Artemesinin and Iron: A Promising Cancer Treatment

Did You Know… 

… that a little-known chinese herb and iron kill 98% of cancer cells in 16 hours?

Chances are you’ve never heard of artemesinin.  It’s a derivative of the wormwood plant that has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and in the past, it’s been used as a powerful ally in the fight against malaria.  Now, the herb is being heralded as a cancer fighter, too.  Bioengineers Henry Lai and Narendra Singh of the University of Washington, Seattle were the first to make this fantastic discovery—another example of a natural herb causing cancerous cell apoptosis.

The researchers showed that artemesinin can kill 98% of breast cancer cells in just 16 hours.  Their study, published in the journal Life Sciences, demonstrated that the herb used alone caused a 28% reduction in breast cancer cells, but when combined with iron, it was able to nearly eradicate cancer altogether.

Targets Bad Cells While Leaving Good Cells Alone 

The study’s authors explain that this is likely because iron accumulates in the breast tissue and especially in cancerous cells, so the artemisinin-iron combination was able to selectively target “bad” cells while leaving healthy cells alone.  This is very promising news, considering that many cancer treatments are toxic to healthy cells in the body.  In contrast, the artemesinin and iron combined treatment didn’t harm healthy breast cells whatsoever.

“Taken together, our results demonstrate that [this treatment] mediates the cell cycle arrest of human breast cancer cells and represents a critical transcriptional pathway by which artemisinin controls human reproductive cancer cell growth.”

A Remarkable Cancer Fighting Combination 

Many experiments have now shown this sweet wormwood derivative can effectively eradicate disease in the presence of iron.  It’s the combination, say researchers, that produces such remarkable disease-fighting capacity.

Even artemesinin’s long history as a malaria treatment in China demonstrates it’s synergistic relationship with iron when it comes to healing.  That’s because the malaria parasite itself is iron-rich, and cannot live in the presence of artemisinin.

The combination works the same way to target cancerous cells.  It works because iron accumulates in cancerous cells as a result of special receptors that help cancer cells divide.  Those cells are called transferrin receptors, and their job is to bind and transport iron in blood serum.  Healthy cells likely have these receptors as well, but cancerous cells have them in greater abundance, which is why they can be targeted by the artemisinin-iron combination.

Ultimately, the artemisinin-iron combination causes the cancer cells to die, or enter a state of aptosis.

Bringing this Treatment to the Public

Experts say the sweet wormwood extract has been difficult to obtain at a reasonable price.  It is currently on its way to being mass-produced—and in the future, the French drugmaker Sanofi is expected to make 50 to 60 tons of artemisinin each year.  Sanofi says they’ll be striving to produce enough artemisinin to supply the global market.

In the meantime, supplements of artemisinin and iron are both readily available to consumers.  Experts recommend that you work closely with a qualified natural health practitioner along with your medical doctor if you are attempting to use artemisinin and iron to treat any medical condition, including cancer.