Doctor's Note

To learn more about herbal teas, check out these videos:
Herbal Tea Update: Rooibos & Nettle
Is There Too Much Aluminum in Tea?
How Much Hibiscus Tea is Too Much?
Chamomile Tea May Not Be Safe During Pregnancy
Enhancing Athletic Performance With Peppermint

And check out my other videos on tea

For additional context, also see my blog posts: Hibiscus tea: flower power, and Hibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on tea. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

    For an update, check out my blog post Hibiscus tea: flower power.

    • Suzy

      Hi Dr. Greger,

      I have been suffering from Chronic Gastritis and would like to know which tea would be good for me? I also would like to see a video on the subject( Gastritis) I am vegan and Gluten Free. I have Crohn’s and Celiac. I grew up drinking black tea and seem to have trouble stopping it. I like the taste of Roibos, White tea, Hibiscus but I do not like the taste of green tea. I heard that slipery Elm, or Marshmelow tea are good for the heart burn, what do you know about that? I do not like the taste of both those teas but if it would help my disease I would drink it.

      • It is possible that your GI tract doesn’t tolerate black tea and would explore other options as you mentioned. You might find some useful suggestions in Dr. John McDougall’s articles in his monthly newsletter… see Feb 2002 for gastritis… My stomach is on fire and I can’t put it out and Nov 2002 for inflammatory bowel disease… Chained to the Bathroom and Sept 2005 on Wheat and Celiac Disease. As he mentions there are some plant products that cause inflammation in the GI tract. Good luck.

  • rayzay8

    I was happy to see chamomile in the top 5, because I drink a cup every day. I wonder where exactly it placed?

    • Ana

      The study Dr. Greger alluded to placed green tea first, black tea second, then dandelion, hawthorn, rose hip, chamomile (in that order). But like he said you’re likely to get the most benefits from the herbal tea you’re inclined to drink more often :)

    • Ana

      The researchers listed the top ten as: Green tea, black tea, dandelion, lemon grass, haw thorn,rose hip, chamomile, rooibos, Lemon verbena and rosemary (in that order)

  • susanco

    Hi Dr. Greger,
    My first question is do you recommend dandelion root or the leaves? As a result of this video I ran out and bought dried dandelion leaves. I put a teaspoon in boiling water, strained it, and drank it. In a little while, my mouth went totally dry which scared me. It seems that dandelion has a strong diuretic effect. Second question: can this really be healthful?

  • Perhaps that’s why dandelion is tradtionally recommended for the liver.

  • JR

    Dr. Gregor,
    Thanks for all your great videos. I love to drink different types of herbal tea every day, but many of my favorite teas, even the organic ones, list “natural flavors” as an ingredient. I’ve read the government definition of what can be included in these flavors, but it isn’t clear to me whether or not they are safe. It’s not too hard to choose unflavored teas, but is it worth the effort to choose teas (which often don’t taste quite as good) to avoid these flavor compounds or are they completely harmless? Thanks!

  • I put fresh dandelion greens in my green smoothies! They have a good amount of calcium too. :^)

  • Tpots001

    Thank you for you work on all this information. – You cut to the chase and give with grafts a visual for what is top… Thanks again.


  • albert

    was rosehip tea much inferior? my mum makes it in a thermos all the time – it tastes fantastic when brewed for enough time (a couple of hours or even more). I think now I’ll buy a thermos myself (and research what else can be brewed to max my ORAC :))

  • Steve Sherlock

    I’m curious about the nutritional content of wild foods. I read that dandelion has ten times the phytonutrients of the average green. I can buy two types, red and regular. I hear that mint and other herbs are considered wild foods, as well as green onions. Which ones are safe to eat and which ones are not?

