Common garden plant fights malaria and cancer, too!
December 6th, 2015 by Holly Cornish
Here’s more proof you can use natural medicine to fight cancer safely and effectively …
Sometimes called “Sweet Annie,” Traditional Chinese herbalists have been using the leaves and essential oils from this common, shrub-like plant for more than 2,000 years to boost the immune system, treat fever, and even fight bladder infections.
The FDA has even approved one particular compound from the shrub as an effective treatment for malaria, because of the way it latches on to the parasite and dissolves it from the inside out—without touching surrounding healthy cells.
New studies are showing this cell-dissolving action also works on another type of “parasite” …cancer.
Read on to discover how you can use this herb’s killer instinct to prevent or fight multiple types of cancer in all stages.
This “Forbidden” Food
There are more than 200 species in the plant genus Artemisia, including common herbs like tarragon and A. absinthium (also known as wormwood, traditionally used in producing absinthe, the legendary French liquor).
Artemisinin is a chemical compound derived from the Artemisia annua species, also known as “Sweet Annie,” sweet wormwood, or annual mugwort.
The artemisinin compound has been an effective, FDA-approved treatment for malaria since the 1970s. The key to artemisinin’s anti-malarial action is the way it reacts with iron.
The malaria parasite and cancer cells both have a habit of rapidly dividing. When cells divide at such a fast pace, errors in DNA replication often occur, causing abnormal daughter cells with mutated DNA.
All cells require iron to successfully replicate. But because malaria and cancer cells replicate so quickly, they tend to hoard iron in large quantities—as much as 1,000 times more than healthy cells.
Artemisinin is chemically attracted to iron—so the excess iron levels in these two diseases attract it like a moth to a lantern. When artemisinin attaches itself to the cancer cell, it reacts with the iron and releases free radicals into the cell, which destroy it. (This is similar to what happens when you disinfect a wound with hydrogen peroxide.)
Amazingly, artemisinin only seeks and destroys the high-iron cancer cells … not the healthy cells nearby that also contain iron, but in lower concentrations.
That’s far more than can be said for conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatments that destroy cancer cells and healthy cells alike, causing dozens of dangerous side effects that devastate the patient’s quality of life.
Clinical studies show promising results
In lab studies, various derivatives of artemisinin, notably dihydroartemisinin (DHA) and artesunate (ART) have effectively destroyed cancer cell lines cultured in vitro.
If you’ve been reading Cancer Defeated for a while, you may remember Dr. Henry Lai and Dr. Narendra Singh, bioengineers at the University of Washington.
I mentioned their pioneering studies using artemisinin back in Issue #382. They discovered that DHA effectively killed even radiation-resistant breast cancer cells and had considerably less effect on normal breast tissue cells.5
Since 2014, further research has concluded artemisinin is effective against more than 50 kinds of cancers, including notoriously difficult types like ovarian cancer, leukemia, bone cancer, colorectal and liver cancer, among others.8
A groundbreaking Chinese study showed that DHA was effective against non-small cell lung cancer, which is historically resistant to chemotherapy.7
Artemisinin can even cross the blood-brain barrier, making it an effective treatment for brain cancer (glioma) as well.
The ART derivative of Artemisia annua has also been proven by multiple studies.
One study, published in the journal Cancer Research, shows that ART killed many human papillomavirus-affected cells, meaning it can be used against cervical cancer.3
A study published in the International Journal of Oncology found that ART “was most active against leukemia and colon cancer cell lines.”9
In many of these studies, the artemisinin extracts are combined with iron, which acts like a homing device, allowing the artemisinin to detect and destroy the cancer cells faster, speeding up the process.
In fact, in vitro studies of breast cancer cells showed 28% of the cells disappeared within 16 hours of treatment. When iron was added, the number jumped to 98% within the same amount of time.10
Thousands of anecdotes and case studies support it
There have been more than 4,000 case studies demonstrating DHA, ART, and aremether’s incredible results against cancers in various stages. (Aremether is another Artemisia-derived drug.)
Dr. Robert J. Rowen is an alternative medical physician in California who reports these stories about the efficiency of artemisinin compounds:
- Donald, a 47-year-old mechanic with a newly diagnosed lymphoma, came to see Dr. Rowen . The doctor put him “on a derivative of this Chinese herb” for two weeks. Four weeks later the tumor was gone. “I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Dr. Rowen said. “The skin was smooth, no mass was present.”4
- Diane , a 47-year-old woman, had stage 4 breast cancer and a tumor-induced fracture in her spine. Dr. Rowen put her on a regimen of alternative therapies that included artemisinin derivatives. All of her symptoms regressed. She reported that, physically, she couldn’t tell that she’d ever had cancer.4
- Another woman, Carol, had been fighting breast cancer for two years when she came to see Dr. Rowen. She started a course of artemisinin derivatives and saw “exceptional healing” after just one month.4
- Dr. Narendra Singh, mentioned earlier, and a colleague treated a man with cancer of the larynx using injections and tablets of water-soluble artesunate (ART) for nine months. After just two months, the tumor was reduced by 70% and his quality of life was improved.11
Dr. Rowen tells of a Vietnamese colleague, Dr. Hoang, who regularly used artemisinin as part of a comprehensive cancer treatment strategy. Over ten years and 400 patients, 50% to 60% of them were in long-term remission.4
How to benefit from artemisinin
So, do you need to harvest this herb in your backyard and use a mortar and pestle to get the cancer-fighting effects?
Not quite. In fact, it’s a bad idea, because the Artemisia in your garden is probably not the Artemisia annua medicinal species.
Artemisinin supplements (in capsules or liquid form) are available from the Allergy Research Group, Nutricology, and Artemisia Biomedical (sometimes by prescription only).
Look for aremether, dihydroartemisinin or artesunate compounds — the extracts reported to have medicinal powers. “Wormwood extract” or extracts of other species of Artemisia are common, but not what you’re looking for.
Artemisinin is a safe, non-toxic and natural compound, but it is possible for your body to build up a resistance to it. Taking artemisinin in a “pulse” regimen—e.g. four days on, three days off—will help increase efficacy and avoid resistance. There have been some reports of liver toxicity with prolonged use or high doses.
As always, it’s best to contact an alternative or integrative physician for guidance and correct dosage, which will depend on the type of cancer you’re fighting, or whether you want to use Artemisia for prevention.
But let me forewarn you that of all the doctors Cancer Defeated has interviewed in the last ten years, few make use of Artemisia. They may be overlooking a promising cancer-killer.
It’s inadvisable to use Artemisia extracts along with conventional treatment. Radiation therapy can cause free iron to leak into healthy tissue, which could signal the artemisinin to attack it.