What do Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso all have in common aside from their incredible painting abilities? These three artists all shared a love of absinthe, a botanical spirit made from wormwood, anise and fennel. Absinthe is currently illegal in the U.S. as well as many other countries, but it’s still available in Europe.
You may have heard of wormwood because of its inclusion in this famous European beverage, but did you know that it also holds an ability to aid many common and serious health concerns?
It’s true. Wormwood is actually used to eliminate intestinal worms, especially roundworms and pinworms. This is exactly why I recommended it as part of my parasite cleanse. Just how powerful is wormwood? Well, it’s owed thanks and praise for being the source of the key ingredient for the herbal drug artemisinin, which is the most powerful antimalarial on the market.
And it doesn’t stop there. Scientific research also shows that wormwood can even kills cancer cells. It can also be used to treat anorexia, insomnia, anemia, a lack of appetite, flatulence, stomach aches, jaundice and indigestion.
Wormwood herb is used in alcoholic beverages while the wormwood star is mentioned in the bible. Truly an intriguing plant to say the least, but can this herb really kill parasites and cancer? Studies say yes, and the positive medicinal effects keep on coming.
Of course, there is good reason for caution with wormwood products (like absinthe) as well, but once you learn about thujone, you’ll see why not all wormwood products are created equally. What to watch out for and what to know — read on to get your full dose of wormwood education.
6 Wormwood Benefits
1. Beats Malaria
Malaria is a serious disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes and invades human red blood cells. Artemisinin is an extract isolated from the plant Artemisia annua, or sweet wormwood. Artemisinin is an herbal drug that’s the most powerful antimalarial on the market. It’s known for quickly reducing the number of parasites in the blood of patients with malaria. The World Health Organization recommends artemisinin-based combination therapies as first-line treatment for uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria.
Recent experiments have shown that artemisinin is effective against the malaria parasite because it reacts with the high levels of iron in the parasite to produce free radicals. The free radicals then destroy the cell walls of the malaria parasite.
2. Kills Cancer Cells
According to recent studies, artemisinin can kill iron-enriched breast cancer cells similar to the way it kills malaria-causing parasites, making it a potential natural cancer treatment option for women with breast cancer. Cancer cells can also be rich in iron since they commonly soak it up to facilitate cell division. Researchers in a 2012 study tested samples of breast cancer cells and normal breast cells that had first been treated to maximize their iron content. The cells were then treated with a water-soluble form of artemisinin, an extract of wormwood.
Results were quite impressive. The normal cells showed little change, but within 16 hours, almost all of the cancer cells were dead and only a few normal cells were killed. Bioengineer Henry Lai believes that because a breast cancer cell contains five to 15 more receptors than normal, it absorbs iron more readily and hence is more susceptible to artemisinin’s attack.
3. Gets Rid of Parasites
Wormwood is used to eliminate intestinal worms, especially pinworms and roundworms. Pinworms are the most common worm infection in the U.S. with pinworm eggs spread directly from person to person. Roundworms, or nematodes, are parasites that also infect human intestines. Pinworms can cause extreme itching in the anal region while roundworms can cause cough, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea, blood in the stool, weight loss, and presence of the worm in vomit or stool.
Parasites are never a good thing, but thankfully they’re treatable with natural remedies. Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), black walnut (Juglans nigra), and clove (Syzygium aromaticum) are commonly used together to kill off a parasitic infection. It’s said that when these three are taken at the same time, together they’re able to break the parasite’s life cycle.
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