Dr.med. Heinz Lüscher
Origin of the Artemisia annua
Around 300 different species of Artemisia (mugwort, wormwood) are found, mostly in temperate climate zones. Artemisia Annua specifically, has been well known in Chinese folk medicine for the last 2000 years. Only recently has it come to the attention of researcher’s because of its potent anti-malarial properties.
Efficacy against Malaria and Plasmodium
The main ingredient of the plant is Aartemisinin, a patented malaria drug, which is manufactured mostly in China and India. It is considered to be one of the best drugs against malaria, but as with all single substance drugs a few cases of drug resistance have been reported. Yet, if one makes use of a plant extract, drug resistance is practically impossible, because the plant contains more than 9 agents which are effective against malaria. The malaria parasite ‘Plasmodium’ is a single-celled parasite which in contrast to bacteria has a cell nucleus. One cannot develop resistance against a volley of several concomitant substances, which is surely not the case with mono-substances. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry works almost exclusively with mono-substances, and therefore several good anti-malarial drugs are now almost useless. There is a high risk that this could happen to Artemisinin.
The efficacy of Artemisia Annua against malaria has been confirmed by hundreds if not thousands of testimonies worldwide, people who have been healed from malaria just by using this plant extract. Through a simple plant called Artemisia Annua, the poorest people in Africa – who cannot afford expensive drugs – can be helped effectively.
No resistance by taking the unprocessed plant
It is important to know that with the use of the Artemisia Annua plant worldwide, no known cases of drug resistance have occurred and probably will not occur because of the biological interaction of the 10 different substances. In the case of malaria it is therefore important to use the complete plant extract and not only a drug. The clinical cure rate for malaria is 90% to 95 %, the patient is healthy even though the plasmodium may remain in the blood asymptomatically.
Efficacy against infections
The plant Artemisia Annua is very well researched. Apart from Arteminsinin, a further 245 different substances have already been identified and isolated, including numerous anti-inflammatory polyphenols. In contrast to most drugs, to date almost no side effects have been reported. The only contra-indications are for people suffering with stomach ulcers and/or stomach acid.
Efficacy against cancer
Observations have been made with Malaria patients who were using Artemisia Annua who also suffered with other serious diseases such as AIDS and cancer. Amazingly, these diseases have improved significantly during the treatment with Artemisia Annua. In fact, there are already many scientific studies which indicate successes. On the website of the U.S. national library of medicine (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) 497 general studies and 51 studies on cancer are listed on Artemisia Annua. Even the largest pharma-friendly cancer center in the world, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering, attested distinct anti-cancer properties in vitro to this plant (www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/artemisia-annua). Yet, to advertise the plant as a miracle cure would be frivolous. Further tests are necessary.
Artemisia – how it works
Artemisia Annua exhibits a chemically stable peroxide, which is unheard of in Chemistry, yet this remarkable phenomenon is found in God's creation. Plasmodia and cancer cells contain 10 to 20 times more iron ions than normal cells. The peroxide "breaks" this iron, which is immediately transformed into two very aggressive free radicals which then kill the affected cell rapidly. So the cancer cell gets ‘cancer’ and dies. Basically any type of cancer can be treated with Artemisia Annua. To date, there are very few practical or clinical studies and so little can be said about the success rate. Unfortunately, these studies would cost between CHF 1 million - CHF 10 million. Only the big pharmaceutical companies could afford such an investment but obviously they have no interest in doing so.
Efficacy against viral infections and AIDS
There is even strong evidence that suggests viruses can be fought with Artemisia Annua, especially in the early stages of a disease. Among the cured malaria patients, there were those who also suffered with AIDS. In these cases the disease was improved and in some cases even cured. The anti-viral qualities of Artemisia Annua are demonstrated by the following studies:
In my personal environment I get feedback from friends who take Artemisia ground powder at the first sign of a cold / flu and feel in perfect health again the next day. These reports are encouraging, but there is not yet a scientific basis to support the claim.
