February 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Health Blog

I have been using Artemisia annua clinically for many years for a number of different health conditions as it has numerous actions including anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-malarial and other beneficial uses. This herb can be effective for the treatment of candida, worm infestations, certain bacterial infections, and other health conditions, particularly when used in conjunction with other individually-prescribed herbal medicines. The research below is one of many studies that has also shown this herb to be a safe and effective cancer treatment. There are various forms of artemisia, and not all of them are useful for tumour suppression. In addition, the types of products that are available ‘off the shelf’ without a practitioner prescription would not be strong enough to be beneficial, so consult your Naturopathic Physician, Herbalist or Naturopath for advice. However, as it is illegal for anyone other than a medical doctor to ‘treat cancer’ in Australia, your Naturopathic practitioner will aim to increase the repair mechanisms in your own body to try to encourage healing, rather than provide ‘treatments’ for cancer.


BACKGROUND: Artemisinin is a chemical compound extracted from the wormwood plant, Artemisia annua L. It has been shown to selectively kill cancer cells in vitro and retard the growth of implanted fibrosarcoma tumors in rats. In the present research, we investigated its mechanism of cytotoxicity to cancer cells.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Molt-4 cells, in complete RPMI-1640 medium, were first incubated with 12 microM of human holotransferrin at 37 degrees C in a humid atmosphere of 5% CO2 for one hour. This enhanced the iron supply to the cells. The cells were then pelleted and transferred to a complete RPMI-1640 containing 200 microM of an analog dihydroartemisinin (DHA) and incubation was started (0 h). In addition, some culture samples were treated with holotransferrin alone and some (controls) were assayed without neither holotransferrin norDHA treatment. Cells were counted andDNA diffusion assay was used to evaluate apoptosis and necrosis in each sample at 0 h and at 1, 2, 4 and 8 h of incubation.

RESULTS:DHA treatment significantly decreased cell counts and increased the proportion of apoptosis in cancer cells compared to controls (chi2=4.5, df=1, p<0.035). Addition of holotransferrin significantly further decreased cell counts (chi2=4.5, df=1, p<0.035) and increased apoptosis (chi2=4.5, df=1, p<0.035). No necrotic cells were observed.

CONCLUSION: This rapid induction of apoptosis in cancer cells after treatment withDHA indicates that artemisinin and its analogs may be inexpensive and effective cancer agents.

Reference: Singh, NP., Lai, HC. Anticancer Res. 2004 Jul-Aug;24(4):2277-80.



Yours In Great Health,

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MNHAA, MHATO

Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher


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Sar Rooney is a Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner specialising in Anxiety and Depression |Women’s Health| Hormonal Imbalances | Thyroid Disorders | Digestive Health | Genetic Polymorphisms (MTHFR/Pyroluria) | Nutritional Medicine | Optimal Wellness & Disease Prevention 

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Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment. Please note: I am not a medical practitioner.


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