Damong Maria: Common Herb in the Philippines

Are you familiar with the locally available herb “Damong Maria”? It is aromatic, grows perennially, and may grow to 1 meter tall or less.

It is also an herb that is part of our collection of herbs actively being used here at the Dr. Farrah-Arsenia Agustin-Bunch Natural Medical Center against Cancer.

Used by traditional doctors (“arbularyos) in the Philippines, its leaves are boiled, used for treating dysmenorrhea and abdominal colic pains. With ginger, the leaves are pounded and mixed with ginger as a poultice and applied on wounds and skin diseases. And its juice is also taken and applied on children’s heads during convulsions.

Damong Maria has a cousin named Artemisia Annua L. or “Sweet Wormwood” in the US (in the Philippines where the plant can also be found, it is called Artermisa). Although Artemisia Annua has been used in China since ancient times as an anti-malarial drug, this plant has been taking the internet by storm lately due to its discovered “anti-cancer properties”.

Two bioengineers – Henry Lai and Narendra Singh of the University of Washington, Seattle — revealed in a study that when Artemisia Annua extract or Artemisinin is combined with transferrin at the molecular level, the resulting compound in a concentrated form can kill 98% of breast cancer cells in less than 16 hours!

Cancer cells also have high iron content because they feed largely on the iron to facilitate replication or cell division. Once Artemisinin is administered to the iron-rich cancer cells, it latches onto these carcinogenic cells and eliminates them. Moreover, the clinical tests also show that non-cancerous or normal cells are largely left alone by Artemisinin, which means the compound will selectively kill only the iron-enriched cancer cells and leave healthy cells unharmed.

Some Studies

Clinical studies indicate that Artemisinin turns into a really powerful extract when combined or in the presence of iron. Traditionally, Artemisinin has been used in Asia, particularly China and Vietnam, and Africa to treat malaria because the malaria parasite has a high iron content.

What are the implications of this great discovery? Here at the Dr. Farrah Agustin-Bunch’s Natural Medical Center. We use a lot of Damong Maria and Artemisa to help our patients combat cancer cells. We have known Damong Maria’s anti-cancer qualities even before the news of the study had come out.

Traditionally, local healers in the country have been using Damong Maria for a variety of uses as mentioned earlier in this article. It is great to know that this landmark study had validated what three generations of my family know about the medicinal effects of Artemisa and Damong Maria. It has already reached clinical research and pharmacological institutions.

The health and lately, anti-cancer benefits of Artemisinin cannot be denied right now! In 2015, a Chinese professor, Professor Youyou Tu, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. Youyou Tu was awarded because of her groundbreaking rediscovery and development of Artemisinin for the treatment of malaria. What scientific proof can you ask when the highest, most respected scientific and award-giving body in the world — the Nobel Prize – have already recognized artemisinin properties?

Want to know more about the antioxidant and anti-cancer benefits of Damong Maria, our local version of Artemisinin? Here is the link to our very own page about Damong Maria: http://drfarrahcancercenter.com/portfolio/damong-maria/

So, Do you believe it’s possible to use our local herbs like Damong Maria to cure breast cancer for good? Do you have a personal experience using this herb? Share in the comments below!

Image by Patrick Standish / CC BY 2.0