Dandelion root capsules can treat a number of conditions that affect the digestive tract. It can also offer protection from harmful ultraviolet rays. As with all supplements, you should check with your doctor before taking dandelion root pills as they could interact with other medications.
Dandelion root capsules have a rich history as a treatment for cancer, digestive issues and fluid retention, and they can help combat UVB rays.
Dandelion Root Cancer Benefits
According to the National Institute of Health's (NIH) National Cancer Institute, in 2018 the U.S. saw more than 1.7 million new cases of cancer. The institute also approximates that 38.4 percent of men and women will get diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetimes.
As the number of cancer cases elevates, medical professionals tend to adopt more expensive treatments. As an alternative to skyrocketing cancer expenses, dandelion root extract could potentially absorb and target multiple weaknesses in cancer cells, according to a November 2016 study published in Oncotarget.
In this study, researchers examined the cancer cell-killing effectiveness of dandelion root extract in colon cancer cell models. They found that dandelion caused programmed cell death in greater than 95 percent of colon cells, all without harming non-cancer cells.
This suggests that dandelion root could serve as a non-toxic, anti-cancer alternative, especially for cancer cells found resistant to drugs. However, more studies are needed to determine dandelion root's efficacy in cancer treatment and should never be considered a viable alternative.
Dandelion Root Positive Side Effects
Dandelion root capsules could improve digestion and other gastrointestinal conditions because the plant allows the normal bacterial flora in the GI tract to thrive. Dandelion can also aid in liver health by maintaining the proper flow of bile — the fluid secreted by the liver and stored in your gallbladder, per research published in the summer-fall 2016 issue of_ Review of Diabetic Studies_.
Dandelion root can also work as a diuretic by increasing urine production and reducing fluid retention. This can be helpful when water retention is high, such as after long flights, when pregnant or during your menstrual cycle.
In a September 2012 review of the dandelion published in_ Nutrition Reviews_, researchers found diverse biological activities of the plant. This includes consuming dandelion as a therapeutic agent for diuretic health benefits.
To counteract time spent in direct sunlight, research suggests the extracts found in dandelion root supplements could also help prevent potential sun damage that leads to melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
In a February 2015 study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, researchers reported that dandelion, especially its leaf and flower extracts, can block harmful ultraviolet (UVB) rays and provide protective agents that fight against UVB damage.
However, more studies are needed on dandelion's true potency in deterring sun damage. Rather than simply using dandelion root for protection, when outdoors you should follow the American Cancer Society's tips: wear broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30, cover up with clothing and seek shade whenever possible, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dandelion Root Negative Side Effects
The NIH considers dandelion safe for consumption, but some people will have allergic reactions. As with any supplement, you should take precautions when adding dandelion root capsules into your diet. You could experience the following side effects:
- Upset stomach
- Contact dermatitis
If you are allergic to related plants and flowers, such as ragweed, marigolds and daises, might want to avoid dandelion root. You should tell your medical professional about any complementary health supplements you take to ensure your safety and avoid any interactions with current medications or affect chronic conditions.
- National Cancer Institute: “Cancer Statistics”
- Oncotarget: “Dandelion Root Extract Affects Colorectal Cancer Proliferation and Survival Through the Activation of Multiple Death Signalling Pathways”
- Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity: “Dandelion Extracts Protect Human Skin Fibroblasts from UVB Damage and Cellular Senescence”
- National Institute of Health: “Dandelion”
- Review of Diabetic Studies: "The Physiological Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) in Type 2 Diabetes"
- Nutrition Reviews: "Diverse Biological Activities of Dandelion"
- American Cancer Society: "Don't Fry: Preventing Skin Cancer"