One of my favorite things to do in spring is start new, healthy routines—a kind of spring cleaning for mind and body. Today we share an inexpensive and easy to make tea that you can find at most groceries stores—or harvest on your own!*
Our bodies and minds love routines. One of my favorite spring routines is drinking roasted dandelion root tea. According to HealthLine, dandelion root increases liver function by stimulating bile flow. A study even shows that dandelion may have liver-protecting effects.
The liver's role in spring
Liver health is important in spring. Why, you may ask? After a long slumber, the earth is waking up. This means more pollen, allergens, dust, microbes, viruses and more spreading through the air.
The liver performs more than 500 vital functions in your body. One of the livers main functions is processing things that are harmful or un-useful to your body. Through bile production, the liver is responsible for removing allergens, pollution, toxins, hormones, and even medications out of your bloodstream. To do this, the cells of the liver have to be in good condition, and cannot be overburdened.
So when spring begins, it's really important to take care of your liver, so that it can properly remove toxins from your body.
A healthy liver may contribute to healthy skin
Your skin is your bodies largest organ. Sometimes, when your body has a build up of toxins, or a bout of inflammation, your skin reflects it. Some skin issues, such as psoriasis an acne, have been correlated with liver health. Since the liver does so much work, it is a good idea to support it in order to be in your best health.
Dandelion and your liver
Since dandelion has been shown to promote bile flow, and has liver protecting qualities, it is the perfect herb to try this spring!
How to harvest and process dandelion root
*If you choose to harvest dandelion root, be sure that the area you are harvesting from is free of herbicides, pesticides, and other environmental toxins.
Be sure to ask permission if you are not harvesting from public land, and be sure to revere the land by leaving as little impact as possible. Make sure you have properly identified the plant, as there are several lookalikes and species of dandelion.
Once you have found a good patch of dandelions, it's best to use a spade, hori-hori, or digging fork to dig deeply under the roots. The denser the patch of flowers and leaves, the denser the roots will be. You might be surprised how deep the roots go, so dig deep!
Once you have dug up the roots, you can remove the leaves and stems. Save the leaves—they make great salad greens! Wash the roots, dry them, chop them, and roast them at 300°F until the white of the root turns brown and toasty, and they are no longer squishy.
Dandelion tea recipe
2 tbsp dandelion roots, dried and chopped
2 cups of water
Add water and roots to a pot and bring to a simmer. Let tea simmer for 10 minutes, then cover and steep 10 minutes more. You can add or reduce the amount of dandelion for more or less potency.
Thanks for reading. To your good health!