Dandelion, the cancer killer?

Dandelion, the cancer killer?

Claims in the US press that Dandelion 'kills 98% of cancer cells in 48 hours' were somewhat exaggerated, but these detracted from the increasing research in vivo and in vitro on Dandelion, which has genuine immune boosting, antiinflammatory and anticancer abilities.

Sitting here in France I can assure you that the French, when having 'une crise du Foie', will head for the artichoke, dandelion root and milk thistle along with lemon juice and the mineral water Hepar, which has a high magnesium content. Dandelion is known to 'cleanse the system', from kidneys to the liver. But does it do more? Could it be a potential, cheap cancer treatment?

Dandelion root extract and cancer

Over in Canada, a biochemist from Windsor University in Ontario, Canada, has shown that dandelion root extract (DRE) seems capable of doing a little more; namely, killing cancer cells. They have received grants and human clinical trials have started with Phase I in 2015 (1). Dr. Siyaram Pandey is the University of Windsor biochemist who oversees the 'Kevin Couvillon Research Project' on the Anti-Cancer Effects of Dandelion Root Extract.

Dandelion roots, flowers and leaves have each been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries and are known for liver and kidney health and general well-being. Dandelions are actually highly nutritious (2) containing good levels of vitamins A, C, E and K plus antioxidant compounds such as beta carotene and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium. They are also high in inulin a compound known to boost the microbiome family Bifidobacterium. They have been shown to promote insulin and lower blood sugar, and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The plants, and particularly the flowers, have high levels of polyphenols and polysaccharides. 

And you thought they were just weeds! 

It all started because an oncologist Dr Caroline Hamm noted that cancer patients drinking dandelion tea seemed, in some cases, to be recovering. So she asked a biochemist, Siyaram Pandey, to see if there was more to this weed than meets the eye. Sure enough, in his first experiments with leukaemia cells he food that dandelion root extract caused apoptosis - both in human blood samples and in mice with leukaemia. The cancer cells died. Importantly, the healthy cells in the blood samples were left untouched. Next, there were studies on Melanoma with similar results.

The work was then extended to other cancers and the same results were noted. More work is now being undertaken and the research team have raised money for Clinical Trials. A company to market the Dandelion anti-cancer compounds has even been formed!

No herb has ever been approved for use as a cancer agent on the other side of the Atlantic. Just a few years ago the herb Feverfew beat the leading drug for leukaemia, in Clinical Trials. The FDA said they would fast track Feverfew. Nothing has been heard since. Could it be that these common herbs cannot be patented and so no money can be made from their use?

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and a founder of CANCERactive said, "Carolyn Hamm is rather annoyed about various Internet claims that Dandelion Root Extract is some sort of wonder cure for cancer. But then she was part of some research that claimed DRE killed 98% of cancer cells within 48 hours and talked about two leukemia patients who seemingly beat cancer by using DRE"

We now know that Dandelion does have anti-cancer properties. Most of the research has been in vitro, but now - apart from this human clinical trial - the in vivo animal studies are increasing. We have another article just on the anti-cancer benefits with cancers such as breast cancer, TNBC, colorectal cancer, melanoma and pancreatic cancer.

 Go to: A Review of Dandelion anti-cancer research and health benefits with specific cancers



1. Dandelion root cancer treatment enters clinical trials, company to market it formed;; Winsor Star publication

2. US Dept of Agriculture - Dandelion greens, raw

"If you are already thinking of supplementing with the above product, why not take a look at Our Natural Selection by clicking here."

April - June Cancer Watch 2012
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