I wanted to create a drink packed with therapeutic benefits. Nettle and dandelion are often my first choices as they are full of so many nutrients and they benefit numerous health conditions. This week's drink is based around dandelion and incorporates ginger, which is well known for its ability to support the circulatory and digestive systems. Adding fresh orange adds an antioxidant boost plus it helps balance the bitter and spicy notes.
Spring is the best time to pick dandelions and incorporate them into your diet. All parts of the dandelion are edible. This plant is rich in many minerals like calcium and magnesium. The flowers are a rich source of lecithin, which supports fat metabolism and brain health. Potassium is one of the key minerals found in dandelion, which is particularly useful for supporting blood pressure and fluid retention issues. The bitter constituents of dandelion stimulate the flow of bile and support blood sugar/cholesterol management, liver functioning and fat metabolism.
If picking dandelions is not your thing then opt for dried dandelion, which is readily available in the form of dandelion tea.
I've teamed dandelion with ginger, which is extremely supportive to the circulatory and digestive systems. Ginger helps thin down the blood and supports cholesterol management too. Ginger like dandelion also stimulates the release of bile so it supports the breakdown of fats too. It has a spicy flavour, which complements the bitter taste of dandelion. For this juice, I chose to simmer slices of fresh ginger for around 20 minutes to extract the heat and spicy tones from ginger. Alternatively you could add fresh ginger juice if you prefer a more subtle taste of heat.
The addition of fresh orange juice balances the flavours further and adds a boost of antioxidants like beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E.
- Circulatory and digestive support
- Liver and kidney support
- Blood pressure and fluid retention support
- Blood sugar and cholesterol management support
- Mineral rich (potassium, calcium, magnesium)
- Vitamin boost (B-complex, A, C and K)
1 inch piece of ginger, sliced
1 litre of water
1 tbsp dandelion tea (or 4-5 fresh dandelions - flowers, leaves, stem)
1-2 tbsp of date syrup or coconut sugar (optional-omit if diabetic or you have blood sugar issues)
- I heated around 1 litre of water with 1 inch piece of ginger which had been sliced. Once the water reached boiling point, I turned the heat down and simmered for around 20 minutes. This helped to extract the spicy constituents of ginger. Alternatively at the time of making this drink, you could juice a 1 inch piece of fresh ginger and mix it to the drink.
- I then added dried dandelion to my pot of ginger water and simmered for a further 10 minutes. If adding fresh dandelion then just add it to the hot ginger water and switch off the heat.
- I mixed in around 1 tablespoon of date syrup as dandelion has a bitter note to it. Date syrup is a traditional mineral-rich sweetener made from dates. If you have blood sugar issues like diabetes then do not add any sweetener. The bitter constituents will benefit and support blood sugar management. However, if you are taking medications then please see my precautions below.
- After the dandelion and ginger tea had cooled to room temperature, I strained it and poured it into a glass jar. The tea was stored in the fridge would last for around 5 days.
To make this drink, I juiced a fresh orange and then added the cooled ginger and dandelion tea in around the same volume as the orange juice. If this is too bitter for you, just reduce the amount of tea you are adding. You may also mix in some plain water to dilute it further.
Some Precautions with this Juice
If you are taking medications like for example, blood thinners, lowering blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure etc then please be aware that ginger and dandelion taken regularly in a juice may interfere with the action of these medications.