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Bees, butterflies, birds and bats benefit from the unpopular "garden weed."

New campaign brings attention to the importance of dandelions

Sunday, April 12, 2015, 5:57 PM - While many see it as an annoying weed, the dandelion could become a main fixture in people's gardens this spring.

That's the goal residents in northern Ontario are trying to reach with their new campaign. Organized by Roots to harvest, Eco Superior and the Thunder Bay District Stewardship Council, the campaign stresses the importance of dandelions to pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

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"We really want to get the message out there that dandelions absolutely have a place in our yarrd," Erin Beagle of Roots to Harvest told CBC.

It's not just bees and butterflies that use the flowers. Birds and even bats use dandelions as a source of nourishment.

Some of the suggestions include avoiding pesticides and waiting before you mow your lawn to allow the flowers to grow.

Dandelion tea could have benefits when fighting cancer

Early research from Windsor, Ontario showed that the dandelion root extract led to the death of a certain blood cancer cell called "chronic monocytic myeloid leukemia."

Their findings led to more than $200,000 in grants for further research.

In February, 30 patients were recruited to test out the cancer-killing abilities of the plant.

Dr. Siyaram Pandey, the principal research investigator, is conducting the phase one trial out of the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre using end stage blood related cancer.

The research started when a local oncologist talked to Pandey to discuss a potential link between people drinking tea and a sudden improvement.

"To be honest I was very pessimistic," Pandey said in a statement. "She said it could be coincidental but it couldn't hurt to see if there's anything."

Source: CBC News

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