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Food Recipe

Written by Brenda Rogers

June 2024


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Dandelion Chai: 
A way to consume
less caffeine.

Many, many years ago, I volunteered at the food co-op in Newtown, Sydney. The discount I got appealed to me as a struggling naturopathic student! One of my tasks was to make up the spiced tea recipe - chai. Ever since, I have been making this recipe with black tea or dandelion and now drink it almost daily.


About chai

Chai has a long history in Asia and India and is steeped in tales of royalty and herbal medicine. Originally caffeine free and made from scratch with fresh herbs and spices, it’s now spread across the globe with thousands of variations. Including my one, below.

About dandelion

I use a dandelion mixture that contains chicory and carob root, but you could use good old, plain, roasted dandelion root if you like. Or, you can use black or green tea instead. My favourite is loose leaf Madura tea.

Dandelion root is an incredible herb, particularly for gently supporting liver function and detoxification – the opposite of coffee which, with its caffeine content, is mildly toxic to the liver. If you’re trying to drink less coffee, consider having a dandelion chai instead.

What to add

If you’re ok with it black, have it that way; but I like to add honey to make it super comforting and yummy. You could add milk or cream too. Experiment with your preference.


This is the original recipe I had to make up at the co-op, but you can adjust quantities as preferred.

  • 1kg dandelion or Madura loose leaf tea

  • 25g bay leaves (crumbled)

  • 180g cardamom (ground) 

  • 65g cinnamon (ground)

  • 30 cloves (whole)

  • 105g cumin (ground)

  • 65g ginger (ground)

Just mix it all together and blend well so everything is even. And enjoy!

Is coffee ok to drink?

In my research I came across Samuel Hahnemann’s booklet on the provings of coffee and it completely shifted my perspective on the safe consumption of coffee. This summary gives you a sense of it:

“To enjoy perfect health and a long life, we should only make use of purely nutritive food, free from irritant and medical particles; our beverages should likewise be only moistening or both moistening and nutritive, but equally free from the above mentioned particles, such as pure spring water or milk… It is especially dangerous to make dietetic and frequent use of purely medicinal substances endowed with great strength…. Coffee is a purely medicinal substance”

~ Samuel Hahnemann, Treatise on the Effects of Coffee, 1803

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