Just as the name implies, dandelion root tea is made from the roots of dandelions. Dandelions have been used over the years to treat a host of ailments such as bloating, breast illnesses, fever, gastrointestinal system disorders, joint aches and skin conditions among many other afflictions. Dandelion leaves contain a number of minerals including boron, calcium, choline, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, silicon and zinc potassium along with vitamins such as A, B-complexes, C and D.
There are other dandelion root benefits, particularly for older, menopausal and pregnant women, since the plant is so nutrient rich. It has also been used as a gentle diuretic and has been shown to decrease serum cholesterol in some. Others have used it to alleviate digestive disorders and as an appetite stimulant. In fact, dandelion root tea is seen as a substance that can help improve one's overall general health and a healthier alternative to coffee when one needs a boost.
Although there are many benefits to using a dandelion supplement, there are also possible side effects such as stomach pain due to hyperacidity. In rare cases, some may experience allergic reactions when they first begin drinking the tea. Those who have allergies to chamomile, echinacea or ragweed, as well as any other member of the aster family, must consult a health care specialist before using the tea or supplement.
Dandelion supplements are also available as capsules instead of tea. However, those who decide to drink dandelion root tea need to know how to prepare it and take the proper dosage. For loose tea, use about one to two teaspoons per cup of hot water and let it steep from five to ten minutes in a tea ball or other filter. Otherwise, it is often available already bagged. One should only start off with one cup per day until he or she observes how it reacts to the body. Then he or she can gradually increase the dosage to three cups a day if it is found to be beneficial.