Artemisia and Moringa: Powerful combo against cancer and other maladies?

Learner

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Some time ago my aunt told me about information she had gathered in several places, which makes a point that ingesting Artemisia annua (also called "Sweet Annie") and Moringa oleifera in combination is a powerful combo in the fight of many cancers. This was in regard to a family friend who had been battling breast cancer at that time. My aunt sent me that information and I forwarded it to the family friend, in case she wanted considering it besides chemotherapy. (She had been open to IV vitamin C in combination with chemo, however.) In the wake of this and due to some other occurrences later I started researching some scientific and other information about anti-cancer properties of Artemisia annua and Moringa oleifera, but then shelved it as the things which had been prompting this research relaxed back then. However, recent occurrences made me review my notes and assembling them in order to pass them, and so I thought to put them forward here on the forum as well - in case they may prove helpful in some way.

In preview, the main information is as follows: Artemisia annua, which is used against malaria and other parasites (I've seen it mentioned on the Autoimmune Thread several times as well as on the Corona Thread, therein also here and here), has been researched widely for its anti-cancerous properties too (also mentioned on the forum, like on the Hemochromatosis Thread). And Moringa oleifera, a plant which is quite rich in nutrients (also mentioned here and then, but not been covered as much on the forum like Artemisia), which I recommended to people around me and which am I using myself (almost daily) as tea for a power boost, seems to prop up the powers of Artemisia.

In this vein, this post means to be concentrated on the cancer angle mainly, but the connection which is to be elucidated here may certainly be effective against other ailments Artemisia is used as a treatment for.

On Artemisia

First, here is an article from a magazine of natural health which was among the information my aunt had sent me. It summarises several benefits that Artemisia annua more or less has been shown to hold, in regards to cancer, but to other issues as well. This is an annotated translation from the German PDF:

Artemisia annua - New Hope in Cancer Therapy


The annual mugwort (Artemisia annua) gained attention in the West in the 1970s, mainly because of its spectacular effect on malaria. But this medicinal plant can do much more: in China it has been used successfully for hundreds of years against parasites, bacteria, viruses and fungi as well as to stabilize the immune system. Recent studies now indicate that Artemisia annua has promising effects even in diabetes and cancer.

Artemisia annua, a relative of our common mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), owes its meteoric rise mainly to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as an anti-malaria plant. During the Vietnam War, China was feverishly searching for a remedy for the infectious disease that killed thousands of Viet Cong soldiers. More than 500 scientists were recruited for this secret military project.

In 1969, professor Youyou Tu finally found a reference to "Quing Hao" in old writings from the third century - that's what Artemisia annua is called in Chinese: a miraculous herb that was supposed to slow down the growth of malaria parasites. Youyou Tu tested the described extract on mice suffering from malaria and found out: The malaria pathogens were killed one hundred percent! For the discovery of artemisinin, Youyou Tu was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2015. In the meantime, the artemisinin-based combination preparation is considered the anti-malaria drug worldwide and has saved the lives of millions of people.

But what if the whole plant is even more effective than its individual parts? What if it not only cures malaria, but also many other diseases? Because evidence of this can also be found in Chinese sources. For example, 2000 years ago Artemisia annua was not only successfully used to treat malaria and fever, but also to disinfect wounds, digestive disorders, haemorrhoids, infections of all kinds, joint problems, skin problems and even as a cure for cancer. Meanwhile the broad healing power of the plant has been proven in more than 500 scientific studies.

Fire extinguisher for free radicals

Almost spectacular is the high ORAC value (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) of Artemisia annua. This reflects the antioxidative potential of a plant - its ability to eliminate free radicals or aggressive oxygen compounds. Oxidation can be equated with cell aging and premature aging processes. Our brain is particularly susceptible to this, as about 60 percent of its dry matter consists of fatty acids that easily turn rancid. While our domestic antioxidant star, the blueberry, has an ORAC value of 2,630, Artemisia annua tops it off with an incredible 72,820 points.

{Annotation: As to this source, the blueberry has an ORAC value of 4,822 µ-mol TE/100 g and according to that source, the orac value for raw blueberries amounts to 9,621 µ-mol TE/100 g. As for Artemisia, other sources give much less ORAC values than the author of this article claims, but it may nonetheless be considerable as high in effect}.

