Scientific exploration of artemisinin as a possible remedy for cancer


The plant sweet wormwood has its own derivate and that is the compound artemisinin. Chinese people have used it to treat malaria thousands of years ago. Nowadays, scientists have proven that this miraculous plant is equally effective in the fight against cancer. Let’s review some of the research studies that have been published hitherto.

Cancer treating method

All the cancer cells have a higher concentration of iron so they could be evolved, to be more precise, the cancer cells have a much higher concentration of iron than normal cells. Throughout the research, scientists have eliminated cells with the maximum concentration of iron from the body, and they put injections of artemisinin. The result was that artemisinin has the properties of inhibiting and destroying cancer cells.

(US Patent 5,578.637, University of Washington, the inventors Dr H.Lai and Dr NP Singh, 26 November 1996)

Leukemia in humans

In another study dr.Lai found very significant discovery about the leukemia cells. He found out that the cancer cells are destroyed very quickly within a few hours when they are exposed to holotransferrin (it binds receptors that serve the transfer of iron) and dihydroartemisinin (type of artemisinin which is soluble in water). He pointed out that the destruction of cells could be a product of the high concentration of iron in the leukemia cells.

(H.Lai and NP Sign, selective cancer cells exposed to dihydroartemisinin and holotransferrin)

55 oncology cell lines

This amazing plant was tested for activity against 55 cancer lines. It has been found that artemisinin is the most active against leukemia and cancer of the colon, melanoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer and kidney cancer. It was also found that the efficiency was significant in combination with other standard drugs used to fight cancer. As such, these results classified it as a very useful compound with low toxicity and therefore has the potential to replace chemotherapy.

(An antimalarial drug is also effective against cancer, Int’l Journal of Oncology, 18; 767 to 773.2001)

Breast cancer cells

The plant sweet wormwood and compound artemisinin become a cytostatic in the presence of iron. To adapt to higher iron intake, cancer cells have more transferrin receptors; these are pathways that allow iron entrance into the cell. In breast cancer cells there is from 5 to 15 times as many transferrin receptors on the surface than in normal breast cells. In recent studies,  in normal and cancer cells of the breast has been injected artemisinin. The results were astounding. Artemisinin killed even those cells that are resistant to radiation bie. The effects on normal cells were minimal. This analysis shows that the treatment of this plant can be simple, efficient and cost-effective cure for cancer.

(NP Singh and H Lai, selective effect of dihydroartemisinin on breast cancer cells. Life Sciences, 70: 49 to 56.2001)

Natural remedies that are much better than chemotherapy

Disimilar studies that were carried out separately in Germany and Australia, unearthed activity of twenty drugs on leukemia: artemisinin, artesuante, balcalein, baicalin, barberini, bufalino, cantharidin, cephalotakine, curcumin, daidzein, daidzin, diallyl, disulfide, ginsenoside, Rh2, glicirrhizic acid, isonardosinon, homoharringtonine, nardosinon, nardofuran, puerarin, quercetin, tannic acid and tetrahidronardosinon. The results showed that artesunate increases the accumulation of daunorubicin in E1000 cells. Artesunate and Bufalino have the ability to fight leukemia, applied alone or together with daunonrubicin in multi-drug resistant cells. These two drugs are suitable for the treatment of leukemia and as such, have a future in medicine.

(Efferth et al, Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases 28 (2) March / April; 160-168, 2002)

4 line of cancer cells

The isolated triterpenes and sesquiterpenes from Artemisia stolonifera, both showed that can destroy cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma and colon.

(Kwon, Phytochemical constituents of Artemisia stolonifera, Arch.Pharm, Research 24 (4): 312-315.2001)

Leukemia and lung cancer

Researchers have discovered a new type of compound that can destroy cancer cells after modifying artemisinin. This new derivative contains cyano and aryl groups, and this compound was highly effective in destroying the cancer, lung cancer and leukemia.

(Li Ying, et al, Novel antitumor artemisinin derivatives targeting the G1 phase of the cell cycle, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 11: 5-8, 2001)

I hope you found some interesting information from these scientific studies on artemisinin, its derivatives and the impact of some of the cancer.

You can also read Artemisinin derivative of sweet wormwood and its growing importance in medicine.

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