Thursday, July 21, 2016 by D. Samuelson
The herb belongs to the genus Artemisia. It’s more commonly called wormwood. For centuries, its bitter taste and medicinal properties have been in use to assist digestion, de-worming, a remedy for jaundice or dropsy and even gout or flatulence. It’s also utilized as the key ingredient in vermouth and absinthe. This perennial, which is sometimes considered a noxious weed, is growing in importance as a cancer fighting compound. Today, even the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reports, “Artemisia prevented cancer cells from dividing in laboratory studies but clinical trials have not been conducted to support this.”
One wonders where are the clinical trials? Could that be because big pharma money is not interested in discovering, nor allowing, any herbal remedies to put a kink in its billion-dollar cancer industry? Fortunately, despite massive clinical trials, independent research has and is being done on wormwood’s anti-cancer properties.
Natural News reports, “In terms of cancer, wormwood has made headlines due to its profound ability to fight already developed cancer and allow the body to heal itself. One study found that artemisinin derived from the wormwood plant paired with iron killed 98 percent of breast cancer cells in 16 hours!
“The herb on its own reduced breast cancer cells by 28 percent but when partnered with iron, it nearly eliminated the cancer without impacting healthy cells.”
According to BreastCancer.org, “About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 61,000 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.”
A women with a diagnosis of breast cancer has a plethora of options to beat it. And if a medicinal herb paired with iron killed 98% of breast cancer cells in 16 hours, shouldn’t you know more about it?
Science.mag reports, “Many experiments have found that artemesinin turns deadly in the presence of iron. In Asia and Africa, artemesinin tablets are widely and, in many cases, successfully used to treat malaria, because the parasite has a high iron concentration. Cancer cells can also be rich in iron, as they often soak up the mineral to facilitate cell division. The cells bring in extra iron with the help of transferrin receptors, special receiving points that funnel the mineral into the cell. Although normal cells also have transferrin receptors, cancerous ones can have many more.
“To test artemesinin’s effect on breast cancer cells, bioengineers Henry Lai and Narendra Singh of the University of Washington, Seattle, enriched segregated normal breast cells and radiation-resistant cancerous ones with holotransferrin, a compound normally found in the body that carries iron to the cells. Then the team dosed the cells with artemesinin. As the pair reports in the 16 November issue of Life Sciences, almost all the cancer cells exposed to holotransferrin and artemesinin died within 16 hours. The compounds killed only a few of the normal cells. Lai believes that because a breast cancer cell contains five to 15 more receptors than normal, it absorbs iron more readily and hence is more susceptible to artemesinin’s attack.
“‘This looks very promising,’ says Gary Poser, an organic chemist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Still, he adds, ‘other researchers need to replicate these results.'”
Time to investigate further, yes?