine needle tea, hibiscus tea, lemon balm tea, borage tea, elderflower tea, and so many more!
Here are some of my favorite herbal tea blends. You can also target teas for specific issues you want to address, such as herbs for sleep, herbs for stress relief, or herbs to soothe coughs. You can also try ginger tea for colds.
BENEFITS OF DANDELION TEA
The benefits of dandelion tea will vary with the part of the plant you use. All parts of the plant contain an array of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, as well as inulin, a prebiotic that supports gut health. Here’s a very thorough explanation of the different compounds found in dandelions and their biological activity.
Because we get different compounds from the leaf, root, and flower, herbalists use the different parts of the plant to address different issues.
Benefits of Dandelion Flowers
High in antioxidants such as lutein, dandelion flowers are thought to support eye health, and help to alleviate headache, backache, and menstrual cramps.
Benefits of Dandelion Leaves
Bitter dandelion leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals, and are most often used to stimulate digestion and as a diuretic.
Benefits of Dandelion Roots
Dandelion root is most often used to support liver health and address issues affected by the liver, such as metabolism and hormone balance. Herbalist Brigitte Mars reports that it’s also helpful for alleviating allergies, digestive issues, osteoarthritis, and several viral illnesses.
Herbalist Maud Grieve reports that “The name of the genus, Taraxacum, is derived from the Greek taraxos (disorder), and akos (remedy), on account of the curative action of the plant.” Both the British and American pharmacoepias included dandelion.
In The Green Pharmacy, James Duke notes the lecithin contained in the flowers as “useful in various liver ailments” and potentially in supporting brain health. He recommends teas made from the leaves or roots for upper respiratory infections.
Researchers are also exploring dandelion root extract as a treatment for cancer.
Do you find plant medicine fascinating? Check out the array of herbal courses offered by The Herbal Academy.
CAUTIONS WITH DANDELION TEA
Dandelions are in the Asteraceae family, along with chamomile, calendula, and ragweed. If you’ve got a ragweed allergy, be cautious about consuming dandelion, especially the flower, though dandelion allergies aren’t very common.
Like other medicinal plants, always check contraindications and drug interactions before consuming dandelions. Dandelion tea may interact with lithium, antibiotics, and other medications, and may also slow blood clotting. Discuss any contraindications with your doctor before consuming dandelion tea.
Also note that dandelion’s diuretic effect can be somewhat pronounced. Often known in France as piss-en-lit (literally, pee in the bed), dandelion tea may not be the wisest choice too close to bedtime 😉
WHAT PART OF THE DANDELION IS USED TO MAKE TEA?
All of them! You can make dandelion tea from the flowers, leaves, and roots. Try them all and see what you think. Keep reading to learn how to make dandelion flower tea, dandelion leaf tea, and dandelion root tea.
FORAGING DANDELIONS FOR DANDELION TEA
Even though most people easily recognize dandelions, positive plant identification is always important. Consult a good field guide before foraging any plant for the first time. (Here are some of my favorite foraging books.)
One of my favorite foraging experts, “Wild Man” Steve Brill, reports, “There are no poisonous look-alikes. Other very similar Taraxacum species, as well as chicory and wild lettuce only resemble dandelions in the early spring.”
Dandelion leaves are smooth (not hairy) and have only one flower per stem. If you find something that looks like a dandelion but has multiple flowers on each stem or hairy leaves, you’ve probably found cat’s ear, which is apparently also edible.
Harvest dandelions from areas that haven’t been treated with herbicides. If you’re foraging dandelions on public lands, assume they’ve been sprayed unless you definitively know otherwise.
While foraging dandelion leaves and flowers from time to time is easy and fun, getting enough dandelion root to keep you in dandelion root tea is a bit more of a project. I usually buy dried dandelion root in bulk. A one-pound bag of dandelion root will last you a VERY long time!
CAN YOU USE BAGGED DANDELION TEA?
Absolutely! If you’re not able or don’t want to forage dandelions for your dandelion tea, there are plenty of pre-bagged options for a quick cuppa.
Many have additional herbs for flavor and medicinal properties. Here are some to consider:
- My all-time favorite green tea, Pukka Clean Matcha Green, contains dandelion root and numerous other beneficial herbs.
- Raw Organic Dandelion Root Tea has raw dandelion roots, cinnamon, and hibiscus. It’s very mild-tasting and not at all bitter.
- Traditional Medicinals makes a roasted dandelion root tea, another that combines dandelion root and leaf, and a “detox” tea that combines dandelion root with fennel, peppermint, and licorice.