Antioxidant components of the Artemisia leaves are, besides the minerals mentioned above such as zinc and selenium, above all polyphenols such as quercetin and certain acids such as caffeoylquinic acid. The latter also has a positive effect on digestive system disorders, high cholesterol levels, water retention and fatty liver. The flavonoids, e.g. Kaempferol and Rutin, are also antioxidant and help with inflammation, allergies, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, asthma and cancer.

Sesquiterpenes, like the artemisinin mentioned above, also have a strong antioxidant potential. The essential fatty acids with antioxidative effects contained in these compounds are germ horseradish, transpinocarveol, beta-linane, beta-caryophylls and about 20 other fatty acids. Dr. Reinhold Schmidt, neurologist at the University of Graz, was able to prove that fruit and vegetables with high ORAC values can compensate and even reverse memory loss and learning deficits in old mice. He suspects the same effect in humans. So with Artemisia annua we can not only do something good for our body, but above all stay mentally fit and agile.

Strong effect against bacteria and fungi

It is mainly the essential oils in the Artemisia plant that have an antibacterial and antifungal (fungus or spore killing) effect. Camphor, cineol, alpha-pinene and artemisia ketones have proven to be particularly effective. These ingredients help against a variety of known bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Shigella, which cause diarrhoea, or Pseudomonas aeruginosa - a rod bacterium that causes purulent infections. In one study, artemisinin also showed a powerful effect against drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis - the pathogen that causes the dreaded tuberculosis - and against fungal Artemisia oils. In addition to the well-known pathogen Candida albicans, they also help against Aspergillus Fumigatus - a dangerous microorganism that is one of the most common hospital germs.

Study situation on Artemisia annua and cancer

A few years ago, Prof. Thomas Efferth, then at the German Cancer Research Center in Wiesbaden, Germany, discovered that artemisinin seems to work in a similar way in cancer as in malaria, the secret of its effect being its reaction with iron, which is found in high concentrations in malaria pathogens. When artemisinin comes into contact with the iron, a chemical reaction takes place which produces free radicals: The real weapon against the malaria parasites. These attack the cell membranes, literally tearing them apart and thus destroying the pathogens. Since cancer cells also consume large amounts of iron in order to reproduce their DNA during cell division, they also contain much higher iron concentrations than normal cells. Because they have many transferrin receptors on their surface, they are able to absorb a particularly high amount of iron. These receptors bind the iron particles and transport them into the cell interior. In this way, the cancer cells literally pump themselves full of iron. If artemisinin is administered, the same reaction is set in motion as in malaria: massive release of oxygen radicals in the cancer cell leads to its destruction.

This was confirmed by findings in breast cancer cell cultures. Eight hours after treatment with artemisinin, 75 percent of the cells were destroyed; after 16 hours, virtually no cancer cells were alive. Even more impressive were tests with leukemia cells. These were completely destroyed after only eight hours. Cell lines from leukaemia, colon cancer, melanomas, breast, ovarian, prostate, brain and kidney cancer also showed plant substance has the same destructive effect on cancer cells. The crucial point is that artemisinin acts selectively - it is toxic only to cancer cells, while it is ineffective on healthy cells.

In addition, it interferes with the formation of new blood vessels in cancer cells, slows down the formation of metastases and even leads to apoptosis - a kind of suicide mechanism of cancer cells.
Scientists from the BioQuant Centre at the University of Heidelberg and the German Cancer Research Institute (DKFZ) have tested the effect of the artemisia derivative "Artesunat". The cancer cells examined showed destroyed mitochondria. The researchers spoke of "artesunate-induced, programmed cell death of the cancer cell" and published their research results in the "Journal of Biological Chemistry".

In addition, the scientists found that the artesunate blocks those mechanisms in the cancer cells that are necessary for their survival and spread - such as the recycling of cell components with limited nutrient supply. Another study involving 120 patients suffering from advanced lung cancer also showed that the survival rate could be significantly improved by treatment with artesunate.

Breakthrough in diabetes research

Annual mugwort also appears to have great potential in the control of type I and type II diabetes. The CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine Austrian Academy of Sciences issued a press release in December 2016: "Breakthrough in Diabetes Research" - subtitled "Pancreatic cells produce insulin by malaria drug" {an article in English about that can be found here}. Artemisinin alpha cells of the pancreas seem to be transformed into insulin-producing beta cells - the cells that are destroyed by the immune system in congenital type I diabetes. Dr. Stefan Kubicek and his team discovered that artemisinin switches the genetic switch that leads to the conversion of alpha-in beta cells.

