Dandelion tea, also sometimes known as dandelion coffee, is a hot herbal beverage made by steeping the dried root of the dandelion plant in boiling water. Many alternative medicine practitioners hold that regular consumption of dandelion tea can have several health benefits, such as the promotion of weight loss and healthy liver function and the improvement of the skin’s appearance. As the tea is not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the same way that traditional drugs are, however, its alleged health benefits have not yet been verified by medical research.
Some dandelion tea enthusiasts claim that the beverage can speed weight loss when consumed regularly. This belief may be linked to the fact that the tea is a diuretic, or a substance that causes increased urine output. While drinking large amounts of the tea may indeed show faster results on the scale, it is likely that this drop in weight is due primarily to water loss, and the weight will return when the individual stops drinking the tea. Still, the beverage’s diuretic properties may make it useful to those suffering from fluid retention.
Many alternative medicine practitioners maintain that regular dandelion tea consumption can improve liver function. It is alleged to cleanse the organ and speed the repair of damaged tissue. In addition, some dandelion tea devotees believe that the drink promotes the liver’s bile production, which in turn aids the digestion. Insufficient medical evidence exists to support or refute these claims, however.
Another commonly cited benefit of dandelion tea consumption is the drink’s alleged ability to enhance the skin’s clarity and overall appearance. The link between the tea and improved skin health may be due to the fact that it is high in B vitamins. In addition, it contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant which may help to protect the skin’s cells from environmental damage.
Before beginning a dandelion tea regimen, it is important to understand that, as with all herbal supplements, the tea is not subject to the same strict regulations that the US FDA places upon traditional drugs. Thus, while product packaging may state that the tea will provide several health benefits, these claims often have not been substantiated through the research of medical experts. To prevent adverse health effects, those considering an herbal supplement regimen should first consult a physician to ensure that the supplement in question will not cause drug interactions or other serious medical issues.