- Yogi makes three detox teas with dandelion and a number of other medicinal herbs.
- Lifestyle Awareness combines dandelion with milk thistle and several other herbs in this Dandy Liver Detox tea.
- There are also several coffee substitutes made with dandelion you can try.
Vitacost is one of my favorite places to find delicious herbal teas at reasonable prices, especially if you shop during one of their frequent sales and You can check out their dandelion teas here.
You can save even more using a browser extension called Honey to get additional savings at Vitacost and other online retailers. I typically get about 20% back on my purchases at Vitacost. You can find out about and join Honey here.
WHAT DOES DANDELION TEA TASTE LIKE?
As you might expect, tea made from different parts of the dandelion will taste different. The flowers are slightly sweet, while the leaves make a pleasant green-tasting tea. The roots are often roasted to make a rich tea that many people enjoy as a coffee substitute.
Ready to make some dandelion tea? Here’s what to know about how to make dandelion tea from the flowers, leaves, and roots.
HOW TO MAKE DANDELION TEA
Below are instructions for how to make dandelion tea from the different parts of the plant, but you can absolutely mix and match. You can make tea from flowers and greens together, or even use the entire plant, though typically you’d prepare the roots differently from the aerial parts (the part of the plant above the soil), as they’ll extract better when simmered on the stove rather than just steeped in boiling water.
But the choice is yours. Have fun experimenting with different combinations and see what you like best.
How to make dandelion tea from fresh flowers:
Collect about 10 flowerheads and remove the green base, which can add a bitter flavor to your dandelion flower tea. Place dandelion flowers in a small teapot and cover with 8 ounces of freshly boiled water. Allow to steep 10-15 minutes.
You can also make dandelion flower tea using a cold-brew method. Use 1 part dandelion to 1 part cold water and refrigerate 4-6 hours before serving.
How to make dandelion tea from leaves:
Leaves are typically dried before making them into tea, though you can make dandelion leaf tea from freshly-gathered leaves as well. It has a brighter green flavor, as is often the case when using fresh rather than dried leaves for tea. You can gather your own and dry them, or buy dried dandelion leaf in bulk.
To make dandelion leaf tea, steep 2 teaspoons of dried dandelion leaf (or a small handful of fresh leaves) in 8 oz of boiled filtered water. Strain and enjoy.
How to make dandelion tea from dandelion roots:
Dried, chopped dandelion root that you’ve gathered and prepared yourself or purchased can be simmered in hot water to make a simple tea. The flavor is greatly improved if you toast the roots first, making more of a coffee-flavored drink.
To roast dandelion roots: You roast roots that are already dried, whether you’ve dug them yourself or purchased them. The easiest way to roast dandelion roots is in a pan on the stovetop. Use medium heat and stir frequently until they become golden brown.
Dandelion roots need to simmer on the stovetop briefly to release their beneficial compounds, so rather than pouring boiling water over the chopped dandelion root, we cook it over low heat for 20-30 minutes.
Dandelion Root Tea Recipe:
Use one tablespoon of dandelion root for every 8 oz water. I find that if I’m going to bother getting a pot dirty and use energy on the stove, it’s best to make more than one serving at a time. You can refrigerate your dandelion root tea for several days.
If you would like your dandelion root tea to be more of a latte experience, you can add a splash of milk (or your favorite alternative milk) and top with a little cinnamon or nutmeg.
CREATE YOUR OWN DANDELION TEA RECIPE!
Dandelion tea can be made with more than just dandelions. You can alter the flavor or tap into the benefits of other medicinal plants by combining your dandelion tea with other favorite herbs.
Some to consider:
- Orange Peel
- Lemon Balm
- Creeping Charlie
The sky’s the limit! Have fun experimenting with different combinations till you hit on a few favorites. Then leave a comment and let us know what you liked.
How do you like your dandelion tea? Share your favorite dandelion tea recipe in the comments!
Pin to save this info on how to make dandelion tea for later!
Additional photo credits: Dandelion flowers in tea cup: ivabalk; Dandelion flowers in bowl: Ajale
Disclaimer: I’m a health & green living enthusiast, not a medical professional. Content on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to provide personalized medical advice. I draw on numerous sources, some of which are linked above. Please consult them for more information and a licensed professional for personalized recommendations.
Susannah is a proud garden geek and energy nerd who loves healthy food and natural remedies. Her work has appeared in Mother Earth Living, Ensia, Northern Gardener, Sierra, and on numerous websites. Her first book, Everything Elderberry, released in September 2020 and has been a #1 new release in holistic medicine, naturopathy, herb gardening, and other categories. Find out more and grab your copy here.