In addition, the latest research results indicate that the active ingredients of the plant are also able to reduce the significantly elevated blood sugar level in the case of so-called adult-onset diabetes - type II diabetes.
In particular, the insulin secretion of beta cells is stimulated by the ingredients of the medicinal plant and the activity of the insulin is increased. In addition, the recently discovered hormone betatrophin is activated, which causes beta cells in the pancreas to multiply faster, become larger and produce more insulin overall.

{Unfortunately, the author doesn't mention more of the research on Artemisia and diabetes; but this would be another interesting angle to follow.}

Correct use and dosage

Artemisia can be used both preventively to strengthen the immune system and to treat diseases.

Artemisia annua is taken internally in the form of tea, powder or capsules, which are available in almost every pharmacy. Mugwort owes its rather bitter taste to its large number of healthy bitter substances which stimulate digestion. To prepare tea, the leaves of the plant can also be ground in a coffee grinder. It is important to leave the tea to steep for at least ten minutes so that the polyphenols can develop their antioxidant effect. The Artemisia powder can simply be stirred into yoghurt, which can be sweetened with a tablespoon of liquid honey or agave syrup. Alternatively, you can crush a banana and mix it with the powder, some honey and a teaspoon of cold-pressed oil.

Since most of us are not used to such highly concentrated bitter substances, it is recommended to start with a small amount of just one teaspoon of tea and a knife tip of powder per day and gradually increase it to one tablespoon of tea and two teaspoons of Artemisia powder.

Artemisia is also helpful in the form of ointment - for acne, eczema, skin fungus, herpes, itching due to insect bites, psoriasis and warts, among other things. If you want to make the ointment yourself, mix ten grams of powdered artemisia leaves with 100 grams of olive or castor oil and heat this mixture in a water bath. Let it simmer there for an hour, filter it through a cloth and stir in ten grams of melted beeswax. Then pour the whole thing into clean storage jars from the pharmacy. The ointment can be kept at room temperature for at least one year.

Artemisia annua can also be grown in your own garden or on the balcony. The small seeds are sown on the windowsill in February. In October the leaves should be harvested before flowering, dried and ground if necessary. The plant grows to about the size of peppermint and has a lovely scent.

Especially in our modern times, in which the immune system of many people is heavily burdened by environmental toxins and resistant germs are a cause for concern, we can build a stable immune system with Artemisia annua and effectively alleviate many diseases. To what extent the one-year-old mugwort is actually successful in fighting cancer remains to be seen. In any case, with Artemisia annua we can protect and support our body gently and beneficially.

Barbara Simonsohn

Status: August 2017

Referred Studies:
  • Study on cells of breast cancer:
    Study of Artesunate in Metastatic Breast Cancer. Efferth et al., Inter. J. Oncology 18: 767, 2001 (auch unter Study of Artesunate in Metastatic Breast Cancer - Full Text View - ClinicalTrials.gov)
  • Study on cervical cancer:
    First Study of Oral Artenimol-R in Advanced Cervical Cancer: Clinical Benefit, Tolerability and Tumor Markers. Frans Herwig Jansen, Innocent Adoubi, Kouassi Comoe J.C., Tinne De Cnodder, Nicolas Jansen, Alexander Tschukalow and Thomas Efferth, Anticancer Research 31:4417-4422 (2011)
  • Study on apoptosis (suicide) of the cancer cell:
    Artesunate activates mitochondrial apoptosis in breast cancer cells via iron-catalysed lysomalreactive oxygen species production. Hamacher-Brady, A. u.a., J. Biol Chem, 25.2.2011; 286 (8): 6587-6601, DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.210047
  • Study on colon cancer:
    EBioMedicine. A Randomised, Double Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study of Oral Artesunate Therapy for Colorectal Cancer. Sanjeev Krishna, Senthil Ganapathi, Irina Chis Ster, Mohamed E.M. Saeed, Matt Cowan, Caroline Finlayson, Hajnalka Kovacsevics, Herwig Jansen, Peter G. Kremsner, Thomas Efferth, Devinder Kumar. 2014
  • Generally:
    From ancient herb to versatile, modern drug: Artemisia annua and artemisinin for cancer therapy. Thomas Efferth, Johannes Gutenberg University, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Mainz, Elsevier 2017
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
The fact that the high amount of iron in cancer cells (likewise as in the malaria pathogen) makes these cells particularly vulnerable and doomed to destruction in presence of artemisinin (a constituent of Artemisia) has been mentioned in the Hemochromatrosis Thread too.

