Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gwydion Stone

Wormwood Extract Kills Cancer Cells

Recommended Posts

Wormwood Extract Kills Cancer Cells

 

Medieval as it sounds, scientists are testing a recipe of wormwood and iron on breast cancer cells, and so far the results are encouraging. In a new study, researchers report that artemesinin--a derivative of the wormwood plant--kills iron-enriched breast cancer cells but doesn't harm many healthy ones. Artemesinin's destructive properties are triggered by higher than normal levels of iron in cancer cells.

 

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." The next step, says Poser, is to treat a mixture of normal and cancerous cells, instead of segregating the two. Lai and others are also interested in artemesinin's effect on other cancers.

 

-- Deborah Hill 30 Nov 2001

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About the same project:

 

Researchers Blend Folk Treatment, High Tech for Promising Anti-cancer Compound

 

Description

Researchers at the University of Washington have blended the past with the present in the fight against cancer, synthesizing a promising new compound from an ancient Chinese remedy to selectively target cancer cells.

 

 

 

Newswise Researchers at the University of Washington have blended the past with the present in the fight against cancer, synthesizing a promising new compound from an ancient Chinese remedy that uses cancer cells' rapacious appetite for iron to make them a target.

 

The substance, artemisinin, is derived from the wormwood plant and has been used in China since ancient times to treat malaria. Earlier work by Henry Lai and Narendra Singh, both UW bioengineers, indicated that artemisinin alone could selectively kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.

 

The new compound appears to vastly improve that deadly selectivity, according to a new study that appeared in a recent issue of the journal Life Sciences. In addition to Lai and Singh, co-authors include Tomikazu Sasaki and Archna Messay, both UW chemists.

 

"By itself, artemisinin is about 100 times more selective in killing cancer cells as opposed to normal cells," Lai said. "In this study, the new artemisinin compound was 34,000 times more potent in killing the cancer cells as opposed to their normal cousins. So the tagging process appears to have greatly increased the potency of artemisinins cancer-killing properties."

 

The compound has been licensed to Chongqing Holley Holdings and Holley Pharmaceuticals, its U.S. subsidiary, to be developed for possible use in humans. Although the compound is promising, officials say, potential use for people is still years away.

 

In the study, researchers exposed human leukemia cells and white blood cells to the compound. While the leukemia cells quickly died, the white blood cells remained essentially unharmed.

 

The trick to the compound's effectiveness, according to Lai, appears to be in taking advantage of how cancer cells function.

 

Because they multiply so rapidly, most cancer cells need more iron than normal cells to replicate DNA. To facilitate that, cancer cells have inlets on their surface, known as transferrin receptors, in greater numbers than other cells. Those receptors allow quick transport into the cell of transferrin, an iron-carrying protein found in blood.

 

In creating the compound, researchers bound artemisinin to transferrin at the molecular level. The combination of the two ingredients appears to fool the cancer cell.

 

"We call it a Trojan horse because the cancer cell recognizes transferrin as a natural, harmless protein," Lai said. "So the cell picks up the compound without knowing that a bomb artemisinin is hidden inside."

 

Once inside the cell, the artemisinin reacts with the iron, spawning highly reactive chemicals called "free radicals." The free radicals attack other molecules and the cell membrane, breaking it apart and killing the cell.

 

According to Lai, that process is what initially piqued his interest in artemisinin about 10 years ago. The wormwood extract was used centuries ago in China, but the treatment became lost over time. In the 1970s, it was rediscovered as part of an ancient manuscript containing medical remedies, including a recipe that used a wormwood extract. The medical community soon discovered that the extract, artemisinin, worked well against malaria, and it is currently used for that purpose throughout Asia and Africa.

 

Artemisinin combats malaria because the malaria parasite collects high iron concentrations as it metabolizes hemoglobin in the blood. As science began to understand how artemisinin functioned, Lai said, he began to wonder if the process had implications for cancer treatment.

 

"I started thinking that maybe we could use this knowledge to selectively target cancer cells," he said. "So far, the outlook appears good."

 

The next step in development under the Holley licensing agreement will likely be testing in animals and, if that pans out, human trials to gauge the compound's effectiveness. The current study was funded by the Artemisinin Research Foundation and Chongqing Holley Holdings.

 

 

The article is available on-line at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science. Click the "journals" button and look under Life Sciences, Volume 76, Issue 11. The article is No. 9 on the Web page (page 1267-1279).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, artemisinin is a phytochemical component of Artemisia annua (Quing-Hao in TCM, with the common names of Sweet Annie or Sweet wormwood.) The use of common names in technical scientific reporting is unfortunate, since reference to wormwood in any context will most often be understood as Artemisia absinthium.

 

Regardless, archaic absinthe recipes (rather, those recipes that predate large-scale production of the elixir that came to be known as absinthe) did call for Sweet Annie; futher, these tonics were known to be used in the treatment of malaria, in addition to usage as general panaceas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an impressive first post, ElizaCharlotte.

