Dandelion root extract kills 95% of colon cancer cells

Dandelion root, dandelion greens as well as dandelion tea is loaded with nutrients and boast a variety of benefits for our health.

Background

Dandelions, also known as Taraxacum officinale, are a type of flowering plant native to Europe, Asia and North America. The origins of dandelion as a natural remedy can be traced all the way back to 659 B.C. in ancient China. It was also used in Arabic, Welsh and European medicine and was eaten raw or made into a juice or tonic.

Traditional uses of the dandelion ranged from promoting better digestion to healing the liver. Some Native American tribes chewed on dandelion root to relieve pain while others steamed the leaves and applied topically to ease sore throats.

Nevertheless, the benefits of dandelion extend way beyond the root. In fact, dandelion leaves, seeds and flowers can all be used in a variety of recipes and each boasts a unique set of nutrients and health-promoting properties.

Nutritional contents

Dandelion is rich in many nutrients yet low in calories. it contains a good amount of fiber as well as vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C.

One cup of chopped dandelion greens (55 grams) contains approximately:

  • 24.7 calories
  • 5.1 grams carbohydrates
  • 1.5 grams protein
  • 0.4 gram fat
  • 1.9 grams fiber
  • 428 micrograms vitamin K (535 percent Daily Value (DV)
  • 5,588 international units vitamin A (112 percent DV)
  • 19.3 milligrams vitamin C (32 percent DV)
  • 103 milligrams calcium (10 percent DV)
  • 1.7 milligrams iron (9 percent DV)
  • 1.9 milligrams vitamin E (9 percent DV)
  • 0.2 milligram manganese (9 percent DV)

Dandelion greens also contain a small amount of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and copper

Scientific Studies on Dandelion Benefits

Wade off Cancer Cells

Several studies demonstrate dandelion root may be useful in the prevention and treatment of cancer. One study by Chatterjee et al., (2011) found that skin cancer cells were treated with dandelion extract within 48 hours of the treatment. fast forward, another study by Ovadje et al., (2016) also demonstrated that dandelion root extract kills 95 percent of colon cancer cells within two days, fight leukemia and pancreatic cancer (Ovadje et al.,2012). Another study by Sigstedt et al., (2008) also confirmed dandelion root in treating prostate and breast cancer.

In conclusion, several studies have found dandelion in reducing the growth of cancer cells in various organ tissues and this is really encouraging and interesting.  More research is needed to draw conclusions about its efficacy for preventing or treating cancer in humans.

Weight Loss

Zhang et al.,(2008) study confirmed that dandelion could have similar effects on the body as the weight loss drug Orlistat, which works by inhibiting pancreatic lipase, an enzyme released during digestion to break down fat. Testing the impact of dandelion extract in mice revealed similar results, prompting researchers to recommend further study on the possible anti-obesity effects of dandelion.

Natural Coffee Substitute

The roots of young dandelion plants are roasted to a dark brown color. Then, after steeping in hot water and straining, it can be enjoyed as a coffee substitute

Fights Cholesterol

Some of the bioactive compounds in dandelion may lower cholesterol, which may decrease heart disease risk. One animal study by Davaatseren et al .,(2013) significantly reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels in mice that were treated with dandelion extract.

Another rabbit study by Choi et al.,(2010) examined the impact of adding dandelion roots and leaves to a high-cholesterol diet. Rabbits that received dandelion had noticeably reduced cholesterol levels. Though these outcomes are intriguing, more research is needed to determine dandelion’s potential effects on cholesterol in humans.

Support Bones

Dandelions contain 10 percent of the recommended daily value of calcium in the body. Hence, just drinking dandelion tea or eating the greens, the body calcium need is sorted and could avert high blood pressure that may be caused by calcium deficiency.

High in Vitamin K

Dandelion is loaded with over 500 percent of the daily value of the body needs of Vitamin K.  Vitamin K is an essential fat-soluble vitamin and is significant in bone and heart health. Vitamin K is the major vitamin needed in bone mineralization and blood clotting — in actual fact, vitamin K builds bones better than calcium! And it helps maintain brain function and a healthy metabolism.

For instance, one study by Adams and Pepping (2005), demonstrates that vitamin K can improve bone health and reduce the risk of bone fractures, especially in postmenopausal women who are at risk for osteoporosis. Vitamin K also supports menstrual bleeding because of its blood-clotting abilities.

One study by Juanola-Falgarona et al., (2014) which involved over 7,000 respondents demonstrates vitamin K’s ability to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular mortality.

Detox Liver

According to Axe, (2021) vitamins and nutrients in dandelions cleanse our livers and keep them working properly. Dandelions aid our digestive system by maintaining the proper flow of bile. One study by Davaatseren et al., (2013) supports the idea that dandelion tea or stems are also good vitamin C foods,  and may help with mineral absorption, reducing inflammation and preventing the development of disease.

Diabetes Supports

Dandelion tea and juice help people with diabetes by stimulating the production of insulin from the pancreas and keeping blood sugar levels low. dandelion tea also supports the body remove excess sugar that’s stored in the body — because it’s a diuretic.

