The dandelion is widely regarded as a weed and a nuisance, but it has been used for thousands of years as a traditional herbal remedy. Dandelion is a rich source of iron, zinc, potassium, vitamins A, C, D and B complex, and is historically has been taken orally to treat gastric complaints or as a topical treatment for skin conditions. In modern practice, many people use dandelion as a diuretic, a substance that increases urine flow. There are a number of recipes and formulas for teas, broths or tinctures that are available if you want to use dandelion for a diuretic.
Dandelion tea is made by placing fresh leaves in a cup and adding boiling water. The tea will need to steep for 15 minutes before straining. Dandelions taste quite bitter, and if desired, honey or sugar can be added to make the tea more palatable. It can be refrigerated for as long as two days and can be taken hot or cold.
Another method of using dandelion for a diuretic is to make a decoction or broth using the roots. The dandelion root should be chopped and bruised before adding it to a pot of water. The mixture is slowly brought to a boil and simmered gently for 15 minutes before straining. As with the tea, you can add honey or sugar if desired.
To make a tincture, the dandelion herb is chopped and added to a cup of vodka. This mix should be covered and kept out of the light for two weeks, and it will need to be shaken several times daily. After these two weeks, you can decant the tincture into a dark glass bottle. Using the tincture of dandelion for a diuretic involves adding 10 to 15 drops to a glass of water and drinking it.
Whichever method of using dandelion for a diuretic is chosen, three daily doses are recommended daily. People traditionally have used dandelion for a diuretic because it is both effective and gentle. Diuretics can be taken to help reduce high blood pressure, to treat kidney or liver complaints and to reduce swelling from water retention. Dandelion has the added advantage of replenishing minerals that can be depleted by frequent urination, such as potassium.
Although generally considered safe, dandelion has the potential to interact with other medications and supplements that you are taking. If you are a gallstone patient or have a history of gallbladder problems, you should speak with a doctor before using dandelion for a diuretic. Allergic reactions are also possible, and other side effects, such as diarrhea and nausea, though rare, are possible.