Artemisinin is also known as Artemisia or Sweet Annie, or annual wormwood., native herb of China. In China, it is known as Qingdao. In ancient times in China, it was used as traditional medicine for fever. It is potentially effective against malarial parasites, including some drug-resistant strains. And possibly no side effects. It reduces the agitation and blood level of malarial parasites. In this treatment, any derivative of artemisinin can be used. artemisinin-combination therapies, ACTs) can be used worldwide for the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum to treat malaria. It helps reduce the ok risk resistance when taken as a cocktail. Cocktail artemisinin is available as Coartem and Ramet. It is also used for cancer treatment and helminth parasites. The drug is derived from the Asian plant known as Artemisia annua., having fern-like leaves and yellow flowers.
ARS, besides the antimalarial function, is also anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties. It also regulates oxidative stress. (Can Artemisinin Treat Cancer? Research and Side Effects, n.d.-a) (Tupper et al., 2015)
Artemisinin can be used as an alternative treatment for several cancer therapies, with fewer chances of developing drug resistance. Can cells require iron for their division, artemisinin is activated by iron and create a cancer-killing free radical? A study showed that artemisinin is effective against cancer cells when combined with iron. (Das, 2015)
Another study showed that artemisinin is thousands of time-effective for cancerous cells, and it only targets the cancer cells; normal cells are harmless. (Das, 2015) (Scientists Develop New Cancer-Killing Compound from Salad Plant | UW News, n.d.) In the study, artemisinin was combined with transferrin, a cancer-killing compound; this fools the cancer cells to treat artemisinin as a standard compound. Artemisinin consumption destroyed leukaemia cells and unaffected the white blood cells.
Glomerular mesangial cell proliferation is of great importance in glomerular diseases. ARSs inhibitory in action on the expansion of rat mesangial cells (Xia et al., 2020) induces apoptosis, downregulates inflammatory cytokines like TNF-alpha and IL-6, and enhances caspase-3 activity. (Wu X.L. et al., 2010), (Wang et al., 2016). In addition, it inhibits renal carcinoma cell proliferation with the help of interfering fascin, also inhibiting colony formation, migration, tumorigenesis. (Yu et al., 2019).
Regulate Glomerular Filteration:
ART is found to reduce glomerular permeability, increase proteinuria in LN mice, and inhibit vascular endothelial growth factors (Jin et al., 2007). ARS seems better for podocyte effacement and fusion by the nephrin and podocin regulation in Adriamycin-induced nephropathy. Artemsnin reduces the shedding of podocytes and excretion of nephrin and podocin. (Liu et al., 2017).
ARS helps inhibit polyomavirus BK replication in the human kidney cell (Brown, 2017)
It can relieve pain and anti-inflammatory in nature. It relieves osteoarthritis, which is full of joint inflammation. But the compound should not be applied to the skin directly; it can provide a burning sensation. In a study performed for four weeks, 90 people suffering from osteoarthritis applied ART ointment on the skin, and they observed a reduction in pain, and there was no reduction in stiffness. (Amrollahi et al., 2014)
Against parasitic infection:
It can treat the intestinal worm in ancient Egypt, and this property is also effective to thujone. However, there is a need for such evidence. Some in-vitro test tube and animal studies suggested that this is effective against tapeworm and other parasite infections, although the research is not applied to humans. Hence more comprehensive studies are necessary. (Hold et al., 2000) (Arnold, 1989) (Beshay, 2018) (Kifleyohannes et al., 2014)
Artemisinin is helpful to fight inflammation, as stated in a study. It inhibits cytotoxin produced by the immune system to induce inflammation, hence reduces inflammation.
Artemisinin is helpful to reduce Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is the inflammation in the digestive tract symptomatic of diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and other digestive issues. (Kim et al., 2015)
A study performed with 40 adults who have Crohn’s disease consumed 500mg Artemisinin supplement three times a day, daily for eight weeks. It reduced the need for steroids after eight weeks compared to the placebo group. (Holleran et al., 2020)
(Omer et al., 2007)
A compound of wormwood is chamazulene, an antioxidant in nature; higher content is present in the pre-flowering stage of the plant. Antioxidants properties of these compounds aids to overcome oxidative stress in the human body, like in the case of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, and other ailments. (Mohammadi et al., 2015), (Capuzzo et al., 2014)(Oberley, 2002)(Poprac et al., 2017)
Artemisinin can be administrated orally or injected into the muscles or injecting it into the rectum as a suppository. It can result in few side effects like skin rashes, tremors, liver tissues, nausea, vomiting. The person should avoid its consumption along with other medications until recommended by health professionals. It is generally not recommended for people having gastrointestinal problems. Also, artemsinin should prevent it in combination with anti-seizure medication. Otherwise, it would have induced seizures. (Can Artemisinin Treat Cancer? Research and Side Effects, n.d.-b)
Although no specific dosage guidelines have been allotted due to a lack of research, some institutions have restricted the use of wormwood compounds, as they can produce toxic effects inside the body. The European Union limits its use with 0.23 mg of thujone with 0.5 mg/kg, which can reach a maximum of 16mg in alcoholic consumption. While in the United state its use is to 10 ppm or less by the Food and drug administration. This much lesser amount is generally safe for most of the population.
It is suggested to consult a healthcare professional if you are unaware of the dose consumption. (CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, n.d.)
People should avoid wormwood in the following cases:
Pregnancy: Wormwood can lead to miscarriage, so one should avoid it in pregnancy. (Artemisinin (S-10) – Google Docs, n.d.)
Breastfeeding and early childhood: There is a lack of proper safety information regarding wormwood, so Artemsnin should not consume it in breastfeeding and early childhood.
Heart diseases: Consumption of wormwood medication with warfarin can cause intestinal bleeding (Açikgöz & Açikgöz, 2013)
Epilepsy: ARS can stimulate the brain to cause seizures; it also reduces the effectiveness of anti-seizure medication like gabapentin and primidone. (Höld et al., 2000) (Lachenmeier, 2010)
Kidney problem: the consumption increases kidney failure as it is toxic to the kidney. (Brown, 2017) (Weisbord et al., 1997)
Allergic reactions: Allergic reactions to the Asteraceae family, such as ragweed and marigold, can also react to wormwood, which can lead to other complications. (Moacã et al., 2019)
Although a small dose is safe, high dose consumption can lead to specific symptoms like nausea and seizures. (Brown, 2017)(Weisbord et al., 1997)
This herb can be very fetal, but the lethal dose is not yet assigned for this herb. People are suggested to use this herb up to 4 weeks only because the consumption of this herb does not yet establish the long-term effects. (Höld et al., 2000) (El Makrini & Hassam, 2016)
It is a compound that is not hallucinogenic, but it can be toxic and even fetal in combination. It can be helping to relieve pain if allowed in a moderate amount. The antioxidant property of the compound is beneficial to reduce many diseases like cancer. It is also helpful with its anti-inflammatory property.
One should consult a health professional before having this herb in case of some health-related problem.