One study by Wirngo et al., (2016) confirmed that the anti-diabetic properties of dandelion are credited to bioactive chemical machinery, including chicoric acid and sesquiterpene lactones. They noted that it has also been used for diabetes because of its anti-hyperglycemic, antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.

Dermatological Health

Christine Ruggeri, (2019), notes that the milky white substance that is seen on the fingers when one breaks a dandelion stem is actually great for the skin! The sap of a dandelion stem is highly alkaline, and it has germicidal, insecticidal, and fungicidal properties. The author is of the view that the sap can be used to relieve itching or irritation from eczema, ringworm, psoriasis, and other skin infections. This assertion was confirmed by one study by Yang & Li, (2015) that dandelion leaf and flower extracts have been found to serve as potent protective agents against UVB damage and absorption.

Antioxidants

One study by Choi et al., (2010) demonstrates that antioxidants are substances that help prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation. Drinking dandelion tea may help the body avoid cell damage from free radicals. One study by Chatterjee et al., (2011) found that dandelion root extract was effective in killing different cancers as a result of its free radical-fighting abilities.

Fiber

Dandelion tea and greens are high-fiber foods, making them a beneficial aid for digestion and intestinal health. One study by Anderson et al., (2009) agrees that high-fiber diets also reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, digestive problems, kidney stones and obesity as well as the power to lower the risk of some cancers.

Vitamin A

Dawson (2000) is of the view that dietary vitamin A supports antioxidants that prevent carcinogenesis by decreasing the levels of the free radicals that cause DNA damage. A cup of dandelion greens has over 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin A, hence, one can fight premature aging, respiratory infections and vision impairment with just a mug of dandelion tea.

Additionally, Vitamin A also gives immune support, promotes skin health and helps prevent cancer. For women who are pregnant, getting enough vitamin A is very important, especially during the third trimester.

Diuretic

Clare et al., (2008) study demonstrate that dandelion root has a natural diuretic effect, aiding the liver to rapidly eliminate toxins. Because dandelion helps reduce uric acid and stimulates urine production, it’s beneficial for fighting bacterial infections within the digestive tract and reproductive organs.

Urinary Tract Infections

Clare et al., (2008) study confirmed that dandelion tea can help prevent urinary tract infections, as well as bladder disorders, kidney problems, and possibly even cysts on reproductive organs due, to its diuretic properties.

For effectiveness against UTIs, Levy (2021) recommends that dandelion root should be combined with another leaf extracts called uva ursi to helps reduce the number of UTIs in women.  The author notes: “In this combination, uva ursi is used because it kills bacteria, and dandelion is used because of its ability to increase urine flow and fight infection”.

Side effects

Christine Ruggeri, (2019) notes:

  1. Dandelion tea should be avoided in those taking antibiotics or allergic to dandelion.
  2. Those allergic to ragweed and related plants (like daisies, chrysanthemums, marigolds), are likely to be allergic to dandelion.
  • Dandelions can cause allergic reactions when taken by mouth or applied to the skin of sensitive people.
  1. Dandelion might decrease how much antibiotics the body absorbs. This means that taking dandelion along with antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics.
  2. Some antibiotics that might interact with dandelion include ciprofloxacin, enoxacin, norfloxacin, sparfloxacin, trovafloxacin and grepafloxacin.
  3. Taking dandelion might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium because of its diuretic properties. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects.
  • There is also potassium in some diuretic pills, so be careful when taking these “water pills” because you don’t want too much lithium or potassium in the body.
  • Dandelion might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Before taking dandelion, talk to your health care provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.Some of these types of medications include amitriptyline, haloperidol, ondansetron,  propranolol, theophylline and verapamil.

Dosage and Supplement Forms

According to Healthline.com, dandelion leaves, stems and flowers are often taken in their natural state and can be eaten cooked or raw. Dandelion is also available in supplemental forms, such as capsules, extracts, and tinctures.

Currently, there are no clear dosage guidelines, as very little human research has been conducted on the dandelion as a supplement. The following are recommended:

  • Fresh leaves: 4–10 grams, daily.
  • Dried leaves: 4–10 grams, daily.
  • Leaf tincture: 0.4–1 teaspoon (2–5 ml), three times a day.
  • Fresh leaf juice: 1 teaspoon (5 ml), twice daily.
  • Fluid extract: 1–2 teaspoon (5–10 ml), daily.
  • Fresh roots: 2–8 grams, daily.
  • Dried powder: 250–1,000 mg, four times a day.

Take Home

  • Dandelion supports the health of your bones, digestion, liver, urinary tract and skin. It’s rich in nutrients, including fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A and vitamin K.
  • Dandelions have the potential to provide some therapeutic health benefits. However, research on specific applications for dandelion is lacking, especially in human studies.

The writer is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips, scientific herbs, and healthy recipes in the world.

DISCLAIMER This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnosis and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counseling, guidance, and treatment about a specific medical condition.

