Do you think of the common dandelion as a pesky weed? Well, it may be time to reconsider your opinion. It turns out that dandelion is far more than an unwanted, but prolific, ground cover. Dandelion is a valuable herb you can eat to boost your nutritional health. It is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. The leaves can be eaten in salads, and sandwiches, and added to teas. Even the flowers are used to make certain wines.
Dandelion also has some amazing medicinal properties. In traditional medicine, dandelion roots and leaves have been used to treat liver problems. In fact, Native Americans used dandelion to treat kidney disease, skin problems, heartburn, and stomach upset. Now, scientists are discovering that dandelion has strong potential anti-cancer properties as well.
A research team conducted a trial to determine the effect dandelion extract had on human leukemia cancer cells. They discovered in the lab that dandelion effectively induced death in human leukemia cell lines in a dose- and time-dependent manner. They also found that non-cancerous, healthy blood cells exposed to the same dandelion extract were not significantly affected.
The research team concluded that dandelion contains components that act to induce death selectively in cultured leukemia cells. They emphasized the importance of dandelion as a traditional medicine. They noted that the herb is a non-toxic alternative remedy to conventional leukemia therapy.
You should be able to find dandelion leaves at your local grocery store. You can also find dandelion in liquid extract form, teas, tablets, and capsules. Dandelion can be found alone or in combination dietary supplements.
Dandelion is generally considered safe. Some people, however, may develop an allergic reaction from touching dandelion. Also, people with gallbladder problems and gallstones should ask for their doctor’s advice before eating dandelion or taking supplements.