I recently shared how I foraged for dandelion roots and greens and turned them into food and medicine (make sure to check it out if you haven’t!). One of the ways I’ve used the roots is to turn it into a healthful tea. I wanted to share this with you today as dandelions are in abundance and this tea couldn’t be easier to make.
Before I dive into making the tea, I want to speak a moment on where to get your dandelions! Of course, your yard may be a great source if you have not used chemicals (such as fertilizer or weed killer) in the last three years. Also take care to not forage food from protected or private lands. I stumbled on this most helpful post about rules for foraging in the Pacific Northwest that may be of help!
As I described in the dandelion foraging post, dandelions have a long taproot – so take care when pulling them up to get as much of that goodness as possible! Use a shovel, or even better, a garden fork to gently loosen up from the soil.
Make sure to properly clean your roots! At the dandelion intensive course I took over the weekend at Cedar Mountain Herb School, we soaked the roots in water, agitated, drained, and repeated a couple times. Then we laid the roots out on shallow trays and blasted with a hose.
From here, place a clump of roots on a cutting board, and chop into small pieces. Work the entire batch of roots you’ve harvested until complete.
Now run through a food processor to get the pieces into a fine chop (as pictured in the green bowl above).
To make your tea, fill a baking sheet with the root and place in a 250° oven for about 3 hours, or until completely dried. Check about halfway through, and gently move the pieces around with a spatula. I suppose one could also run the root through a dehydrator, but I love that this recipe can be done without one!
I have to say, this made my house smell soooo good! Dandelion root has a sweet, earthy smell when roasted – just amazing.
You can see that after the three hours, the dandelion root has really reduced down in volume!
Now you can store your dried dandelion root tea in the cute jar of your choice! I just used a Mason jar for the bulk of the tea, but had this cute little 4 oz jar to give some as a gift for my mom. (If you’re looking to give some jars of tea away as gifts, a 12-pack of 4-oz. jars will run you about $7-$8 on Amazon.)
How to prepare it? My favorite way to make loose leaf tea is through the use of my Bodum tea press. You place the loose leaf tea into the middle, pour the hot water over, and push down the plunger after a couple minutes – very similar to a French press. It’s a handy little tool! (Make sure to check out some of the tea presses available on Amazon if you’re looking for one.)
Finally, pour into your favorite mug and serve! (This is currently my favorite mug – I bought in the “Norway” section of Epcot during our most recent Walt Disney World trip – isn’t it sweet?) You can drink it plain, but I like to add a dollop of raw honey. You could also add a splash of milk if you wish, or combine it with other loose leaf teas.
Dandelion root can also be ground with a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder and used in place of coffee (it’s not caffeinated though!).
What exactly are the health benefits of drinking dandelion root tea? Dandelion is amazing for your entire digestive system, and your liver, in particular. It is also wonderful for your kidneys and bladder, so it’s an all-around fabulous detoxifier! It’s also high in vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron and potassium. It can help with a wide range of maladies including gallstones and skin conditions. (For more information on the nutritional profile and benefits of dandelion please read this, this, and this.)
If you really want to get the benefit of dandelion root, you could also consider making a tincture or vinegar, both which work to extract the medicinal value of the plant.
I hope this post has inspired you to consider FREE sources of food and nutrition that may be all around us, to support our health!
Disclaimer: I’m not an herbalist, nutritionist, botanist, or any -ist. I’m just a blogger and a gal who’s becoming intensely interested in foraging and wildcrafting and wanted to share my experiences with you. Please take care before ingesting any wild plant. Make sure that you’ve properly identified it and learned about interactions and dosages. Educate yourself about smart and ethical foraging practices as some of our wild plants have become endangered. I highly recommend taking a course, such as the one I took through Cedar Mountain Herb School to learn more how to safely prepare wild plants for food and medicine.
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