In America, dandelion is known more as a weed than a food source. But in Eastern cultures and especially China, dandelion is revered as having special medicinal properties. It is recognized as an herbal treatment for a wide range of medical symptoms from inflammation to liver problems.
In many cultures, dandelion can also serve as a substitute for coffee. The dandelion roots are roasted, dry, chopped, and ground and they then have a similar texture and taste as coffee beans.
The practice of using ground dandelion roots as a substitute for coffee dates back to the early 19th century when it was discovered that bush people were utilizing the herb in this fashion. Since then, the practice has become more commonplace and many outdoors people and those close to nature choose to make dandelion coffee.
But the health conscious are also taking advantage of the health benefits of dandelion, and replacing their usual coffee grounds with dandelion infused tea or coffee. Coffee is known to have several toxins as well as being high in caffeine, and it is very addictive.
Dandelion coffee can be addictive as well, but for different reasons, and fortunately it has some health benefits that make it worthwhile. Western medicine is has validated many of the health claims that its Eastern counterparts have put forth, nonetheless plenty of people believe in the fact that it has healing medicinal powers.
It is said to be an especially good tonic for the liver, and may have some benefit as a natural laxative as well. There is currently ongoing medical research as to the efficacy of dandelion in the treatment of cancer and other maladies.
Some people claim that dandelion acts as a blood purifier and can stimulate the production of bile by the liver. It may aid the digestive process and help to regulate bowel movements.
Dandelion instant herbal coffee is available as a prepackaged brand which makes it a convenient way to prepare your coffee. You may also purchase ground dandelion root separately and mix it directly in hot water.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you of course also have the option of preparing your own coffee with fresh dandelions. The leaves and roots can be boiled in water until the desired consistency is reached.
There are certainly health benefits to be gained by substituting dandelion for your regular coffee product. Dandelion contains many more natural vitamins and nutrients then does the coffee plant. It is also much lower in caffeine levels, and is generally not as harsh on the stomach and digestive system.
You may most easily obtain prepackaged dandelion at health food stores or online, or you may of course harvest your own dandelion where you see it growing free. For best health benefit, be sure to choose organically grown dandelion that is free of pesticides and other toxins.