Artemisinin

November 12, 2012

Artemisinin

Cancer. A word guaranteed to strike fear into anyone who hears it from their doctor. And why is that? Billions of dollars have been spent on research into the disease and to try and find a cure in the last 40 years alone. With what result? Very little if truth be told. If this huge amount of cash was an investment opportunity it would have failed! Cancer remains a major cause of death for over 500,000 in the US alone – with no sign of any changes to that statistic in the pipeline. Of course cancer is now big business – research and treatment. Multi-national pharmaceutical companies appear to be more interested in their bottom line than finding that magic bullet which would help so many cancer sufferers.

Natural ways to treat cancer

However there are alternatives available in the natural world which have the potential to treat cancer. Interestingly little or no public funding is channeled into researching alternative and complementary medicine and of course the big pharmaceutical companies won’t invest in research in this field since natural remedies can’t really be patented and so that means they won’t make any money on their investments.

Artemisinin

Artemisinin (or wormwood extract) is an herb which has been successfully used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years – generally for the treatment of malaria. Since around 1970 the drug has been growing in popularity again for the treatment of drug resistant malaria but it has also proved useful the treatment of many cancers. There are those that view Artemisinin as a cancer bomb its’ use has proved so effective. It is thought that the herb releases extremely reactive free radicals which kill both malaria parasites and cancer cells. This is due to the huge amounts of iron in the abnormal cells of both diseases and it is this iron which then causes the breakdown of atoms in Artemisinin and so releasing the free radicals.

Chemotherapy – the usual treatment for most cancers – is toxic to healthy cells as well as to the cancerous ones, however, with Artemisinin this does not seem to be the case as itappears only to damage the cancer cells. Studies have shown no significant toxicity from the drug, results that are different from chemotherapy where toxicity is a well known side effect.

Forms of Artemisinin

Whilst clinical trial results are noticeably by their absence there are numerous individual reports which seem to indicate that Artemisinin in both animals and humans with advanced cancer. This drug comes in three forms -

  • Artemisinin

  • Artesunate

  • Artemether

The medicine is taken orally on an empty stomach and appears to be well absorbed. The drug should only be taken for a few days – your alternative practitioner will advise you on this – as resistance appears to build up in the intestine. After a break of several days you can then resume treatment.

Artemisinin is an inexpensive, readily available possible treatment for cancer. It has a proven safety record and may be an alternative treatment where people prefer to use alternative therapies or where conventional treatments appear to have failed.

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