Roasted dandelion root, Taraxacum officinale, has a long history of use as a coffee alternative in Europe and the Americas. In the early 1800’s, several articles referred to pioneers drinking dandelion coffee in rural areas of the Americas where coffee wasn’t available. Later in the early 1900’s, roasted dandelion root was marketed as inexpensive coffee. Today, dandelion root coffee is enjoying a resurgence in popularity due to its reputation for stimulating the liver and bile flow and for being a diuretic.
Dandelions have a long tap root that is dark brown on the outside, but milky white on the inside. Its bitter notes come from its glycoside, taraxacin, along with other terpenoids that are thought to have a beneficial effect on the liver and to stimulate the digestion. It has a reputation as a mild diuretic for which it earned the French common name, “pissenlit” or “wet the bed”.
Dandelion root also contains polysaccharides and inulin, which may be responsible for some of the immune stimulating effects that dandelion root has been shown to have in some studies. The root’s inulin content is lower than chicory root, but still quite high compared to other sources in today’s diet. Some scientific studies show dandelion to be effective in blood sugar balancing. However, there are very few well constructed studies on dandelion root or leaf and thus it is hard to confirm many of its reputed health properties.
The medicinal use of dandelions dates back to the Chinese where it was first mentioned in the Tang Materia Medica written in 659 B.C.E. Later it appears in medical journals written by Arab physicians in the 10th century. The botanical name may refer to the popularity of dandelion for many health disorders. It is derived from the Greek word “taraxos” which means disorder, combined with “akos” which is Greek for remedy.
The German Commission E monograph for dandelion root and herb approves its use for “disturbance of the bile flow, stimulation of diuresis, loss of appetite, and dyspepsia.”1
In Teeccino Dandelion Herbal Coffees, dandelion root replaces barley to create 100% gluten-free herbal coffees. The organically grown dandelion root comes from Europe. There is a wide variation of qualities of roasted dandelion root, which is in short supply in any event. Purchasing only top quality, certified organic dandelion root is necessary to maintain Teeccino’s flavor standards, but limits our production of these boutique flavors.