I Drank Dandelion Tea Every Day for a Month and Here’s What Happened

Think twice before you pull those pretty yellow “weeds” from your grass. Dandelion has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Yet it seems science has only scratched the surface of its potential. So I decided to conduct an experiment of my own: I drank dandelion tea every day for a month and documented any effects it might have had on my body. Here’s what I learned — as well as some ways dandelion might benefit your health.

Potential health benefits of dandelion

dandelion flowers in grassCredit: Pilat666/Getty Images

Most studies are too small or preliminary to definitively link dandelion to certain therapeutic applications. Still, these are some possible health benefits that dandelion might offer.

It’s full of nutrients

One thing that’s for certain is dandelion is chock-full of nutrients. A cup of boiled dandelion greens contains roughly 144 percent of your daily vitamin A, 32 percent of your vitamin C and 724 percent of your vitamin K. Plus, it’s high in fiber, B vitamins, calcium, iron, antioxidants and other nutrients. And that’s all for only about 35 calories.

It might help manage pain and inflammation

“Dandelion contains magnesium and vitamin B, which is helpful for headache prevention,” according to Cleveland Clinic. Specifically, there is some evidence that says magnesium and riboflavin (vitamin B2) can reduce the frequency of migraines. Plus, preliminary research suggests dandelion can effectively decrease inflammation from injury or illness. “Some test-tube studies have revealed significantly reduced inflammation markers in cells treated with dandelion compounds,” Healthline says. But more research must be done to determine how humans respond to the therapy.

It might relieve bloating and improve digestion

According to some research, dandelion tea can work as a natural diuretic and consequently help to reduce bloating. Plus, studies have linked dandelion to improved digestion. “Research indicates that dandelion may increase contractions and movement of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, acting as a treatment for constipation and indigestion,” according to Healthline. “This effect is likely due to the prebiotic fiber inulin.”

It might boost liver health

A health benefit that frequently is associated with dandelion is its potential ability to boost liver health. “Animal studies have found that dandelion have a protective effect on liver tissue in the presence of toxic substances and stress,” according to Healthline. “… However, the same results should not be expected in humans due to differences in human and animal metabolism.” Again, more research must be done on the topic to know the impact on humans.

It has possible anti-cancer effects

Research examining dandelion’s potential to combat cancer is preliminary, but promising. “One test-tube study revealed significantly reduced growth of cancerous cells that were treated with dandelion leaf extract,” according to Healthline. “… Other test-tube studies have shown that dandelion root extract has the capacity to dramatically slow the growth of cancer cells in liver, colon and pancreatic tissue.” But further research is necessary before it becomes a part of any treatment plan.

My experiment with dandelion tea

Dandelion tea in a white cup on a wooden tableCredit: fermate/Getty Images

Prior to this experiment, I occasionally would drink teas that contain dandelion. I also make steamed dandelion greens every so often (which are excellent with lemon, olive oil and a bit of salt). I knew about some of the potential health benefits of dandelion, but I never really took note of what it did for my body.

So for my month-long experiment, I chose a tea that was strictly dandelion leaf and root, aiming to get the clearest picture possible of its effects. As there are no official dosage guidelines, I decided to drink one to two cups a day, and I kept the rest of my beverage consumption the same. Here’s what I learned from the process.

At first, I didn’t love the taste

I wouldn’t say dandelion is my favorite flavor, especially on its own. (I absolutely have to season the greens before I eat them.) And this was my first time drinking a tea that was straight dandelion. My initial impression? Unpleasantly bitter. I grimaced through those first few cups, hoping I would get used to the taste. I didn’t. Instead, I finally came to the obvious realization that I could season the tea just like I do with the greens by adding a splash of lemon. And that made all the difference in the world. The tea went from something I probably never would willingly choose to a refreshing, herbal flavor — at least for my palate.

It was a sneaky energy boost

When I drink coffee, I usually can tell when the caffeine kicks in (and fades away). Dandelion tea, on the other hand, contains no caffeine. And the research connecting it to improved energy is very limited. Still, I started to notice that my alertness and focus seemed to subtly improve for a few hours after I drank my cup of tea. Maybe it was some property of the dandelion tea affecting my body. Maybe it was the hydration itself (though I do tend to stay well-hydrated). Or perhaps it was simply a placebo effect. Regardless, it was a good feeling — free from the jitters and crashes that can accompany caffeine.

My weight might have seen some effects

I definitely wasn’t looking for some miraculous weight loss tea when I started this experiment. And though some people associate dandelion tea with weight loss, the science behind it is far from conclusive. But over the course of my month drinking the dandelion tea, I did feel like I retained less water weight, and consequently my stomach seemed a bit flatter. That was probably the tea’s diuretic effect — and not its questionable weight loss properties — making me feel lighter. Even so, by the end of the month, I had lost a few pounds. It’s possible that was just a normal fluctuation for me, but I’ll take it.

It potentially worked against pain

At the beginning of my dandelion tea month, I was recovering from a minor calf injury. (Always stretch before running, folks.) I still was going on my daily runs, which would flare the pain and necessitate icing. (Don’t be like me. Listen to your body, and rest.) But after about a week on the dandelion tea, the pain was barely there anymore. Now, that simply could have been the injury finally healing itself. But it’s also possible that dandelion had a part in reducing some inflammation — though more research must be done to prove those effects. All I know is the pain from that injury diminished a lot faster than it had been once I started drinking the tea.

Overall, I just felt healthier

There’s still a lot more to learn about the health benefits of dandelion. The good news is it’s likely safe to consume in average food dosages for most people — with a few caveats, so consult your doctor if you have any questions. During my month-long experiment with dandelion tea, I didn’t experience any negative effects. In fact, for whatever reason, I felt like an overall healthier person. Now, I’ll readily admit that could have been a placebo effect. But it’s possible the bit of added nutrition — plus whatever specific effects on my health the dandelion had — actually worked to create a stronger sense of well-being. And placebo or not, it’s an outcome I appreciated, so I’ll be keeping the tea in my beverage arsenal — with lemon, of course.

Main image credit: Madeleine_Steinbach/Getty Images

90 comments

Mike R
Mike R11 days ago

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Monica C
Monica Chongtham11 days ago

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Leo C
Leo C11 days ago

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ANA MARIJA R12 days ago

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Leo C
Leo C12 days ago

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Mark Turner
Mark Turner13 days ago

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Angela K
Angela K13 days ago

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Caitlin L
Caitlin L13 days ago

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Ruth S
Ruth S13 days ago

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Ruth S
Ruth S13 days ago

Thanks.

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