Have you heard of sweet wormwood?
This amazing plant that has been used by Chinese healers for two millennia now was first used as a remedy for digestive tract disorders.
It was also used in poor sanitary conditions were there was a prevalence of insect-borne diseases.
In a recent study, scientists have uncovered a compound found in the plant that can destroy cancerous cells.
It is believed that this compound which is already being used in the treatment of malaria is 1,200 times more effective than conventional chemotherapy medication and this compound is known as artemisinin.
The beauty of artemisinin is that it is safer to the human body than the use of conventional chemotherapy drugs.
The difficulty in destroying cancer cells is that they emanate from normal cells and what mist drugs do is to destroy both the cancer and the normal cells, leaving the sufferer in a worse off state.
However, artemisinin is not as toxic as the chemotherapy drugs which have debilitating side effects. It us known that this compound will destroy 12,000 cancerous cells for every healthy cell in the body.
What scientists have done is to make artemisinin mire effective in destroying cancer cells by adding iron even though the compound in itself is effective.
It is known that cancerous cells feed on iron, so when they come in contact with the compound the tendency is to feed on it and so the artemisinin gets right into the heart of the cancer cells and kills it.
Scientists of the University of Washington, Seattle used artemisinin to treat breast cancer and they did so by separating normal breast cells as well as radiation-resistant cancer cells using holotransferrin which is a compound that is normally found in the human body and transports iron to its cells.
Researchers then included artemisinin into the cells and it was seen that over 98% of the cells which had holotransferrin artemisinin were destroyed in less than 24 hours.
A very low number of healthy cells were also killed but clearly not as much as in the use of chemotherapy drugs.
While this treatment is still in its trial stage scientists are really hopeful that it will soon replace conventional chemotherapy as a source for cancer treatment.
Video source: DoctorSaputo