The yellow flowers that ruin the look of your otherwise “perfectly green” lawn are more than just irritating weeds. In fact, dandelion has been considered a valuable food and medicine in both Eastern and Western culture for thousands of years and now researchers have found its cancer-fighting abilities.
Traditional healers use it to cleanse the liver, flush toxins from the kidneys and purify the blood. These blood purifying compounds led researchers at University of Windsor in Canada to hypothesize that dandelion could help patients with end-stage blood cancer.
They inserted danderlion root extract into Petri dishes with blood drawn from leukemia patients and lab rats.
Much to their delight, the dandelion root induced apoptosis or “cell suicide” in cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells alone.
The dandelion root’s ability to selectively kill only cancer cells, as opposed to radiation and chemotherapy which kill healthy cells and flood the body with toxins, could make it an important tool in the future of cancer treatment.
As a result of the experiment, researchers were given the green light to test out dandelion root on thirty Canadian cancer patients. It’s the first ever in Canada that a natural extract has been approved for a clinical trial.