Research on Dandelions and Cancer
Siyaram Pandey, a biochemist at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada has been studying the anti-cancer potential of dandelion root extract for over two years. The team’s first phase of research showed that dandelion root extract forced a very aggressive and drug-resistant type of blood cancer cell, known as chronic monocytic myeloid leukemia, to essentially commit suicide in a process known as apoptosis..
Researchers discovered that repeated treatment with low doses of dandelion root extract was effective at killing most of the cancerous cells. Those initial findings landed the research team a $60,000 grant from Seeds4Hope, which provides money towards local cancer research. Pandey then applied for continued funding from the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation, and received the additional $157,000 to continue this study.
Pandey admits he was skeptical when he was first approached by local oncologist, Dr. Caroline Hamm, who had observed cancer patients that had been drinking dandelion tea at their own initiative and seemed to be showing improvement. “To be honest, I was very pessimistic,” Pandey said in a statement. “She said it could be coincidental, but it couldn’t hurt to see if there is anything to this.”
Pandey started his research by conducting a literature review of dandelions and cancer and could only find one journal article suggesting that dandelions may have cancer-killing properties, but he and his team of graduate students went ahead and collected the weeds in order to grind up their roots with a mixture of water using a food processor. This created a simple formula that they could use for their experiments.
They tested the formula on several lines of commercially available leukemia cells, and much to their surprise found that the formula caused those cells to commit suicide in a process known as apoptosis. “It was startling, but it was not that startling until we saw that it was non-toxic to the normal cells,” he said.
Clinical studies with dandelion
Over the past few years, results of clinical research have been published in several prestigious journals regarding the benefits of dandelion for those with cancer.
- In 2008, the results of a clinical study revealed the positive effects of dandelion on breast cancer cells were published in the International Journal of Oncology
- The findings on prostate cancer were corroborated by a report published in 2011 by the International Journal of Oncology, which showed that a dietary supplement containing dandelion suppressed the growth of prostate cancer cells.
- Dandelion root extract was clinically proven in 2011 to specifically induce apoptosis in chemo-resistant melanoma (a type of skin cancer)—without toxicity to healthy cells.
Various ways to use Dandelion
The leaves and roots of dandelions have long been used as a natural remedy to treat the liver, gall bladder, kidney, digestive system, and as a therapy for hepatitis. It is also considered by some to have the ability to purify the blood. Dandelion is reported to have strong action on the kidneys, and can act as a diuretic by pulling excess fluids from tissues. Because of this, drinking dandelion tea may be helpful in relieving ascites , which is a buildup of fluids.
Products that contain dandelion roots can be found in capsule form, tinctures, and teas from health food stores or online, or you can harvest your own and dry the roots.
Dandelion leaves can be consumed in salads, or they can be juiced or blended into smoothies. Another way that people have been enjoying dandelions greens is to lightly saute and use this as a side dish. The blossoms can be dried and made into a tea. The most important thing to know when harvesting fresh dandelion is to always make sure that they have not been treated with herbicides or other chemicals.
How to make a dandelion root tea– the roots are dug up, dried, then pulverized and can be used to make tea following the instructions in the video that is posted below.
Blending dandelions into smoothies– fresh roots and leaves can be cleaned thoroughly and blended together with fruits and greens to make a nutritious smoothie.
How to make a dandelion root tincture- carefully pull dandelions from the ground trying to keep the roots intact. Gather enough to make a cup or 2 of finely chopped roots. How much you are making will depend upon the size of the jar that you will be using.
- Remove the stems and then clean the roots thoroughly.
- Grate and then slice them very thin or put into a food processor to grind them.
- Put them into your mason jar and cover to the top with 80- 100 proof vodka.
- Set the jar in a cool dark place
- Shake the jar several times per week
- In 8 weeks you will have a strong tincture.
- For both the leaf tincture and the root tincture the dosage is 100 drops added to a small amount of water and taken 3 times per day.
Dosage for dandelion products:
- For dandelion root tea: bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1- 2 tablespoons of Organic Dandelion Root into the water and then reduce the temperature to low and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Strain the tea with a fine mesh strainer and drink an 8 oz cup of this tea 3-4 times per day.
- Or you can use Dandelion Root Capsules, the general dosage is 500 mg, taken 3 times per day.
- The general dosage for Dandelion Root Tincture is 100 drops added to a small amount of water, taken 3 times per day. When taking a tincture you should hold it under the tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing.
- These are approximate dosage suggestions, see the precautions listed below.
John Di Carlo Heals Leukemia with Dandelion Tea-
John DiCarlo, 72, was admitted to the hospital three years ago with leukemia. Even after aggressive treatment, he was sent home to put his affairs in order. At the time, the cancer clinic suggested he try drinking dandelion tea. Four months later, he returned to the clinic in complete remission, and has been cancer free for over three years. He said his doctor credits the dandelion tea that he had been drinking. Link to the article.
Some people may have allergic reactions to dandelion that may include a rash or mouth sores. If you are allergic to yarrow, iodine, ragweed, marigold, chrysanthemums, chamomile, or daisies, you may also be allergic to dandelion. Dandelion might cause heartburn in some people, so try cutting back your dosage and then slowly building up to see if that helps alleviate the symptoms. If you have gallbladder problems or gallstones, you should consult a doctor before taking dandelion. Dandelion is a diuretic and may cause dehydration so keep your fluids up by drinking purified water throughout the day. Consult a doctor if you are taking other medications.
Dr. Siyaram Pandey PhD describes his research on the remarkable anti-cancer effects of Dandelion root.
How to make dandelion root tea