In summary: We have a broad range of cancers which are targeted by Artemisia, like breast cancer, leukemia, colon cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer etc. But it also fights a whole host of pathogens and can be used externally for skin problems, warts, insect stings etc. as well.

And how does Moringa fit into the equation?


Moringa oleifera, originating from India, but now being cultivated in many subtropical and tropical climates globally, is a plant which has been researched for its highly nutritious profile and anti-cancerous properties as well. It can also be used for water purification. A German page which offers Moringa presents an excerpt from a book chapter by Barbara Simonsohn - the same person who authored above article, and which she dedicates to the Moringa plant and how it is researched in regards to cancer. The page authors then make a comment in addition to that excerpt, of which I quote the relevant part translated into English:

For cancer we recommend a combination of Moringa and additionally the vital substance Artemesia.

In tumor patients, Artemisia certainly has the higher tumor-inhibiting effect, but Moringa supports the development of the immune system and the inhibition of inflammation around tumors so strongly that a combination of the two works better than a plant species alone.

Hans-Martin Hirt, a German pharmacist, runs an association called anamed, which supports natural medicine in developing countries (mostly in Africa). They put large focus on Artemisia annua. In a long piece, which is also available in English, Hirt describes a certain type of Artemisia annua (called Artemisia annua anamed or A-3, which has been grown organically) and how it can be cultivated and used as (complementary or alternative) remedy. He emphasized, however, that it is recommended to take it together with Moringa:

What role does Moringa play?

Answer:
Moringa oleifera powdered leaves are used as a tumour substance in many countries. Its main usage is as a general immune systems stimulus. We often use it in combination with Artemisia for long-term treatments (AIDS, cancer, borreliosis etc.) Aids patients in Africa have emphasised to us that Artemisia therapy must always be supplemented by Moringa. Scientific literature states that Moringa slows the enzymatic decomposition of medicines (footnote 1). This could then mean that a combination of Moringa with Artemisia leads to Artemisia compounds staying in the bloodstream for longer: 501/Moringa oleifera powdered leaves 100g

Here Hirt gives a protocol, when Artemisia and Moringa are taken together (paraphrized):

Proposition for a protocol
  • Proposition: making a blood and/or tumor analysis today and then take 10g A-3 per day during 6 weeks (f. ex. as powder in the morning and evening, each time 5 g in yoghurt or in mineral water) [For those who don't eat or can't tolerate yoghurt, Artemisia tea might be an option. I've seen some forumites posting about it in the Autoimmune Thread.]
  • additionally, if wanted: taking 10 g Moringa per day
  • after 6 weeks: repetition of analysis => doctor should be consulted on a weekly basis for controlling results during this "trial run"
In summary: Moringa enhances the effects of Artemisia (as in the form of artemisinin) because it kind of works as an "assistant", giving leeway to artemisinin, while it also stimulates the immune system.

On Artemisia, Moringa and chemotherapy and medication

It seems, that the combination of both herbs is tolerated well when doing chemotherapy (link leads to PDF in German) can even alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy and lowers the resistance of cancers to it. But there also is a caveat in regards to parallel medication:

Artemisia can be used for all types of cancer, except perhaps leukemia, because some people have seen improvements and some have seen deterioration. Artemisinin is also produced synthetically and is in itself a chemotherapeutic agent (Artensunate, since 1996). However, the Artemisia plant contains twenty other antitumoral ingredients as well as immunostimulating astralgin, coumarin and eupatorin and has practically no side effects. On the contrary, if taken together with chemotherapy, it can alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy and also reduce the development of resistance to chemotherapy, because artemisinin also has this property. However, one important factor argues against combining Artemisia annua with anything other than the immune stimulant Moringa.

Artemisinin leads to increased formation of the enzyme cytochrome P450, which is involved in detoxification, and is therefore rapidly degraded. Moringa inhibits the enzyme and therefore prolongs the effect of artemisinin. Both together are therefore ideal.
However, since many drugs are also broken down via cytochrome P450, the concomitant use of drugs can lead to possible interactions with immunosuppressants, chemotherapeutics, antibiotics, antimycotics, antidepressants, statins, SSRis, calcium channel blockers. This speaks for an application only in times when no medication is taken (please consult your physician; for a list of medications see also the Internet under Cytochrome P450.) At least Moringa should be taken additionally, as the effect on cytochrome P450 could be cancelled by the combination.

