A weed that you probably pull out of your garden might contain a potent cancer-fighting agent.
Scientists in Ontario have discovered that tea made from dandelion roots potentially can combat cancer.
“We scientifically validated that dandelion root extract has very potent anti-cancer activity,” Dr. Siryaram Pandey, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Windsor, told the CBC.
University researchers have partnered with AOR Inc. – a natural health company – to develop a dandelion  root tea that is being used in a clinical trial approved by Health Canada (the Canadian health ministry), CBC reported. The test will involve 6,000 doses of the tea and 30 patients with blood cancers, like leukemia and lymphoma, that failed to respond to traditional treatments.
Dr. Caroline Hamm, an oncologist, told the CBC she has seen the condition of some cancer patients improve after they drank dandelion tea from health food stores.
“Most of the responses that I have seen are very short, but there’s a signal there that I think is worthwhile of further investigation,” Hamm said.
The dandelion root powder is six to 10 times more powerful that what can be purchased off the shelf, and is freeze dried, the CBC said. It is then mixed with water and drunk.
“We’ve gone through many trials to find what does work and what doesn’t work,” AOR research associate Rachel Jacyszyn said. “We finally found something that does work.”
Said George Templeton, director of operations at AOR, “Dandelion has been used medicinally for centuries. In the last couple decades it’s been started to be used for cancer treatments, mostly just through patients self-medicating.”
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