Cows graze on dandelion flowers on the Prooveta pasture on the first day of the season in Gruyeres, western Switzerland, May 8, 2013. During the summer grazing season, starting mid-May to mid-October, the fifth generation Murith family produce a distinctive mountain pasture Gruyere cheese. Each wheel of cheese weighs between 25-40 kilograms, and takes a minimum of six months to mature. Some 200 wheels are produced each year from the unpasteurized milk from his herd of cows and sold locally. Picture taken May 8, 2013. Reuters/Denis Balibouse

A study by the University of Windsor’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry claims that Dandelion tea could disintegrate skin cancer cells within 48 hours. Within the same time frame, healthy cells in the body are not affected.

Healthyandnaturalalllife reports that besides killing cancer cells, the root of the Dandelion contains diuretic properties, stimulates the bile’s secretion, cleanses the liver, aids in relieving effects of allergies and reduces cholesterol. It adds that members of the older generation, particularly the grandmothers, are aware of the plant’s curative properties that’s why they used to prepare syrups made from the dandelion flower.

Endemic to Eurasia and North and South America, it is said to contain 53 percent of the daily requirement of Vitamin K and 110 percent of vitamin A.

The study of the weed’s anti-cancer property is led by Professor Siyaram Pandey who received a $270,000 grant for the research, now on its second year, reports Medicaldaily. Pandey used an extract from the dandelion’s root to treat melanoma or skin cancer.

Melanoma is resistant to chemotherapy, so to treat skin cancer patients, the only option was surgical excision of the primary tumour site and then immunotherapy, which was usually not effective for metastasised melanoma.

The study, published in Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, found that the extract successfully destroyed human melanoma cells by acting as a “natural chemotherapeutic agents that may be extended to other chemo-resistant cancer lines,” says Pandey and his co-authors.

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