But some doctors are weary (link leads to PDF in German) if it comes to Artemisia and chemotherapy (snippet translated from German):

The results so far sound promising. However, it is still unclear in which dosage a therapy is most effective and when serious side effects overshadow the positive effects. This is because even though artemisinin and its derivatives are generally ( aside from headaches) regarded as well tolerated: their combination with other drugs can be problematic. For example, fatal liver toxicities occurred in two patients with brain tumours who had received chemotherapy, Chinese herbs or dichloroacetate at the same time (Efferth T et al. / Arch Toxicol 2017 and Uhl M, Schwab S, Efferth T / Front Oncol 2016). It shows that even if each drug on its own has a low risk of side effects, the combination with other drugs - also from naturopathy - can lead to complications.

Artemisinins can also, at least theoretically, influence the efficacy of numerous drugs through their potential to affect certain liver enzymes. It is still unclear whether the simultaneous administration of artemisinins with chemotherapy can lead to undesired interactions. Some therapists therefore recommend taking them after completion of chemotherapy. {Or if sharing this doubt, maybe it can be taken in the intervals between chemotherapy sessions.}

And there's an addition (from here) about medication (paraphrized / summarised):

Artemisia tea and cytostatic drugs: Pro and Contra

  • Contra: Artemisinin molecule in the tea causes enzymatic increase (Cytochrome P450) => causes faster decomposition of certain cytostatics in liver (like vinblastine, cincristine, iriniotecan, paclitaxel, docetaxel, busulphan, etoposide, tenoposide and possibly mehtotrexate)
  • recommendation here: not using Artemisia tea with cytostatic therapy, but at other times
  • Pro of combining both: Sometimes Artemisin inhibits resistance of cancer cells against cytostatic drugs. And if one takes Moringa powder, Artemisia side effect (enzyme-induction) is inhibited as well.
  • conclusion: discussing the issue with doctor

In summary: It seems that Moringa alleviates Artemisia side effects when the latter is taken in parallel or in combination with other drugs like cytostatica; which include chemotherapy.

Additional note: Artemisia and Corona

Artemisia annua has been mentioned in the Corona Thread as possible alternative to Hydroxycloroquine, for treatment of corona. And there's also this article on Sott about Madagascar, which issued Artemisia containing mixtures to other African countries, in order to help them battle corona. In the face of above information I wonder, if Moringa was to be included as well, how effective these mixtures would be then.
 

Learner

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
An additional note:

I haven't tried Artemisia myself yet, only, as mentioned above, Moringa in the form of tea for which I take 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried and hackled Moringa leaves and pour hot water over them in a cup. I obtained those leaves in a 500g bag from moringa-deutschland.com (which was quite pricey), which sells this product from a German company that organically cultivates Moringa trees on plantages at Teneriffe. Due to the volcanic soil there those Moringa plants are claimed as particularly nutritious and high in minerals.

For me that claim proved true so far and a cup gives me a boost of energy. It almost tastes like veggie soup. Last winter I poured hot bone broth over the hackled leaves, added some salt and found that to be particularly delicious. And it also helped (and helps) me to battle cold symptoms, strengthening the immune system. (There's a documentation about Moringa and the mentioned company, with English subtitles. This documentary was recommended by my aunt as well.)

Right now the provider doesn't have this product in supply, and I am going to ask them when it might become available again. As it is cultivated on Teneriffe, there may be tight restrictions in cultivation and delivery due to corona measures.

That's it so far. However, my little research made me curious on trying Artemisia in combination with Moringa as well, due to the many benefits both plants are showing and their synergistic benefits.
 

Learner

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Just thought to share a little update about this: Meanwhile I obtained dried Artemisia for tea (from the same source like the Moringa) and consume it together with Moringa when I have to work at the concert hall, coming into contact with many vaccinated people. Next to other compounds from the thread based on Gaby's Protection Protocol it seems to prove helpful thus far.

I am still experimenting with the dosages of Artemisia and Moringa in either tea and sometimes bonebroth - the latter of which seems to neutralize the bitter taste of Artemisia somewhat (at least to me).
 
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