Those pretty little yellow flowers in your garden aren’t just weeds. That’s right, dandelions are actually used as a health supplement with many nutritional benefits, and weight-loss experts are using the tea as part of many diet regimens. But can dandelion tea really help you lose weight?
What is dandelion root tea?
Dandelions come from the same family as daisies, and as it turns out, they’ve been used medicinally throughout history — specifically in Native American, European, and Asian cultures. According to Acupuncture Today, dandelion (both the flower and the root) has been used in Chinese traditional medicine as a liver tonic, as well as a remedy for problems with the stomach, kidneys, gallbladder, and joints.
Reseach on animals has suggested that dandelion root tea could be effective in reducing blood sugar, controlling cholesterol, and aiding weight loss. According to Healthline, dandelion root is rich in chicoric and chlorogenic acid, which have been shown to improve insulin secretion while also increasing the absorption of glucose in the body, leading to stabilized blood sugar levels. One 2013 study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found that treatment with dandelion extract reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels in mice. Meanwhile, a 2010 study published in the same journal found that chlorogenic acid reduced body weight and levels of fat-storage hormones in mice significantly.
Though more human research is needed, many prominent figures in health and wellness are touting the benefits of dandelion root tea for weight loss. In fact, personal trainer and fitness author Jillian Michaels suggests that drinking dandelion root tea is essential for detoxing the body, and recommends it as a part of her seven-day liver cleanse for weight-loss, anti-aging, and immunity. According to Michaels, dandelion root tea aids weight loss because of its diuretic function and ability to clean the liver, helping the body rid itself of excess toxins.
How to Use Dandelion Root Tea
There are different ways you can use dandelion root for tea. You can simply buy pre-made tea bags like these from Kiss Me Organics ($8.39, Amazon), or you can pluck the roots from your own garden and make it yourself! While making the tea is relatively easy, it’s best to harvest roots in the early fall. For some tips on how to make your own come the early autumn season, check out this article by Joybilee Farm.
While there isn't a firm recommended dosage for dandelion root, the tea is considered generally safe. With that being said, dandelion can interact with certain medications. As always, consult your doctor before beginning a regimen with any new supplement to determine what’s right for you.
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