  • Darryl

    While in vitro antioxidant assays are a useful proxy for total polyphenol content, they can’t say much about how the polyphenols are metabolized (many have low bioavailability), or how they function. Polyphenols may be functioning as pro-oxidants in vivo, which may be their disease preventing mechanism:

    Plant-derived compounds as antioxidants for health–are they all really antioxidants
    Polyphenols as adaptogens—the real mechanism of the antioxidant effect

    Research strategies in the study of the pro-oxidant nature of polyphenol nutraceuticals

    Of the herbal teas listed here, the most interesting in my readings has been rosemary, due to the high content of polyphenols carnosol, carnosic acid, and rosemarinic acid. Carnosol is of considerable interest as an anti-inflamatory and anti-cancer agent:

    Carnosol: a promising anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agent
    Antiangiogenic effect of carnosic acid and carnosol, neuroprotective compounds in rosemary leaves

    Carnosic acid, unlike many dietary polyphenols, has high bioavailability, even past the blood-brain barrier, where its neuroprotective:

    Carnosic acid, a catechol-type electrophilic compound, protects neurons both in vitro and in vivo through activation of the Keap1/Nrf2 pathway viaS-alkylation of targeted cysteines on Keap1

    Were those effects not enough, carnosic acid also appears to inhibit fat absorption:

    Carnosic acid, a new class of lipid absorption inhibitor from sageInhibition of gastric lipase as a mechanism for body weight and plasma lipids reduction in Zucker rats fed a rosemary extract rich in carnosic acid

    Sage is also high in carnosic acid, and a mixture of sage and black tea is a traditional in Greece and the mideast and quite tasty.

  • Barbara

    I wonder if chrysanthemum tea would be similar to dandelion, healthwise. It’s very popular in Asia… I don’t think there’s any scientific data covering this though… Anyone?

  • Karl

    I use a wheatgrass juicer and grow my own wheatgrass. During the spring, summer, fall, I go out and collect dandelions in stead and juice them. They’re more tolerable than wheatgrass. I call it a vitamin in a shotglass.

  • Crystena

    The dandelion tea, was that the leaf, the flower or the root?


    • Nutmeg

      The roots are usually used for Dandelion Tea. You can buy pure medicinal (meaning pure and strong) dandelion tea called “Traditional Medicinal” Roasted Dandelion Root tea. I hope I can leave that because I am not selling it, just drinking. Whole Foods & more conventional supermarkets (Kroger) sell organic Dandelion Leaves – fresh – for salads. Use the stalky part too as it is great for the gut microbiomes & increases probiotics in your gut. I just did a University course on this. :D Don’t use them from your yard if there is any chance of pesticides – that’s probably obvious but I just thought I would add.

      • Crystena


    • Wade Patton

      The box in the video clearly states “Dandelion Leaf Tea”. The whole plant is edible though.

  • Ash Woodward

    What dark green leaf tea was doctor Gregor referring to at the end of the video?
    Thank you-

  • Wade Patton

    Another easy to make at home sort of thing. I have eaten fresh greens and blooms before.

  • Janae

    This is a really amazing tea! Highly nutritious and great as an iced tea or hot tea and no caffeine!

  • Rick

    “Lavendar” >> “Lavender”!

  • Susie

    Dr Greger, I watched a TEDx video yesterday, about the cancer-killing properties of dandelion root – do you have any thoughts, please?

    • Thanks for your question Susie.

      According to WebMD & I quote:

      – Dandelion is an herb. People use the above ground parts and root to make medicine.
      – Dandelion is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.
      – Dandelion is used for loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint pain, muscle aches, eczema, and bruises. Dandelion is also used to increase urine production and as a laxative to increase bowel movements. It is also used as skin toner, blood tonic, and digestive tonic.
      – Some people use dandelion to treat infection, especially viral infections, and cancer.
      In foods, dandelion is used as salad greens, and in soups, wine, and teas. The roasted root is used as a coffee substitute.

      Hope this answer helps.

      • Susie

        Thanks, Darchite, but what I’m really after is for Dr Greger to put in his 2 penn’orth with one of his fascinating videos!

  • jimbobuk

    I would like to know what the Dr or anyone thinks of Olive Leaf tea, it seems to be quite the powerful tea to drink with reported benefits to blood pressure and blood sugar. Feels like a good alternative or addition to hibiscus for that. Relevant links being

    Anyone got any thoughts on this extract or teas effectiveness or safety. I’m starting to try having a cup of day to see if it has any effects. It’s a lovely tasting tea that is similar in flavour to green tea so it’s nice to drink regardless of any benefits. Just want to be sure it will be safe to regularly consume. Cheers!