With all the exotic new super foods stealing the limelight, it’s easy to forget the super nutrients that grow in your backyard or the field next door. Dandelions may be a weed by name but they’re a medicinal treasure trove by trade, used for healing everything from cancer to skin conditions. Take a 5-minute dandelion tea break…and inhale deeply as those antioxidant and anti-inflammatory healing properties work their magic!
An Anti-Cancer Agent
Studies indicate that dandelions are a non-toxic therapy for leukemia, breast, and prostate cancers. A 2012 study published in PLOS ONE showed that dandelion root extract triggered cell death in 96% of human leukemia cells after just 48 hours. Interestingly, the extract was sourced from dandelions growing in a local field. (Never pick dandelions from an unknown source, as they could be riddled with pesticides and other toxins.)
A 2008 clinical study published in the International Journal of Oncology showed that dandelion extract decreased breast and prostate cancer cells, and a 2011 study published in the same journal indicated that a dietary supplement that contained dandelion inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells.
In 2011, dandelion was clinically proven to trigger cancer cell death in chemo-resistant melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer, without harming any healthy cells.
Dandelion’s Other Benefits
When you sip a cup of dandelion tea, you’re drinking in a wellspring of antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and D, as well as zinc, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Dandelion root extract and dandelion tea have traditionally been used to heal the liver and kidneys. A 2010 study published in Phytotherapy Research found that dandelion tea protected against liver damage.
Dandelions may also help to regulate blood sugar and promote healthy cholesterol levels. According to the US National Library of Medicine, dandelions are a powerful anti-inflammatory and possess anti-aging properties.
Sip Some Dandelion Today
Drinking dandelion tea is perhaps the easiest way to garner the benefits of this super nutrient. You can also toss some dandelion greens into your salad, cook them up like you would spinach or kale, or even use dandelions to make wine!
You don’t have to ingest dandelion to reap the benefits. It’s been shown to help with skin disorders such as eczema when applied topically. You can use cooled brewed dandelion tea as a tonic for inflamed, irritated skin.