Artemisia as tea
Artemisia leaf cut can be used to make a tea that also works very well. For this purpose, 4 times a day 1 tablespoon of tea leaves are infused with hot water (max. 80°C) and left to steep for 10 minutes. Tip: If you have a sore throat gargle with the tea and then swallow it!
Artemisia as granules
Artemisia is also available as granules in convenient sticks. These are especially suitable for children or people who have difficulty swallowing capsules. Mostly the granules are prepared in such a way that the bitter taste of Artemisia is not felt in the mouth, which is a plus especially for children.
There is now evidence of an effect against bacteria yet the evidence is still sparse. There are observations of anti-bacterial properties in vitro on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Slightly better is the data available on leishmaniasis and the African sleeping sickness, caused by protozoa, which however is not applicable in a European context.
Artemisia Annua can have a preventive or curative effect on the following:
- viral infections
- bacterial infections
- various types of cancer
- Herpes simplex (fever blister)
- Fever / Flu
In Switzerland and the EU, Artemisia Annua is not approved as a medicinal herb (Artemisia vulgaris only as a spice). It would be interesting to conduct research on a small scale and on a voluntary basis to determine the efficacy of this plant against the above mentioned diseases. To date no side effects have been observed by me or people working in my sphere of influence. Please contact me if you are interested in any aspect of this Plant.
As we are aware of Artemisia’s anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial action, we needed to develop a topical cream to assist with the healing of various skin complaints. We have found the cream to be effective in the treatment of:
- Anal Fissure
- Facial Rosacea
- Herpes Simplex (Fever blister)
- Haemorrhoids (Piles)
- Skin infections
- Skin fungal infections
- Itchiness due to insect bites
- Open wounds (superficial)
Selected studies on Artemisia annua
- The genus Artemisia: a comprehensive review
- Artemisia annua in "Natur und Heilen 08/17" (german)
- A Systematic Review of Anti-malarial Properties, Immunosuppressive Properties, Anti-inflammatory Properties, and Anti-cancer Properties of Artemisia Annua
- Dried whole-plant Artemisia annua slows evolution of malaria drug resistance and overcomes resistance to artemisinin
- Artemisia annua dried leaf tablets treated malaria resistant to ACT and i.v. artesunate: Case reports
- First-time comparison of the in vitro antimalarial activity of Artemisia annua herbal tea and artemisinin
- Artemisinin production in Artemisia annua: studies in planta and results of a novel delivery method for treating malaria and other neglected diseases
- Evaluation and pharmacovigilance of projects promoting cultivation and local use of Artemisia annua for malaria
- Dried-leaf Artemisia annua: A practical malaria therapeutic for developing countries?
- Artemisia annua as a self-reliant treatment for malaria in developing countries
- The potential of Artemisia annua L. as a locally produced remedy for malaria in the tropics: agricultural, chemical and clinical aspects
- Anti-Helicobacter pylori potential of artemisinin and its derivatives
- Antibacterial activity of some Artemisia species extract
- Artemisinin inhibits inflammatory response via regulating NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways
- Effect of Artemisia annua extract on treating active rheumatoid arthritis: A randomized controlled trial
- The Antiviral Activities of Artemisinin and Artesunate
- Antiviral effect of artemisinin from Artemisia annua against a model member of the Flaviviridae family, the bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV)
- Anticancer Activity of Artemisinin and its Derivatives
- Durchbruch in der Diabetesforschung: Pankreaszellen produzieren Insulin durch Malariamedikament (german)
- Scientists develop new cancer-killing compound from salad plant
- Dried leaf Artemisia annua efficacy against non-small cell lung cancer
- Artemisinin and its derivatives: a potential treatment for leukemia
- The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on Artemisia annua
- In vitro and in vivo antileishmanial activity of Artemisia annua L. leaf powder and its potential usefulness in the treatment of uncomplicated cutaneous leishmaniasis in humans
- Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Artemisia annua essential oil