Researching dandelion for cancer

May 6, 2016 A herb, Research 0 Comments

A simple preparation of this common weed as playing a role in cancer treatment, or as a cure for cancer? Sounds like hype – until you see the work that has been done on dandelion root in Canada.

Sketch (Kohler) of Dandelion and its parts

Dandelion – Kohler Image

If you do a google search for dandelion and cancer, you will come up with plenty of hits and claims of miracle cures,

However there is one that is very interesting. It comes out of The Dandelion Project, set up through the University of Windsor in Canada to investigate the effects of dandelion and other natural products in cancer treatment.

The story is that an Ontario oncologist observed that some of her patients appeared to improve after taking dandelion. This piqued her curiosity. She then contacted the group at University of Windsor who have now completed the pre-clinical evaluation  and moved to a clinical trial

What is particularly interesting is that the extract used in the trial is not too different to that recommended in the old herbals and by the miracle cures on google. There is no obscure form of preparation and the patients of the oncologist who made the initial observation were taking dandelion root as a tea. The extract to be used in the Canadian clinical trial, which of course needs to be consistent, is 6 to 10 times stronger than over-the-counter dandelion root.

Dandelion one of our most well known weeds – maligned by gardeners who want their lawns weed-free but enjoyed by children as a ‘clock’ to tell the time by. It has been celebrated in popular popular songs (the Rolling Stones) and in poetry (Emily Dickinson). Will we soon stop putting weedkiller on it and return to gathering the leaves in spring and using the root as  the medical powerhouse that it is?