Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dandelions, Dandelions Here and There. Medicine, Medicine Everywhere

by Little Flower

As I strolled down the lane labeled for pedestrians only, I scanned with a gentle gaze at all the plants surrounding the path and the river. Left, Right, Up, Down - four directions - and I noticed all the little yellow dots scattering the landscape. Every here and there, white fluff balls joined the blossoms. I looked up on the the edge of the wall walking alongside me. 
"Why, hello there. How did you get all the way up here?" The bundle of dandelions were thriving, being some of the biggest leaved I had seen all afternoon. I could not help but smile from ear to ear - the most resilient dandelion I had met. That is saying a lot for how high dandelions are on the kill list - probably second after thistles. 
I thanked Mr. Taraxacum officinale for his lesson and his gift; A gift that is not well known. The gift of medicine. 

Historically, the dandelion has been used medicinally by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Native medicine of the Americas, Arabian medicine, and European medicine. In TCM, it was used for breast, uterine, and lung tumors, hepatitis, and digestive diseases. The natives used it for kidney disease, dyspepsia, and heartburn. For the liver and spleen, the Arabians used. And the Europeans used Dandelion for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

After a review of many scientific studies, I have found that all parts of the dandelion - root, leaf, and flower - are medicinal.

Typically, the root is for - ; the leaf for - ; the flower for -.

Dandelion root extract (DRE) was shown by P. Ovadje et al in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology to induce apoptosis in human leukemia cells. This presents a non-toxic option and opportunity for cancer treatment.

Doctor Ovadje really liked his or her or their cancer research. In Pancreas, volume 41(7), published in October of 2012, DRE induced apoptosis and autophagy in human pancreatic cancer cells with no significant affect on non-cancerous cells. It was also shown to induce apoptosis in chemoresistant melanoma, once again without toxicity to healthy cells.

In the International Journal of Oncology, Sigstedt et al showed that [only] dandelion leaf decreased the growth of breast cancer cells. The decrease was by 40% after a 96 hour treatment. However, the root was not useless - it was discovered to "block" the invasion of prostate cancer cells.

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