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Remedies

Miracle root proven effective for cancer, diabetes

By Sari Huhtala

There’s not much fanfare over the efficacy of dandelion root for treating cancer and type 2 diabetes, although there should be, but perhaps this is due to the fact it’s illegal to cure cancer in North America, so the likelihood of plant-based medicines making big headlines are slim. Not to mention the fact there were 92 million prescriptions filled for the diabetes treatment drug Metformin just in the U.S. alone in 2020, so it’s a lucrative money maker for the drug companies. It’s not surprising herbal remedies that can be found at zero cost in one’s own backyard aren’t being shared in mainstream medicine.

Regardless, if there’s one perennial that ought to make its way from the yard to the medicine cabinet, it’s dandelion root. And it’s not too late to harvest this anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, gut-cleansing, lipid-lowering miracle plant from one’s backyard, provided the yard hasn’t been doused with chemical, weed-killing poisons.

Autumn is an ideal time to harvest dandelion root since amino acids accumulate in the root during the fall, and diminish by spring.

Besides being a great coffee substitute, dandelion root offers up a plethora of beneficial effects for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis, among other conditions, according to the 2016 scientific review, The Physiological Effects of Dandelion in Type 2 Diabetes.

Up to 45 per cent of the root is comprised of inulin, a non-digestible complex carb (fructoogliosaccharides), which is considered a prebiotic that promotes healthy gut bacteria.

According to a 1999 study, Influence of Inulin and Ogliofructose on Breast Cancer and Tumour Growth, which appeared in the Journal of Nutrition, the growth of tumours may be “significantly inhibited by supplementing the diet with non-digestible carbohydrates.”

A 2011 study in Evidence-based Complementary Alternative Medicine researching the effects of dandelion root extract on drug-resistant human melanoma cells, found dandelion root to be toxic to human melanoma cells, but not to normal human cells. The study looked at the efficacy of dandelion root on chemo-resistant melanoma. According to researchers “dandelion root extract is more than a worthy chemo preventative, it is fast-acting, nontoxic and therefore specific in its targeting of human melanoma cancer cells, making it a valuable chemotherapeutic.”

The roots also contain: cartenoids, which protect the body from cellular damage; fatty acids, which may help improve cardiovascular health; choline, a macronutrient that helps with liver and nerve function brain development, energy and metabolism; and soluble fibre to help lower cholesterol levels and improve bowel movements.

First time harvesting roots? It’s easy. Look for larger dandelions as larger roots are easier to clean.  Simply dig around the dandelion plant and gently pull the dandelion to release the root system. Brush off any excess dirt. Then scrub the root clean with a brush while running under water. Collect at least 20-30 large roots. Once clean. Chop into small quarter-inch pieces and either place in a dehydrator to dry, or dry on a plate or pan at room temperature. This method works, it will just take time for the drying process to be complete. Moisture is fully removed once the root is hard and easily ground to powder.

Once dry, grind into powder with a Magic Bullet or coffee grinder, and store in a glass jar with a lid. Add about 1 tsp to hot water to make a coffee-like beverage. Or add to smoothies or teas for nourishment.

Harvest leaves and flowers in spring and summer months. Dandelion leaves can be used fresh in salads, smoothies, soups and stir fries, or made into tinctures, or dried for year-round easy access.

According to the scientific review, The Physiological Effects of Dandelion in Type 2 Diabetes, the European Commission, the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia and renowned physicians recommend the following doses for dandelion:

  • 4-10 grams of fresh or dried leaves
  • 2-5 ml of leaf tincture, three times daily
  • 1 tsp twice a day of fresh leaf juice
  • 2-8 grams of fresh roots daily
  • 250 mg to 1000 mg of dried powder extract four times a day

(This information is not intended to replace medical treatment. Please seek the advice of a trained medical professional when treating illness or disease.)

Sari Huhtala is the creator, publisher and editor of Alive and Fit Magazine. She has over 25 years experience in journalism, and is a mother of 3 adult children. She has spent over 20 years navigating a healthy path for her family, one health hack at a time, as a single mom feeding her kids healthy on a shoestring budget. She has over 15 years experience as a certified fitness specialist and personal trainer and over 10 years as a reiki practitioner. She has also studied shamanism, and offers wildcrafting foraging workshops.

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