Artemisia annua

Artemisia annua

Ingrid Naiman

The press release on the wormwood and its cancer fighting potential generated a lot of interest in the herb described in the ancient Chinese manuscript and used in the study.

We are certain that the herb used by the researchers was Qing Hao, correctly identified as Artemisia annua, an herb that is widely used in the tropics for both prevention and treatment of malaria. In this role, it is relatively free of side effects.

Malaria, as most readers probably know, is introduced into the host by mosquito bites. The disease itself is caused by a protozoon. Studies in Thailand showed that the constituent used in the University of Washington study is 90% more effective than chloroquine in treating malaria.

These findings are interesting to me for two reasons:

  • First, some years ago, I had dinner with a rather famous doctor and his wife and friends. He discussed deliberate infection of cancer patients with malaria in order to induce fever, presumably an idea based on Coley's toxins and the many methods of hyperthermia that have been used to destroy malignancy; and
  • Second, because malaria is a parasitic infection and many cancers, even if not caused by parasitic infection, might occur in persons who are parasitized, the theory made popular by Hulda Clark though also not new.

These and a number of other tangential issues have been discussed with colleagues since the press release by the Environmental News Network.

No one really seems to understand the references to iron. In the holistic community, tumors are often regarded as storage depots for materials found in excess in the body— i.e., metabolic residuals—or for toxins, infectious organisms, and inorganic substances that the body cannot use. While some of these theories have not been examined in depth by conventional science, there is considerable accord that cancer patients will not fight cancer until infections are resolved. The assumption here is that the immune system prioritizes the acute illness at the expense of the perhaps more life-threatening chronic condition.

This makes Artemisia annua even more interesting due to its antibiotic properties. What concerned me is that its action may very well be more specific on cancers that have an infectious and/or parasitic component than on those tumors that perhaps lack these characteristics. If the response to treatment is due to the ability of Qing Hao to address parasites, then die off would occur.

Curious as always , I decided to try the herb myself. To the best of my knowledge, I have never had cancer, but I have had almost every tropical infection imaginable, including undulent fever, a disease that is similar to malaria except that the fever pattern is more intermittent. At the time I had that fever, I had been working in rural India and was ill enough to be medically evacuated (to Honolulu where I overheard the doctors say I was dying.)

I have always run fevers—almost without provocation—but I am well aware that frightening as this is to some people, it is healthier than most believe. The inability to run a fever suggests compromised immunity and a metabolism that is not efficient enough to throw off infection . . . and this is precisely the pattern I see with most cancer patients.

To explore this herb better, I obtained five different forms of Artemisia annua: tablets, tincture that includes the full essential oil, tincture with reduced essential oil, conventionally produced tincture, and dried leaf. I tried all of them and have to admit, I suffered in the beginning. I am certain that this is related to parasites, not cancer, but I have been running fevers and feeling like there is a war going on in my intestines. I have absolutely no doubt that these symptoms relate to the use of this herb, not to a contaminate but rather to a combination of die off and struggle for survival on the part of some unwanted creatures.

As I discuss on, parasites sometimes die in the place where they had lived. They are then consumed by bacteria. This imposes elaborate demands on the immune system. I am so concerned about die off, both of malignant tissue and parasites, that I think adjunctive protocols are needed for people using herbs to address these conditions. Where tumors are concerned, detoxification will alleviate die off, but with parasites, immune boosting herbs and even herbs that help repair the tissues that harbored parasites are indicated for most if not all patients.

I have to admit that I felt absolutely terrible, so much so that I wanted to contact everyone who is using this treatment and suggest that additional herbs are used to support the results sought.

For myself, I reinvented the Sacred Bark Formula and added more detoxifying and immune boosting herbs. This solved most all the problems, but I have been taking propolis, colloidal silver, and intestinal flora as well. At times, I also used Indigo Drops and/or Whale's Tears.

I would like to invite others to share their experiences and will open up a discussion on the bulletin board for this subject. In the meantime, I would encourage fortitude because reactions to a product such as this no doubt indicate a need for something that addresses a condition that may or may not be recognized.


The experiences described in the above paragraphs prompted me to a deeper study of parasites. When I was in Germany, I had the opportunity to try various parasites protocols, including many based on Artemisia annua, and I think the learning curve is flatter now. There is more information on this subject on Kitchen Doctor.


See the parasite study on Kitchen Doctor


Organic Artemisia annua grown in the U.S. from Chinese seeds

2 oz., alcohol extract



The original article on wormwood



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