Friday, April 20, 2012

Scientists Rediscover Dandelion for Cancer Therapy

Reposted from our beloved Imzaia's Official Body Report

(Imzaia.com) The beautiful and abundantly growing dandelion (taraxacum officinale) has stolen this one's heart a long time ago. Without having any knowledge of this plant's health properties, I couldn't wait for spring to arrive to be able to pluck the new dandelion leaves out of the lawn, not because I considered them weeds but because they make such a delicious salad. My body just craved dandelions and fortunately there was never any lack of it! I also use the tiny buds and the open flowers in salads or as a snack. They are not only very decorative but also deliciously sweet with a very delicate, slightly citrusy flavour. A dandelion salad is a feast for the eye and the taste buds. I also use dandelion as a herb, chopping it finely to add to salads or stir-fries. 

Traditionally, dandelion has been used for culinary purposes since recorded history. Its taproot can be roasted and used as a caffeinefree coffee. Leaves and flowers are used for tea, in salads or as vegetable - raw, stir-fried or boiled. Eating it raw, you can really taste and feel its life force. The earthy and slightly bitter taste of the leaves might be an acquired taste for some, but for the rabbits amongst us it truly is a delicacy.

Furthermore, dandelion is a major source for nectar collecting bees in the northern hemisphere. Its taproot brings nutrients to shallow-rooting plants, as well as adding minerals and nitrogen to the soil. It helps fruit to ripen by releasing ethylene gas into the air. 

Taraxacum officinale is also known for its many medicinal properties. Amongst others, it is a great source of vitamin A, C and K, beta carotene, iron, calcium, potassium and manganese. The anti-carcinogenic properties of the dandelion are now being rediscovered by scientists, as explained in the article below. Interesting facts that not many people might be aware of.

Jasmine, for Imzaia team

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Dandelion gets scientific acceptance as an antioxidant and "novel" cancer therapy

Dandelion is the bane of immaculate lawn enthusiasts, but holds healing secrets that few people realize. Dandelion is a delicious super-food to add to salads and soups. It contains substantial vitamins and a host of plant-based minerals, especially potassium. The herb stimulates the flow of bile from the liver into the gall bladder, making dandelion a key ingredient in liver cleanse formulas. It helps to break down liver fats and is an effective diuretic. The scientific community has been frenetically studying dandelion recently, due to encouraging evidence that dandelion suppresses the growth and invasive behavior in several types of cancer.

Scientists "approve" dandelion extract as an effective oxidative stress inhibitor

Scientists at the University of Annunzio Chieti-Pasaca in Italy compared extracts of tumeric, dandelion, rosemary, and artichoke in a study released in 2010. The researchers acknowledged the positive effect that these herbs have on the liver and gallbladder, and wanted to compare their anti-proliferation (spreading), antioxidant (combating free radical activity), and protective effects. While tumeric had the greatest antioxidant effects, dandelion also had these qualities. The scientists confirmed that these herbs are useful healing aids in modern phytomedicine.

The oxidative stress-reducing effects of dandelion extract was tested on rats with liver damage from carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), a chemical used in fire extinguishers and refrigerants which is highly toxic to the liver. Water-based dandelion extract, or dandelion tea, was observed to significantly reduce the amount of oxidative stress and inflammation present in the livers of rats.

Medical researchers are enthusiastic about the effects of dandelion on various cancers

Medical science is finally beginning to accept the positive results from natural dietary supplements in healing cancer. Just in the past few years, clinical research has been published stating the benefits of herbal supplements such as dandelion for cancer. Here are a few studies:

The International Journal of Oncology published a 2008 clinical study showing the positive effects of dandelion leaf tea. Dandelion leaf tea decreased breast cancer cells, but dandelion root tea did not. Researchers went on to test prostate cancer cells and found similar results. The scientists concluded that dandelion extract may be considered a "novel" anti-cancer agent.

The Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study in January 2011 which tested the effects of dandelion root tea on leukemia cells. The study showed that dandelion root tea killed leukemia cells through a process called apoptosis. It is believed that dandelion root tea signals a "kill switch" on leukemia cell receptors. Researchers found it "interesting" that dandelion root tea did not transmit the same "kill switch" signal to healthy cells. These scientists also believed that dandelion should be considered a "novel" non-toxic anti-cancer agent.

The International Journal of Oncology published a 2011 report that a dietary supplement containing dandelion as one ingredient suppresses the growth of prostate cancer cells.

In yet another 2011 study performed with dandelion, dandelion root extract was clinically proven to induce apoptosis in human drug-resistant melanoma cells without poisoning or damaging healthy cells. Once again, tests proved that dandelion root extract should be considered a "novel" and non-toxic therapy for even drug-resistant forms of cancer.

(Source: naturalnews.com)

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(Imzaia.com) I always marvel at the fact that the most 'common' plants are the ones that keep our physical husk in the best shape and good health. Traditional herbalists have known this all along and I think it is extremely positive that scientists are now finally going back to nature and rediscover what a powerful healer Gaia truly is. That we should consider any plant a 'weed' and therefore a nuisance just shows how much we have forgotten about our connection with Earth.