It’s spring and that means our favorite pesky weed is about to make its appearance! Before you eradicate those interlopers you may want to try something different. Dandelion, both leaves and roots, whether grown wild or cultivated, is full of medicinal benefits. The greens can be chopped into salad, cooked like spinach, or added to juicing, while the root form can be used to make an infusion/tea or extract. Pamela Ovadje, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Windsor, has done extensive work in investigating the anti-cancer properties of dandelions and other natural extracts. She found that an extract of dandelions can cause apoptosis, or cell death, among cancerous cells while not harming the healthy ones.
David Wolfe wrote about this, “In February 2015, the extract was approved for human trials. Currently, dandelion root extract is in Phase 1 trials for end-stage blood-related cancers including lymphoma and leukemia. Dr. Siyaram Pandey (video), professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Windsor and principal research investigator for the project, believes dandelion root extract has “good potential” to kill cancer cells in the human body.” He added that cancerous cells begin “committing suicide” within 24 hours of introducing dandelion extract into the body.
In addition to its possible use for cancer treatment, there are other benefits as seen on the Anticancer Club website. Dandelions:
- Stimulate digestive function through its bitter qualities and increased bile flow
- Support key organs of detoxification such as the kidneys, liver and stomach
- Act as a diuretic and natural laxative
- Are anti-inflammatory
- Regulate blood sugar levels
- Anti-oxidant: one cup has a whooping amount of carotenoid that matches almost a daily requirement of the vital Vitamin A and nearly a third of a daily dose of Vitamin C
- Have twice the amount of calcium and iron of broccoli
- High in potassium, an important electrolyte that helps regulate sodium levels and the acid-alkaline balance in the body
- High amount of inulin, an indigestible carbohydrate that feeds healthy gut bacteria