Cutting the Coffee Cord
Ok, so there’s no such thing as perfect. As a recovering perfectionist, this is a lesson I’ve been working really hard on learning, and my morning ritual has provided an opportunity to really put this into practice. I must say though, Dandelion Root is a near perfect solution to the coffee conundrum.
I love coffee. Like, really, really love it. So when it came time to ditch my morning coffee to help my body heal, I was highly reluctant. While my morning lemon water has become a comfort in itself, I still crave the smooth nuttiness of a cup of coffee. I got to work concocting satisfying substitutes, including Matcha. Matcha has incredible health benefits and I created a super-power matcha latte to get me going in the morning. But that also has caffeine, and for at least a few months, I really needed to go full-on with the caffeine detox as well – in the dead of winter, I might add, when all I want is a rich cup of hot something to start my day. And let’s be honest: when it comes to flavor, matcha is a super far cry from coffee – it simply doesn’t cut it.
Golden milk is another wonderful option, and I often make this healing elixir during the afternoon. But again, the flavor profile is quite different. Jealousy crept in every time the fragrance of fresh coffee enveloped my scent receptors.
But everything shifted when I discovered Dandelion Root Tea.
Dandelion Root Tea: The Game Changer
Where I come from (suburban America), dandelions were weeds to be uprooted. I always thought they were kinda cute, like mini sunflowers. And when I was a child I loved pulling them up when they went to seed to blow my wishes out into the universe. But allowing them to spring up in the middle of the lawn or between the walkway pavers clearly would not do.
That’s all changed (well, maybe not the suburban directive to mow them down). Dandelions have gone through an image make-over of late – to me and to the world of natural wellness anyway. Rather than weeds to be uprooted, they are now recognized as powerful healing antidotes to be cultivated. It’s somewhat tempting to deliberately grow those little yellow darlings; maybe not in the middle of the lawn, though.
Health Benefits of Dandelion Root
Dandelions contain powerful antioxidants, and traditionally humans have consumed dandelions in the spring to detox their bodies of the heavy winter diets of meat and root vegetables. Consider it a spring cleaning, if you will.
The whole plant is packed with nutritional benefits, but the root alone is a powerhouse filled with essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A, B complex, C, and D as well as calcium, zinc, iron and potassium.
As alluded to above, dandelion root is an incredible detoxifying herb that works on both the liver and gallbladder to cleanse the body of waste and promote healthy digestion. Herbalists sometimes use it to prevent gallstones and it encourages the elimination of toxins from the body – we can definitely all use some help with this.
Generally speaking it is a robust natural digestive aid, and dandelion root is a mild natural laxative that encourages regular bowel movement. In fact, if you look at the ingredient list of any detox tea, you will likely see dandelion root as a key ingredient. Additionally, the plant is a powerful natural diuretic that increases urine production, cleanses the kidneys and promotes proper kidney function. With its high potassium content, it helps maintain healthy levels of the mineral that are depleted by over-the-counter diuretics.
As a potent liver tonic and detoxifier, it helps with skin problems such as eczema and acne. It destroys acid in the blood and is an effective blood builder and purifier.
Because of it’s positive impact on liver and gallbladder function, it also enhances the body’s metabolism of fats which also helps to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, thereby having a positive impact on cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
The essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytonutrients all serve to reduce inflammation in the body and effectively boost immune function.
Basically, everyone should probably be drinking this every day.
Cancer Treatment and Prevention
Given all these benefits, it is no wonder that dandelion shows great promise in cancer treatment and prevention. Numerous studies indicate dandelion root’s capacity to stem cancer’s growth and prevent its spread.
The whole plant is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants that combat cancer: the root extract itself has been shown in independent studies to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in human melanoma and leukemia cells, while in another study dandelion leaf extract decreased the growth and invasion of breast and prostate cancer cells.
Getting to the Root of it
Before I even became aware of the powerful healing properties of dandelion root tea, I was enticed by rumors of its earthy, coffee-like flavor. I purchased a bag of organic DandyBlend and immediately upon its arrival I ‘brewed’ up a cup – with no caffeine and no acidity, I can drink up the deliciousness whenever I want. I added just a dash of coconut milk to the instant-coffee like powder mixed with hot water and was pleasantly surprised by the rich flavor.
My taste buds and the pleasure centers in my brain were back in coffee heaven. Done and done – coffee problem solved. I also tried adding it to heated nut milk for a latte-like treat and it instantly up-leveled the satisfaction factor. To boost the blend even further, I began to make my own fortifying version of ‘bulletproof coffee’ that replaces my morning smoothie in the cooler weather. This is what I drink now, every morning.
Dandelion Root Booster: Recipe
Here’s what goes in:*
- 1 cup of unsweetened organic almond or coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk (to add creaminess and healthy fats)
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil/ MCT oil (or a mix of both)
- half to 1 scoop of my protein powder (I’m a big fan of Perfect Fit)*
- half to 1 scoop of collagen peptides
- 1 heaping teaspoon of DandyBlend
- 1/4 teaspoon maca powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baobob powder
- a few dashes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom (optional, to taste)
- *If your protein powder is unsweetened, you may wish to add a small serving of stevia or raw honey.
How to make:
- Heat up the milk on the stove and whisk all of the ingredients together over medium-low heat (or heat liquid and blend ingredients together – careful to leave the lid cap filler partially open when blending hot liquids).
- Pour into your favorite mug.
- Drink up!
*With its combination of clean protein, healthy fats, and energy and immunity-boosting superfoods, this is my go-to recipe, but the best part about a drink like this is it’s totally customizable. I sometimes add ghee with great results, leave out the extra coconut milk, brew it with water and just the two tablespoons of coconut milk, and any combination of the superfoods and spices. I’ll even make a mocha-like beverage using my chocolate protein powder and adding about half a tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder.
I have also tried Teecino’s Dandelion Dark Roast and ohmygod is it tasty – bold and rich. Teecino has multiple flavors that are equally tantalizing like caramel nut, vanilla nut (in photo above) and hazelnut, though they make for a less bold brew. Simply brew the tea bag, add milk to taste, and drink up!