Artemisinin or Qinghaosu (pronounced Ching-hao-su) is an extract from the plant Artemisia annua (sweet wormwood) or Qinghao (pronounced Ching-hao).  Artemisinin, one the main active ingredients in Chinese Wormwood has been known to triggers the death of cancer cells through apoptosis, there are well over 200 compounds according "Duke" the foremost expert on Herbal Chemistry that have direct cancer cell destroying effects.  

Scientific research has also shown Artemisinin to be beneficial in balancing the microbiology of the gastrointestinal tract, because it reduces the amount of bad pathogens and is bowel flora restoring, it has generally been used to restore the gut terrain and reduce a wide range of pathogenic microbes.
Artemisinin is an anti-parasitic and anti-angiogenic*.  

It is essentially a method of delivering hydrogen peroxide (Gammill, 11/29/04). Because it can increase oxygen load in the blood this would explain its marked effects on Cancer and other Blood Parasites.

With the knowledge of a high accumulation of iron in cancer cells, researchers Henry Lai and Narenda Singh of the University of Washington became interested in possible Artemisinin activity against malignant cells.  

In 1995, they published a paper in Cancer Letters concerning the use of Artemisinin against numerous cancer cell lines in vitro. This article has mobilized interest in Artemisinin as an addition to anti-cancer treatment.

Iron-hungry cancer cells typically have significantly more transferrin receptors, and researchers have bound Arteminisin to Transferrin.  Inside the cancer cell, the iron is released and reacts with the Artemisinin.  Artemisinin-tagged transferrin was 34,000 times more effective in selecting and killing the cancer cells than normal cells," Lai said.  "Artemisinin alone is 100 times more effective."

In an article on the use of Artemisinin for cancer, a researcher at the Brewer Science Library cites it as being highly effective for breast cancer, lymphoma, and particularly leukemia.  "More aggressive cancers such as pancreatic and acute leukemia ... respond even better.  Slower cancers, such as nonaggressive prostate cancers, do not respond as well.  It is effective with sarcoma, melanoma, larynx, ovarian, prostate (but PSA doesn't drop), brain (including neuroblastoma and GBM), renal, metastatic breast cancer, and drug-resistant cancers.

"Artemisinin is effective against a wide variety of cancers as shown in a series of successful experiments.  The most effective is leukemia and colon cancer.  Intermediate activities were also shown against melanoma, breast, ovarian, prostate, CNS and renal cancer.  Although artemisinin is insoluble in water, it is able to cross the blood/brain barrier (the water-soluble artesunate is the weakness among the derivates), and may be particularly suitable for curing brain tumors together with Poly-MVA."

In Vietnam it is used to arrest breast cancer.  The Hoang medical family has used Artemisinin in combination with several other herbs to treat cancer and eliminate necrosis material.  They have achieved a 50 to 60 percent long-term remission rate in over 400 cancer patients utilizing Artemisinin together with a comprehensive cancer strategy, and with no observed toxicity." ( and cited by Dr. Rowen cited in

"In laboratory studies of radiation-resistant breast cancer cells that have a high propensity for accumulating iron revealed that Artemisinin has 75 percent cancer-cell-killing properties in 8 hours, and almost 100 percent within 24 hours when these cancer cells are pre-loaded with iron after incubation with holotransferrin.  Normal cells remained virtually unharmed." --Michael Lam, MD
Arteminisin is best taken on an empty stomach with some natural fat such as cottage cheese or yogurt.  Cod liver oil and CLA will enhance absorption.  "With the exception of patients very near death, taking Artemisinin or derivatives has stabilized, improved, or remitted every cancer patient I have followed." --Robert Jay Rowen, MD

Good-quality Artemesia annua contains 0.3 to 0.5 percent artemisinin,  the particular strain we use has well over 20x this amount.
Artemisia annua is a plant with a strong aroma, containing camphor and essential oils.  It is a robust plant that grows in many areas of the world.  However, only plants grown in special agricultural and geographic conditions contain artemisinin.  
The quantity and quality of artemisinin are very sensitive to various conditions, such as farming, harvest timing, the pre-manufacturing processing, transportation, extracting and purification processes, manufacturing and storage environments, etc.  Even in optimal conditions, Artemisia annua yields very low artemisinin.

Artemisia annua leaves have been consumed by local Chinese over several centuries for promoting general health.  Its extract, Artemisinin, has been used over several decades.  Derivatives of the plant (chemically altered;  not natural products) have been developed and used to treat various diseases, including malaria.

For more info, see: (Rowen)