The writer is an honorary Professor of Holistic   & Naturopathic Medicine, chartered Management Consultant (ChMC), Researcher, and President, Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine. Currently, LLB level 300 law student. Contact: 0241083423/0541234556

References

  1. Zhang, J., Kang, M. J., Kim, M. J., Kim, M. E., Song, J. H., Lee, Y. M., & Kim, J. I. (2008). Pancreatic lipase inhibitory activity of taraxacum officinale in vitro and in vivo. Nutrition research and practice2(4), 200–203. https://doi.org/10.4162/nrp.2008.2.4.200
  2. Jillian Levy, (2021) Uva Ursi: How Bearberry Can Support the Skin & Urinary Tract. https://draxe.com/nutrition/uva-ursi-bearberry/
  1. Choi UK, Lee OH, Yim JH, Cho CW, Rhee YK, Lim SI, Kim YC. Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root and leaf on cholesterol-fed rabbits. Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Jan 6;11(1):67-78. doi: 10.3390/ijms11010067. PMID: 20162002; PMCID: PMC2820990.
  2. Davaatseren M, Hur HJ, Yang HJ, Hwang JT, Park JH, Kim HJ, Kim MS, Kim MJ, Kwon DY, Sung MJ. Dandelion leaf extract protects against liver injury induced by methionine- and choline-deficient diet in mice. J Med Food. 2013 Jan;16(1):26-33. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.2226. Epub 2012 Dec 20. PMID: 23256442.
  3. Yang, Y., & Li, S. (2015). Dandelion Extracts Protect Human Skin Fibroblasts from UVB Damage and Cellular Senescence. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity2015, 619560. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/619560
  • Clare, B. A., Conroy, R. S., & Spelman, K. (2009). The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)15(8), 929–934. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2008.0152
  • Wirngo, F. E., Lambert, M. N., & Jeppesen, P. B. (2016). The Physiological Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) in Type 2 Diabetes. The review of diabetic studies : RDS13(2-3), 113–131. https://doi.org/10.1900/RDS.2016.13.113
  1. Anderson JW, Baird P, Davis RH Jr, Ferreri S, Knudtson M, Koraym A, Waters V, Williams CL. Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutr Rev. 2009 Apr;67(4):188-205. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x. PMID: 19335713.
  2. Dawson MI. The importance of vitamin A in nutrition. Curr Pharm Des. 2000 Feb;6(3):311-25. doi: 10.2174/1381612003401190. PMID: 10637381.
  3. Chatterjee SJ, Ovadje P, Mousa M, Hamm C, Pandey S. The efficacy of dandelion root extract in inducing apoptosis in drug-resistant human melanoma cells. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:129045. doi: 10.1155/2011/129045. Epub 2010 Dec 30. PMID: 21234313; PMCID: PMC3018636.
  • Adams J, Pepping J. Vitamin K in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and arterial calcification. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2005 Aug 1;62(15):1574-81. doi: 10.2146/ajhp040357. PMID: 16030366.
  • Juanola-Falgarona M, Salas-Salvadó J, Martínez-González MÁ, Corella D, Estruch R, Ros E, Fitó M, Arós F, Gómez-Gracia E, Fiol M, Lapetra J, Basora J, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Serra-Majem L, Pintó X, Muñoz MÁ, Ruiz-Gutiérrez V, Fernández-Ballart J, Bulló M. Dietary intake of vitamin K is inversely associated with mortality risk. J Nutr. 2014 May;144(5):743-50. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.187740. Epub 2014 Mar 19. Erratum in: J Nutr. 2016 Mar;146(3):653. PMID: 24647393.
  • Chatterjee SJ, Ovadje P, Mousa M, Hamm C, Pandey S. The efficacy of dandelion root extract in inducing apoptosis in drug-resistant human melanoma cells. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:129045. doi: 10.1155/2011/129045. Epub 2010 Dec 30. PMID: 21234313; PMCID: PMC3018636.
  1. Ovadje, P., Ammar, S., Guerrero, J. A., Arnason, J. T., & Pandey, S. (2016). Dandelion root extract affects colorectal cancer proliferation and survival through the activation of multiple death signalling pathways. Oncotarget7(45), 73080–73100. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11485
  • Ovadje, P., Hamm, C., & Pandey, S. (2012). Efficient induction of extrinsic cell death by dandelion root extract in human chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) cells. PloS one7(2), e30604. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0030604
  • Ovadje P, Chochkeh M, Akbari-Asl P, Hamm C, Pandey S. Selective induction of apoptosis and autophagy through treatment with dandelion root extract in human pancreatic cancer cells. Pancreas. 2012 Oct;41(7):1039-47. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e31824b22a2. PMID: 22647733.
  • Sigstedt SC, Hooten CJ, Callewaert MC, Jenkins AR, Romero AE, Pullin MJ, Kornienko A, Lowrey TK, Slambrouck SV, Steelant WF. Evaluation of aqueous extracts of Taraxacum officinale on growth and invasion of breast and prostate cancer cells. Int J Oncol. 2008 May;32(5):1085-90. PMID: 18425335.

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