Dog's with cancer can experience debilitating, painful symptoms. Cancer can completely ruin your dog's internal cell structure and shorten his life expectancy. Fortunately, advances in conventional and holistic medicine provide new treatments that can address the issues that cause cancer in dogs. Artemisinin, an herbal medicine, is one treatment that has shown effectiveness in fighting cancer in dogs.
Artemisinin comes from the herb artemesia, and it is one of four compounds that is derived from this herb. In 1999, Professors Henry Lai, Ph.D., and Narendra Singh, MBBS, researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle, studied the use of Artemisinin on dogs. They found that Artemisinin stops the growth of dog cancer cells.
Cancer cells need iron to replicate DNA and divide, so they collect and store it. Accordingly, cancer cells have a higher amount of iron than regular, healthy cells. Artemisinin oxidises iron, causing it to turn into a free radical that damages the cancer cell. Since normal body cells do not contain as much iron, they are not readily damaged by this process.
Radiation treatments release iron into the system, so do not administer Artemisinin during this time, and do not continue use of the herb until two months after the last radiation treatment. Artemisinin can enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy, so if you use the herb in conjunction with chemotherapy, administer it a few hours after the therapy ends. You should not administer Artemisinin within three hours of food that contains iron, such as meat.
There is a belief that the body develops immunity to the effects of an herb if it is used constantly for long periods of time. Cycling, the process of varying the use of an herb, can reduce the likelihood that this will happen. The cycling process involves giving your dog Artemisinin for a period of time, and then refraining from use for some time. After a brief period of not using the herb, you can start giving it to your dog again. You can cycle Artemisinin for days or weeks, and this may help maintain its effectiveness.
Artemisinin can cause some side effects for your dog, including diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain, fever, flu-like symptoms and decreased appetite. It can also cause bradycardia, which is a resting heart rate of 60 beats or less.