Artemisia Herb Inhibits Growth of Multiple Cancers
A flurry of research from around the world over the past few years has confirmed that the ancient herbal remedy Artemisia (also called Wormwood) blocks the development of several types of cancer. These include colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, brain cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia and others.
Other research has found that Artemisia species are antibiotic and anti-parasitic, as well as antiviral and antifungal.
Now we find this medicinal super herb has been proven out for another medicinal purpose: Fighting cancer. Let’s look at some of the research.
Artemisia for prostate cancer
Researchers from the Cancer Research Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley tested an extract of Artemisia against human prostate cancer cells of two different types. This 2017 study found the artemisnin extract interrupted the process of androgen reception among the prostate cancer cells. This effectively cuts off the process that prostate cancer cells utilize to expand.
Researchers from the medical school of Czech Republic’s Masaryk University found in another 2017 study that several compounds in Artemisia, including dihydroartemisinin and artesunate, actively kill prostate cancer cells (cytotoxic).
Another 2017 study from China’s Nanjing Medical University studied an extract of Artemisia annua called Artesunate. Like the Berkeley researchers, they found that Artesunate blocked androgen receptor proteins, which in turn suppressed tumor growth and resulted in cancer cell death.
Wormwood and colon cancer
In 2014, doctors at the St George’s University of London, and the UK’s St. George’s Healthcare NHS Trust conducted a phase II clinical trial of the Artemisia extract Artesunate. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
The researchers tested 20 colorectal cancer patients. The patients were given either a placebo or 200 milligrams of oral Artesunate each day for fourteen days. After the treatment period, all the patients underwent surgery to remove the cancerous area of their colons.
The researchers found that a significant killing of tumor cells were found in two-thirds of the patients treated with the Artemisia extract. They also found an 89 to 92 percent reduction of colon cancer cells and increased CD31 expression – which helps the body kill cancer cells among these patients.
Then 42 months later, the researchers found there was only one recurrence of the colon cancer among those given the 14-day treatment. This compares to six patients that had recurrences among the placebo group.
The researchers concluded:
“Artesunate has anti-proliferative properties in colorectal cancer and is generally well tolerated.”
In a 2017 study, medical researchers from Korea’s Hannam University found that Artemisia annua extract inhibited growth of human colon cancer cells. The extract did this using a number of different processes, including cotton off its ability to make DNA. The Artemisia also interrupted the cancer cells’ immunity activities and metabolism tasks.
Artemisia for breast cancer
Several studies, including some of the above, have found that human breast cancer cells are inhibited and even killed with Artemisia treatment.
In a 2017 study from Germany’s University of Heidelberg and Johannes Gutenberg University, 23 breast cancer patients were tested in a Phase I clinical study on the Artemisia extract Artesunate. A Phase I clinical study focuses on establishing safe doses for further clinical studies.
The researchers gave the patients either 100, 150 or 200 milligrams of Artesunate per day for -8 weeks. This was in addition to their ongoing cancer therapy.
The researchers found that 200 milligrams of Artesunate per day was safe and tolerated. They recommended 200 milligrams per day for future clinical study.
Wormwood for leukemia
Another 2017 study tested Artemisia extract against K562 and HL-60 human leukemia cells. This study found the Artemisia extract killed the leukemia cells of both types within 48 hours of contact.
Researchers from Israel’s Kaplan Medical Center obtained B chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells from seven leukemia patients. They were each at different stages of their disease.
The researchers found in this 2017 study Artemisia absinthium killed 75 percent of the leukemia cells, with 70 percent killed within the first 48 hours.
Researchers from Korea’s Kyung Hee University tested Artemisia capillaries extract against liver cancer cells. They found that the Artemisia extract blocked tumor growth by activating IL-6 cytokines. This blocked the transcription 3 signal pathway that these cancer cells use to form tumors.
Research from China’s Yanbian University studied Artemisia extracts against liver cancer cells along with cervical cancer cells.
They also found the extract stimulated cancer inhibition among both of these cancer cell types.
Artemisia combination therapy
The research has found that Artemisia seems to work quite well when combined with other treatments – even conventional chemotherapy. The research has found it to have a synergizing effect.
Dr. Thomas Efferth and associates from the Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University and his team also found that Artemisia annua extracts successfully inhibit cancer cells of different types.
