Researchers in Ontario, Canada have received an additional €144,000 grant to study the effects of dandelion root extract in fighting cancer, according to CBC News.
The added grant means the research project has now attracted €199,000 in research funding.
A biochemist at the University of Windsor, Siyaram Pandey, has been involved in the study of the dandelion root extract's potential to combat cancer for nearly two years.
His team's first phase of research revealed that dandelion root extract caused an extremely aggressive and drug-resistant blood cancer cell, chronic monocytic myeloid leukemia, to die.
It was startling, but it was not that startling until we saw that it was non-toxic to the normal cells.
Scientists then found that multiple treatments, using a low dose of dandelion root extract, was successful in killing the majority of the cancerous cells present.
These encouraging findings lead to the Pandey's team receiving their first grant of €55,000 from Seeds4Hope, an organisation that supplies money for local cancer research projects. Earlier this week, the research team received a further €144,000 from the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation, resulting in a total of €199,000.
Pandey was first approached by a local oncologist, Dr Caroline Hamm, regarding this specific research. Hamm was intrigued by cancer patients who had apparently recovered by drinking dandelion tea.
Pandey, admitting to initially being sceptical, said: "To be honest I was very pessimistic. She said it could be coincidental but it couldn’t hurt to see if there is anything."
Hamm insisted that patients must be very cautious when thinking about taking the weed, stating that "it can harm as well as benefit".
She told CBC News that the dandelion extract tea has the potential to disrupt standard chemotherapy and she cautioned cancer patients to not go ahead with anything without consulting the appropriate doctor.
Very minimal research having been done on the extract in the past, Pandey and his team developed a simple formula that they could easily experiment with.
After tests on commercially available leukaemia cells, the team discovered that the formula forced the targeted cells to kill themselves, a process known as apoptosis.
Pandey said: "It was startling, but it was not that startling until we saw that it was non-toxic to the normal cells."