Consider the amazing story of John DiCarlo. Three years ago he was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of leukemia. The traditional treatments didn't work and DiCarlo was sent home to wrap up his estate planning and say goodbye to his friends and family.
His oncologist gave him one final suggestion. "Drink plenty of dandelion tea."
With nothing to lose, and everything to gain, DiCarlo followed his doctor's advice. Three years later he is alive, his cancer is in remission and he plans to celebrate his 73rd birthday.
His recovery so impressed researchers at the University of Winsor in Canada, that they are beginning clinic trails using dandelion root extract. They want to know what kinds of cancer the extract may treat effectively and what dosage should be used.
While there are many anecdotal stories on the benefits of dandelion tea on alternative cancer treatment sites, this will be the first major scientific study using humans.
It's an exciting step in dealing with and possibly preventing some types of cancer.
Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center
Canadian researchers aren't the first to explore the idea that the dandelion root could be used to treat some types of cancer.
In 1981 three Japanese researchers discovered that dandelions possessed some anti-tumor fighting abilities.
More recently, the prestigious Sloan Ketting Memeorial Cancer Center has all conducted lab research on how dandelions thwart the growth of tumors.
They have not yet conducted clinical studies.
Health Benefits of Dandelions
Dandelions have been used for centuries to treat a number of health benefits and it’s not surprising.
They are rich in potassium, beta-carotene and vitamins A, C, and D. They are also packed with calcium to promote healthy bones.
Half a cup of dandelion greens contain more calcium than a glass of milk. The leaves ha
Dandelions act as a natural diuretic, which helps cleanse the liver by flushing toxins out of the body. Their diuretic properties may aid in controlling high blood pressure and help with weight loss.
Dandelions stimulate the flow of bile which helps the digestive process and supports the kidneys and liver. They also help to create a healthy appetite.
Dandelion milk is great for skin problems like ringworm and eczema. It can also be used to treat warts due to it's fungicidal properties. The sap and greens provide a natural acne remedy.
Dandelions may also be helpful in stabilizing blood sugar and benefit people who are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
People with naturopathic health providers may want to discuss the use of dandelion teas and extracts with their caregivers, but there is still a great deal of research to be done to see if the products may be effective in treating cancer.
There are few risks to taking dandelion supplements or dandelion tea. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center does not recommend the products for people with gall bladder problems. Because dandelion tea is a natural diuretic it may interfere with some types of medicines prescribed for kidney problems. It may also cause diarrhea, upset stomach or heartburn.
All of the dandelion is edible, including the roots.
Fry up the greens and serve with a vinaigrette dressing.
Make a salad with the flowers and greens.
Dry and grind up the roots. Use the powder as a coffee substitute.
Make dandelion tea. (see video at bottom)
Choosing the Best Dandelions
Harvest dandelions in the spring when they are less bitter.
Pick dandelions in an area that is free from pesticides, herbicides and dog feces.
Dont pick dandelions near roads or highways. They may contain pollutants.
Dandelions are sweetest when growing in an area of tall grass.
If you are only interested in the leaves or roots pick them before the dandelion flowers.
Dandelion roots should be dried for at least two or three days before being ground. You can use a commercial dryer, or if you are in a hot dry area, leave the roots out in the sun. They should crumble easily in your hands before you begin the grinding process to ensure they are free of moisture.
Many people recommend the roots be ground by hand as opposed to an electric grinder. The philosophy behind that is the benefits of the mental and spiritual connection of preparing a medicine in it's purest state. It's also believed that electric grinding releases much of the dust, and the cancer fighting components.
Store the ground root in a closed container.
Gather friends and family for a dandelion picking day and work together to make the teas. When dandelions are out a group can cut down on the workload and easily make enough to last everyone for some time.
If you're not in an area where dandelions are easily accessible, most health food stores offer
Dandelion tea, even in it's strongest form is not bitter. It may be an acquired taste, but the health benefits make that acquisition worth while.