In a 2017 paper, Dr. Efferth outlined a comprehensive methodology of combining Artemisia with drug therapies that have already shown success in inhibiting cancer and associated symptoms. His research found many of these conventional drugs to be synergistic with Artemisia.
Slezakova S, Ruda-Kucerova J. Anticancer Activity of Artemisinin and its Derivatives. Anticancer Res. 2017 Nov;37(11):5995-6003.
Steely AM, Willoughby JA Sr, Sundar SN, Aivaliotis VI, Firestone GL. Artemisinin disrupts androgen responsiveness of human prostate cancer cells by stimulating the 26S proteasome-mediated degradation of the androgen receptor protein. Anticancer Drugs. 2017 Oct;28(9):1018-1031. doi: 10.1097/CAD.0000000000000547.
Nokerbek S, Sakipova Z, Chalupová M, Nejezchlebová M, Hošek J. Cytotoxic, anti-cancer, and anti-microbial effects of different extracts obtained from Artemisia rupestris. Ceska Slov Farm. 2017 Spring;66(1):15-22.
Mirkin V, Berrebi A, Rakhman I, Haran M, Shvidel L. THE ROLE OF THE PLANT ARTEMISIA IN SURVIVAL AND INDUCTION OF APOPTOSIS OF B CELLS IN CHRONIC LYMPHOCYTIC LEUKEMIA (CLL). Harefuah. 2017 Feb;156(2):86-88.
Kim EJ, Kim GT, Kim BM, Lim EG, Kim SY, Kim YM. Apoptosis-induced effects of extract from Artemisia annua Linné by modulating PTEN/p53/PDK1/Akt/ signal pathways through PTEN/p53-independent manner in HCT116 colon cancer cells. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Apr 28;17(1):236. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1702-7.
Sahu N, Meena S, Shukla V, Chaturvedi P, Kumar B, Datta D, Arya KR. Extraction, fractionation and re-fractionation of Artemisia nilagirica for anticancer activity and HPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS/MS determination. J Ethnopharmacol. 2017 Nov 3. pii: S0378-8741(17)32820-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2017.10.029.
Efferth T. Cancer combination therapies with artemisinin-type drugs. Biochem Pharmacol. 2017 Sep 1;139:56-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2017.03.019.
Wang Z, Wang C, Wu Z, Xue J, Shen B, Zuo W, Wang Z, Wang SL. Artesunate Suppresses Growth of Prostatic Cancer Cells through Inhibiting Androgen Receptor. Biol Pharm Bull. 2017;40(4):479-485. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b16-00908.
Tayarani-Najaran Z, Makki FS, Alamolhodaei NS, Mojarrab M, Emami SA. Cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of Artemisia biennis Willd. on K562 and HL-60 cell lines. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2017 Feb;20(2):166-171. doi: 10.22038/ijbms.2017.8242.
Efferth T. From ancient herb to modern drug: Artemisia annua and artemisinin for cancer therapy. Semin Cancer Biol. 2017 Oct;46:65-83. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2017.02.009.
Zhou Y, Wang X, Zhang J, He A, Wang YL, Han K, Su Y, Yin J, Lv X, Hu H. Artesunate suppresses the viability and mobility of prostate cancer cells through UCA1, the sponge of miR-184. Oncotarget. 2017 Mar 14;8(11):18260-18270. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.15353.
Jang E, Kim SY, Lee NR, Yi CM, Hong DR, Lee WS, Kim JH, Lee KT, Kim BJ, Lee JH, Inn KS. Evaluation of antitumor activity of Artemisia capillaris extract against hepatocellular carcinoma through the inhibition of IL-6/STAT3 signaling axis. Oncol Rep. 2017 Jan;37(1):526-532. doi: 10.3892/or.2016.5283.
Wang KS, Li J, Wang Z, Mi C, Ma J, Piao LX, Xu GH, Li X, Jin X. Artemisinin inhibits inflammatory response via regulating NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2017 Feb;39(1):28-36. doi: 10.1080/08923973.2016.1267744.
Yuan H, Lu X, Ma Q, Li D, Xu G, Piao G. Flavonoids from Artemisia sacrorum Ledeb. and their cytotoxic activities against human cancer cell lines. Exp Ther Med. 2016 Sep;12(3):1873-1878.