By Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD
Scottsdale Naturopathic Doctor
Dandelion is the best Naturopathic post-holiday herb to roll in after the holidays…roll its sleeves up and get to work helping people detox from too many “Celebrations” causing a puffy, stagnant, bloated, lethargic, fatigued, and depressed picture. Dandelion is an excellent spiritual, emotional and physical cleanser that can help move unwanted fluids and feelings.
Herbal Medicine and Naturopathy excel this time of year for helping restore patient vitality and health. When I worked eight years in conventional medicine we had nothing that could really help this patient picture. Sometimes after the holidays, the patient would then be put on an anti-depressant and a diuretic to move the extra fluid. Thank goodness for Naturopathic Medicine! After fourteen years of working as a Naturopathic Doctor, my herbs never seem to let me or my patients down!
Both the leaf and root of the Dandelion are used in this simple detox tea recipe I use to get back on track after too many indulgences. Dandelion root is detoxifying to the liver while the leaves are a diuretic and can actually work to release trapped fluid and also lower blood pressure. The leaves contain aesuclin that helps improve vascular resistance and improve cellular integrity of the capillaries improving permeability and thus is an excellent tonic herb for patients with chronic cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension.
The best news for cardiac patients is that dandelion is one of the only diuretics that also contains the very potassium it depletes so it helps balance the system for patients with edema and congestive heart conditions. The leaves are a powerful diuretic comparable in a study to furosemide, a common diuretic medication.
Overall Dandelion is an amazing tonic herb that is inexpensive and helps patients get back on track. Dandelion is a restorative herb that helps improve strength and resilience when used as a regular tonic. Think about dandelion as a cooling and drying herb that helps move fluids to where they need to go and helps the system purge toxins in a gentle manner. I think a 3-6 week light, long-term gentle cleanse with herbal teas and whole foods are much better for my patients than some of these harsh pre-packaged cleanses that are sold as expensive powders in my Herbal Medicine industry.
Detoxifying should be a Marathon and not a Sprint!
If you are struggling to get healthy start adding in a new daily healthy habit one at a time like a simple herbal tea. One good choice will then lead to another. Simple goals are easy to achieve and will motivate you to make more healthy choices as soon as you feel the good benefits!
Dandelion has a mild laxative effect so you can also purge your system efficiently of whatever holiday Food Sensitivity you ate and start over fresh. Get the wrong Food Allergies out of your system so you can start back clean and fresh. Back the dose of Dandelion Tea down if it is causing diarrhea but this effect is generally very mild.
Platelet activity with dandelion may or may not interfere with certain blood-thinning medications so always work with your Naturopathic Doctor when combining complex medications with herbal medicines. As a Naturopathic Doctor that specializes in complex Women's Health chronic disease management I have seen herbs that should not even interfere with blood-thinning medications or "anti-coagulants" cause a need for less blood thinner because herbs are generally anti-inflammatory and as a result, less inflammation means less blood clotting.
So plants that do not even interfere mechanically with blood-thinning can still have an effect because they are making the patient healthier and thus the patient should be monitored closely and have their medication tapered down as they improve.
Did you know many herbalists actually roast dandelion roots and make them into a coffee substitute? You can also make dandelion wine, but today is "Detox Day" not "Re-tox Day".... So I will teach you my simple “Dandelion Detox” I do until I start to feel better after too many Cheat Days in a row…by shifting to a light cleanse you can break the bad over-indulgence habits more quickly and get back on track with your weight loss goals, fatigue, hormone imbalance, or pain!
Dandelion Detox Tea Recipe:
1 Tbl Dandelion Leaves
1 Tbl Dandelion Roots
1 Tsp Ginger, Lemon, Licorice, Mint, or Cinnamon as “The Synergist Herb” and for Flavor
1 packet of Stevia (Optional)
1 cup Boiling H2O
I make a daily triple batch by bringing 3 cups of water to a boil, add 3 Tbl dandelion roots lightly simmer for 10-15 minutes along with 3 tsp ginger or licorice (if using mint or lemon add at either of these plants at the end. You can watch my video on how to cook and combine Immune Boosting Antiviral medicinal herbs on Instagram.
Turn heat off and add 3 Tbl of dried Dandelion Leaves. Add lemon or mint (optional) at this point and cover and let sit for 40 minutes.
Drink 1 cup 2-3 times daily of herbal tea. Throw away after 1-2 days in the fridge. It is best to make a daily batch.
Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD
Scottsdale Naturopathic Doctor
Dr. Sundene is a Naturopathic Doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is considered a Female Hormone Expert in Women's Health and Bioidentical Hormones. She specializes in Holistic Women's Health for Menopause, Thyroid, Hashimotos, PMS, Perimenopause, Autoimmune, Postpartum, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, Food Allergies, Digestion, Dermatology , Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema and Adrenal Hormonal Conditions. In 1999 she began working for a Hormone Doctor prior to starting Naturopathic Medical School. With over 22 years of experience in both Prescription and Natural women's health and hormones, she presents to women the best-integrated health solutions for their Chronic Disease. She has been an Herbalist for over 27 years and enjoys teaching women how to use herbs to balance their hormones, nutrition and optimize their health. Dr. Sundene relies on blood testing for her hormone metrics. The hormone testing is covered per the patient's insurance plan and conducted at certain points in the woman's menstrual cycle. To learn more about Hormone Testing for Women Visit: Bioidentical Hormones. Follow Dr. Sundene on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more tips on Women's Health, Female Hormones and Naturopathy!