 

Regardless of the source of artemisinin, anything that combats breast cancer is good news. Too many of us have lost dear ones to something that should have been defeated long ago. If it also happens to improve the image of my favorite beverage, better still.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're purchasing absinthe from the marketplace, it would be moderately useful in combatting malaria, but primarily in a prophylactic sense. A. absinthium is useful in supporting immune function, which is it's primary action against malaria and many other potential ailments.

 

A. annua, commonly called Sweet Annie or Sweet wormwood, is the plant source of artemisinin, which specifically targets malaria, as well as the many cancerous cells which are highly concentrated with iron. Non-commercial recipes for Absinthe call for A. annua, one of the many reasons why archaic, pre-commercial formulas were widely used as panaceas... medicine for all that ails you.

 

Also, there is absolutely no need for synthesized artemisinin. The excuse for industrializing, and PATENTING, the remedy (which has been known for many hundreds of years in China, remember) is that artemisinin metabolizes very quickly, and is active for only approximately 2 hours following consumption. The pharmaceutical version combines artemisinin with a chemical agent that extends the time of medicinal action. This approach denies the benefit of whole plant medicine, which generally results in side effects, and creates a drug that is PATENTED and EXPENSIVE.

 

The majority of people on the planet who need this treatment are exceptionally poor. Once again, Western corporations find a solution that is driven by capitalism rather than science and common sense.

 

The real solution? A. annua plants and seeds! Processed as an infusion- all you need is off-the-boil water - it is perfectly effective when consumed as a beverage throughout the day. Just drink it! People can then grow their own medicine and use it as needed, without suffering from the greed of the pharmaceutical industry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you're purchasing absinthe from the marketplace, it would be moderately useful in combatting malaria, but primarily in a prophylactic sense. A. absinthium is useful in supporting immune function, which is it's primary action against malaria and many other potential ailments.

 

Good enough for me. An absinthe a day keeps the malaria at bay.

 

As long as your full of something.

 

I don't think that's an issue around here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so what I hear is drink absinthe at least every two hours.

 

Seriously, having grown up in a third world "disease ridden poor people can't get a break land", I really find that kind of info helpful. I have seen a lot of "constant gardener-esque" type things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Once again, Western corporations find a solution that is driven by capitalism rather than science and common sense.

 

The real solution? A. annua plants and seeds! Processed as an infusion- all you need is off-the-boil water - it is perfectly effective when consumed as a beverage throughout the day. Just drink it! People can then grow their own medicine and use it as needed, without suffering from the greed of the pharmaceutical industry.

 

I suppose there is merit in the comment about capitalism getting in the way of a practical solution. However, given the problem of drug resistance in malaria, it might be prudent to apply some scientific common sense and make sure this new therapy is used wisely. No sense using uncontrolled dosages that might lead to over (or more importantly under) dosing. To anthropomorphize, these parasites are crafty devils and the range of available therapeutic agents is thin, at best. If a home-grown solution could be made available and utilized appropriately, then I'm all for it. Of course, the same critique can be applied to Big Pharma. It's not like they manage to avoid the development of drug resistance just because the drugs are "refined" and dispensed under the supervision of "competent" M.D.s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is interesting.

 

Any thoughts on absinthe's purposed effect on Malaria relative to Lyme patients? Many researchers consider Lyme very similar in the way it attacks the body.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A. absinthium is useful in supporting immune function, which is it's primary action against malaria and many other potential ailments.

 

 

Got a reference for that?

 

All I can find is generic stuff like that ("supports immune function"), nothing about a particular mode of action.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dug up some homeopathic related info supporting claims for Wormwood in combination with Black Walnut (green hulls) and Cloves being used as a parasiticide in the body. Just curious if anyone has ever heard of such claims?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those sound like the suggestions of Hulda Clark. She suggests doses of wormwood and black walnut as part of a regimen to rid the body of parasites. The treatment also requires using a "zapper" where one uses low-voltage high-frequency waves to further rid the body of parasites that she claims are the cause of pretty much any ailment. Her writings are amateurish and her work is very controversial but my mother swears by it. Lets put it this way, if I got cancer I wouldn't dismiss her theories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The treatment also requires using a "zapper" where one uses low-voltage high-frequency waves to further rid the body of parasites that she claims are the cause of pretty much any ailment.
I'll stick with my AFDB, thank you very much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always wear my AFDB to the forum. Just to be on the safe side. Besides, it really helps concentrate the secondaries and helps to keep them from dissipating. I hate dissipation. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hiram, you must have been to the 'UFO Welcome Center' in Bowman, SC off of I-26. He wears a AFDB to communicate with the aliens to now when they are arriving.

 

Shit you not.

 

post-234-1150207869_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I'm old-fashioned. I like to see real data that proves something works and the mechanism of action, rather than three testimonials (usually all written in the same "voice").

 

By the way, Hulda Clark has her very own section on Quackwatch.org.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep an open mind too . . . but there's a difference between having an open mind so new options can be tested, and accepting things on blind faith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×