The Benefits of Dandelion Tea

dandelion root tea
Dandelion root tea. Yagi Studio/Photodisc/Getty Images

Dandelion tea is a type of herbal tea made from the dandelion plant (Taraxacum officinale). Typically prepared from the root of the plant, it's said to offer a number of health benefits, including enhanced liver function. Proponents suggest that dandelion tea can increase the liver's secretion of bile, which is a digestive liquid involved in the breakdown of fats and the elimination of waste.

Uses for Dandelion Tea

In alternative medicine, dandelion tea is touted as a natural remedy for the following health problems:

Dandelion tea is also said to promote detox, support weight loss, stimulate digestion, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system.

Additionally, dandelion tea is thought to act as diuretic (a type of substance that increases the production of urine). Thought to fight water retention, herbs with diuretic effects are often taken to promote weight loss and treat high blood pressure.

Benefits of Dandelion Tea

Although dandelion tea is a popular natural remedy, there's a lack of evidence to support the claims that it can improve liver health and treat common health conditions. Still, some preliminary studies show that extracts of the dandelion plant may have certain beneficial effects.

In a study published in Food and Cosmetics Toxicology in 2010, for instance, tests on mice demonstrated that dandelion root extract may help protect against alcohol-induced liver damage, possibly by reducing oxidative stress.

In addition, a rabbit-based study published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences in 2010 determined that dandelion root may help lower cholesterol levels and, in turn, aid in the prevention of atherosclerosis.

Dandelion Tea as a Diuretic

Dandelion leaf extract may have diuretic effects, according to a small study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009.

For the study, 17 volunteers were given three doses of dandelion leaf extract in one day. Study results revealed that the volunteers experienced significant increases in the frequency of their urination after the first two doses, although not after the third dose.

Given these findings, the study's authors concluded that dandelion leaf shows promise as a diuretic. However, it should be noted that the study did not test the effects of dandelion leaf extract consumed in tea form, and that there is currently a lack of scientific support for the claim that dandelion tea can help promote weight loss or treat high blood pressure by acting as diuretic.

Alternatives to Dandelion Tea

Several herbal remedies appear to enhance liver health. For instance, a number of studies indicate that milk thistle may help treat certain conditions affecting the liver (including hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver). In addition, preliminary research in animals suggests that burdock may help protect against liver damage.

If you're seeking a natural solution for keeping your cholesterol in check, try drinking green tea on a regular basis. Some studies show that the antioxidants in green tea may help curb your levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

Increasing your intake of substances like soluble fiber (found in supplements such as psyllium powder), garlic, and omega-3 fatty acids may also help lower your cholesterol levels and shield you from heart disease.


Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of long-term or regular use of dandelion. Dandelion may trigger allergic reactions in some individuals (especially people allergic to such plants as ragweed, chrysanthemums, and marigolds).

It's important to keep in mind that supplements haven't been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated. In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as metals. Also, the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get further tips on using supplements here.

Where to Find It

Dandelion tea is sold at many grocery stores, natural-foods stores, and stores specializing in natural products. You can also purchase dandelion tea online.

Using Dandelion for Health

Due to the limited research, it's too soon to recommend dandelion as a treatment for any condition. It's also important to note that self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. If you're considering using dandelion for any health purpose, make sure to consult your physician first.


Choi UK1, Lee OH, Yim JH, Cho CW, Rhee YK, Lim SI, Kim YC. "Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root and leaf on cholesterol-fed rabbits." Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Jan 6;11(1):67-78. 

Clare BA1, Conroy RS, Spelman K. "The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day." J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):929-34.

You Y1, Yoo S, Yoon HG, Park J, Lee YH, Kim S, Oh KT, Lee J, Cho HY, Jun W. "In vitro and in vivo hepatoprotective effects of the aqueous extract from Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) root against alcohol-induced oxidative stress." Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jun;48(6):1632-7.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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