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Scripta Scientifica Vox Studentium

Artemisia Annua- a Plant with a Great Future

Jovana Kitanovska, Merilin Ivanova, Paulina Milanova, Sabie Korenarska, Galya Stavreva

Abstract

Introduction: Artemisia annua is a common type of sweet wormwood, an herb employed in Chinese traditional medicine and introduced throughout the world. It belongs to the family of Asteraceae and has fern-like leaves, a camphor-like scent and bright yellow flowers . The glandular structures found on their surface produce a wide range of bioactive compounds and contain the chemical artemisinin. Its remarkable properties are the key to its malaria- and cancer-fighting effects.

Materials and Methods: For our research we used a wide spectrum of sources including many medical articles, books, encyclopedias and well-known medical journals  and, of course, the information and the knowledge of our academic mentor.

Results: This study goes through the main stages of pharmacological development  of artemisinin including the discovery of its effects and mechanisms of action. We present shortly the well-known effect on malaria and explain in details the most recent studies proving artemisinin’s anti-cancer effects. In short, cancer cells tend to express high levels of the transferrin receptors for internalizing iron which is a useful difference from normal cells along with the difference in the iron transport and this is the reason why artemisinin compounds kill only cancer cells and spare normal ones.

Conclusion: In conclusion artemisinin, like many marvels of modern medicine, has been discovered by accident but series of experimental studies show that artemisinin is highly effective against a variety of cancers. Leukemia and colon cancer are the two types where its influence is most widely explored.  The result from our study, we believe, would inform the audience about the latest scientific discoveries in the field, which is in any case  beneficial.


Keywords

artemisinin, cancer, malaria


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