Artemisinin and its Ability to Fight Cancer with Purpose


Fighting cancer is an intricate process when done correctly; you want to target the cancer cells aggressively, especially in order to prevent metastasis, but you do not want to the harm healthy cells, especially to the point where your overall health becomes compromised. One Chinese herb, known as artemisinin, does exactly that: selectively targets cancer cells and destroys them while leaving healthy cells unaffected.[1]

Artemisinin as a Cancer- Fighting Medicine

Artemisinin’s original form is that of an extract, taken “from the sweet wormwood bush that was used in Chinese medicine as a fever cure for 500 or 600 years.”[2] Notably, “many studies have now been conducted to prove the sweet wormwood extract can effectively eradicate disease in the presence of iron. In fact, its use dates back thousands of years in China where it was used to treat malaria. Like cancerous cells, the malaria parasite cannot live in the presence of artemisinin because they are iron-rich.” [3]

Artemisinin, therefore, works to fight cancer in a unique, yet purposeful fashion, by targeting the known characteristics of cancer cells and how they differ from normal, healthy cells in order to kill the cancer cells specifically. In this process:

“cancer cells express a large concentration of cell surface transferrin receptors that facilitate uptake of the plasma iron-carrying protein transferrin via endocytosis. By covalently tagging artemisinin to transferrin, artemisinin could be selectively picked up and concentrated by cancer cells. Furthermore, both artemisinin and iron would be transported into the cell in one package. Once an artemisinin-tagged transferrin molecule is endocytosed, iron is released and reacts with artemisinin moieties tagged to transferrin. Formation of free radicals kills the cancer cell… artemisinin-tagged transferrin is highly selective and potent in killing cancer cells. Thus, artemisinin and artemisinin-tagged iron-carrying compounds could be developed into powerful anticancer drugs.” [4]

Its ability to interact with iron is especially important because “most cancer cells need more iron than normal cells to replicate DNA” due to their tendency to multiply at an extremely accelerated pace.1When artemisinin interacts with iron, it essentially ‘fools’ the cancer cell; it “picks up the compound without knowing that a bomb – artemisinin – is hidden inside,” thus resulting in its demise.1Thus, artemisinin is an extremely medicine because it innately understands how cancer cells function and works directly in order to eliminate them; they do not compromise a patient’s immune system, or the integrity of their healthy cells, which are also needed in order to maintain the homeostatic environment needed for the best health possible. These results have been replicated several times, first at the University of Washington, and have proven to be especially effective in fighting breast cancer. 

Patients with breast cancer can benefit very much from artemisinin-based treatments and therapies because of its’ unique relationship with iron; iron itself has a tendency to build up in breast tissue, in both healthy and cancer cells. When artemisinin is used, it kills the cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells alone. In one study, “it was found that artemisinin (the derivative), coupled with iron, can kill 98% of breast cancer cells in 16 hours. Alone, the herb caused a 28% reduction in breast cancer cells, but partnered with iron, the duo almost completely eliminated cancer. What may be even more interesting, normal cells were not negatively affected in this experiment by the treatment.” This differs from more traditional medicines such as radiation which just target entire groups of cells; because breast tissue is rich in cancer cells, the ability to distinguish healthy versus cancer cells is can make a major difference in how a patient feels during and after treatment.

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Artemisinin has been scientifically proven to fight cancer cells while preserving the quality and integrity of normal, healthy cells. This unique substance can dramatically assist the body in the fight against cancer when it is chemically compounded and integrated into well-balanced treatment plans. CMN provides alternative cancer treatment that is rooted in compassion: we strive to be compassionate to you, the patient, and to your body, treating you with integrity and medicines that fight the cancer while boosting the strength of your healthy cells. To get in touch with us regarding coming to CMN, you can contact us here o email us at; we look forward to assisting you!

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[1]“Artemisinin could selectively kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.” News Medical Life Sciences.2005.

[2]Lite, Jordan. “What is Artemisinin?” Scientific American.2008.

[3]Elizabeth, Erin. “This Chinese Herb (+ Iron) Kills Cancer Cells in 16 Hours.” Health Nut News.2017.

[4]Lai, H, Sasaki, T, and Singh, NP. “Targeted treatment of cancer with artemisinin and artemisinin-tagged iron-carrying compounds.” NCBI.2005.

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