Cancer is one of the most common diseases in the world. Between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 people in developed countries will suffer from this illness at some stage. Given the devastating effect cancer has on sufferers and their loved ones, any new potential treatment is a cause of much excitement. Recently, scientists have examined the potential power of the humble dandelion in fighting cancer by investigating its ability to directly kill cancer cells. It appears that extract of dandelion root may have the ability to trigger cancer cells to kill themselves without causing damage to the surrounding healthy cells and tissues.
Could This Common Plant Help Prevent Cancer?
Specifically, over the past few years, researchers at The University of Windsor in Ontario have published descriptions of their research findings in journals (including the journal ‘Evidence-Based Complementary Herbal and Alternative Medicines’) demonstrating that cancer cells placed in contact with dandelion root extract quickly begin to die. This exciting finding holds implications for the prevention and treatment of cancer, and research into this area is ongoing.
Currently, Dr Siyaram Pandey and his team at The University of Windsor are undertaking trials in humans to ascertain whether regular doses of dandelion root extract may cure certain types of blood cancer. Early trials in isolated cells and in animal tumours have suggested that this approach may eventually prove to be a viable alternative to chemotherapy, whilst causing fewer side effects. This is because whilst chemotherapy ‘wipes out’ healthy cells during treatment, dandelion root extract leaves them unharmed. This research could therefore herald an end to the miserable symptoms associated with chemotherapy including nausea, muscle soreness, and lowered immunity during and after treatment.
Dandelion root tea
Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, And Cancer Prevention – Common Concerns
Everyone has their own opinion on the validity of complementary or ‘alternative’ treatments including herbal medicine, Reiki, and acupuncture. Ultimately, the decision as to which treatment to use ought to rest with the patient. Of course, no-one should abandon any conventional treatment administered by a qualified medical professional without prior consultation, whether the proposed alternative or complementary treatment be acupuncture, herbal medicine, or any other treatment of this kind.
In the case of dandelion root tea, it is especially important to consult your doctor if you are currently receiving chemotherapy, as certain foods and medicines – even natural herbal extracts – can interfere with these drugs. However, for most people, drinking dandelion root tea is a great idea as a preventative measure against cancerous cell growth. Anecdotal evidence even suggests that some cancer patients have reported being cured of their disease after drinking dandelion root tea on a regular basis.
Even though dandelion cannot prevent or cure cancer in every case, it is nutritious in its own right, containing vitamins A, K, and high levels of folate. It isn’t yet clear which component, exactly, is responsible for dandelion root’s cancer-killing properties. It may well be the case that the entire root must be ground up and consumed, as outlined below.
Dried dandelion root
How To Get Started With Dandelion Root Tea
If you would like to try this natural remedy, it’s easy to get started. You can pick up ready-to-go teabags at your local health food store, or you can make your own preparation. Make sure that you harvest a dandelion root from a field that hasn’t been treated with pesticides or other harsh chemicals – it’s best if you look on your own land, so you know what has and has not been used. Dig up the entire root with a sharp spade. Wash it thoroughly with cold water. Chop it finely in a food processor and then dry-roast the resulting product, spread out on a tray, near the top of a hot oven. You should then have dandelion root flakes that can be stewed in hot water to make a delicious, highly nutritious drink that may prevent cancer.
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