They are ugly, atrocious, unwanted plants that seem to pop up out of nowhere. One day your lawn is beautiful and the next it is taken over by these yellow invaders.
Despite a homeowners loathing of dandelions, most five-year-olds will tell you they grant wishes. Those five-year-olds might actually be on to something – dandelions could be a wish granted for those battling cancer. It might not be the magic of blowing the seeds from the stalk, but rather utilizing the plant for its unique immune-boosting, cancer-killing powers.
While traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation kill all kinds of cells and harm the immune system, extract from the dandelion root has been found to do the opposite.
Researchers at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada concluded that within 48 hours of treatment of cells with Dandelion Root Extract (DRE) there was a highly significant amount of cancer cell destruction when compared to a control group. By 96 hours, the researchers found that 70-80% of cancer cells had died. Even more interesting is that when the same researchers tested the extract on normal, non-cancerous cells there was no effect. The extract actually targets unhealthy, cancerous cells while sparing healthy ones!
These anti-cancer benefits have been studied and found effective with leukemia, breast, colon, prostate, liver, and lung cancer cells in the laboratory and in February 2016 scientists were given the green light to start human clinical trials in Canada.
While we all anxiously await the results of the clinical trials, some are seeking answers on their own accord and touting dandelion tea as a true cancer killer. 72-year-old John DiCarlo was sent home by oncologists 3 years ago “to get his affairs in order” but was recommended dandelion tea as a last-ditch effort. Much to everyone’s surprise John returned to the clinic four months later in complete remission and has been cancer-free ever since.
The researchers believe the tea works differently in different people, but it brings needed hope to many battling one of nature’s most deadly diseases. Researchers and clinicians urge patients not to mix the natural remedy with other cancer drugs, including chemotherapy and radiation, without consulting a physician.
What’s even better is that you don’t have to have cancer to benefit from dandelions. The roots and leaves have been made into teas and used to garnish foods since ancient times to combat a wide range of ailments. Historically, it was most commonly used to treat liver diseases, kidney diseases, digestive problems, spleen problems, and even for weight loss!
Despite the dandelions bitter taste, it contains greater nutritional value than many other vegetables. In fact, it has more vitamin A than carrots! It’s high in vitamin C, riboflavin, vitamin B6, thiamine, calcium, copper, manganese, and iron! It also touts high levels of protein and fiber.
Dandelion helps stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin, which stabilizes blood sugar levels.
The leaves of the dandelion are completely edible and are loaded with fiber. High fiber diets have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Dandelions are high in antioxidants and vitamin C so it can help fight off infections. According to one source, drinking dandelion tea on a daily basis may prevent UTIs from ever happening again.
Liver and Gallbladder
The vitamins and minerals found in dandelions can help cleanse the liver and help the body rid itself of toxins. In fact, in one animal study, it improved the liver’s ability to detoxify by 244 percent! It has also been shown to enhance the flow of bile, help prevent gallstones, and eliminate jaundice in both animal and human studies.
Dandelion has been used as a weight loss aid for decades due to its diuretic and probiotic properties. In one study, they tested the effect on the body weight of experimental animals and found a 30% reduction in initial weight. It has been found that the root itself contains up to 40 percent inulin, a carbohydrate that nourishes the friendly gut bacteria species Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.
One of the greatest things yet about this potential cancer-killing, liver-cleansing, health-building, weight-loss-driving food: it’s everywhere! You don’t have to buy it in some fancy marketplace or buy the extract from a pharmaceutical company. You don’t need a prescription from your medical doctor. All you need is to know how to make it yourself.
Image via Juicing For Health