Hedyotis Herb for Leukemia

Hedyotis leukemia

Hedyotis Herb fights leukemia and other cancers.

Multiple studies have confirmed that the Hedyotis herb used in Chinese Medicine, is effective in treating leukemia and other cancers.

Hedyotis herb studied

For years Traditional Chinese Medicine has utilized an herb to inhibit cancers. Evidence-based science is now proving this traditional herb’s effectiveness on difficult-to-treat cancers such as leukemia, breast cancer and liver cancer.

Research published in April from Taiwan’s Shanxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences documents the ability of the herb called Spreading Hedyotis, or Oldenlandia – with Latin name Hedyotis diffusa Willd. – as being able to stop leukemia, cervical carcinoma, liver cancer and other cancers. The herb is also sometimes referred to as Snake Needle Grass.

The researchers demonstrated that this herb’s anticancer properties were driven primarily by its 69 medicinal constituents, which include polyphenols, terpenoids, anthraquinones, flavonoids, and others.

This research follows on the heels of a study from the Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University published in the Journal Archives of Pharmical Research.

This study tested Hedyotis against human U937 leukemia cells, and found that the Hedyotis significantly provoked the killing off of leukemia cells – a scientific term called apoptosis.

The apoptosis of the human leukemia cells was stimulated by Hedyotis provoking a 2-hydroxy-3-methylanthraquinone pathway that stimulated the body’s own defense mechanisms against the cancer cells.

Other cancers killed by this herb

Another recent study, this from the Zhejiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, found that human RPMI 8226 cells –originally taken from the blood of 61 year old many with multiple myeloma – were significantly inhibited and killed (apoptosis) with Hedyotis treatment.

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In yet another study, this from Shanghai’s Second Military Medical University, Hedyotis stopped the growth of human HT-29 colon cancer cells.

The researchers stated that “Our findings suggest that Hedyotis diffusa Willd may be an effective treatment for colorectal cancer via the suppression of cancer cell proliferation.”

This research confirms earlier studies – using both human cells and animals – showing Hedyotis inhibits the growth of these cancers and others, including liver cancer.

While this research has shown the herb to significantly stop cancer growth and is often included with other herbs by TCM practitioners for cancer patients, many researchers have been pushing to test the herb against and/or side by side with chemotherapy. This of course is a difficult research stage for obvious reasons.

About Hedyotis

One of the major constituents in Hedyotis is methylanthraquinone. Researchers from China’s Shenyang Pharmaceutical University showed that this natural biochemical produces apoptosis (killing) of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells.

Hedyotis has been used for centuries in TCM. It grows well in Southern China. It is considered anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and diuretic in addition to being an anticancer agent. It has often been used for fevers and coughs, as well as urinary infections.

So far the primary mechanisms found from Hedyotis treatment has been the stimulation of the body’s own defenses – namely macrophages that produce biochemicals that induce cancer cell death.

Other research finds that garlic halts leukemia growth. Quercetin also fights leukemia and other cancers.


Niu Y, Meng QX. Chemical and preclinical studies on Hedyotis diffusa with anticancer potential. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2013 Apr 22.

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Wang N, Li DY, Niu HY, Zhang Y, He P, Wang JH. 2-Hydroxy-3-methylanthraquinone from Hedyotis diffusa Willd induces apoptosis in human leukemic U937 cells through modulation of MAPK pathways. Arch Pharm Res. 2013 Apr 3.

Zhang X, Ye BD, Lin SY. [Effects of Hedyotis diffusa Willd injection on the proliferation of RPMI 8226 cells]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2012 Dec;32(12):1658-62.

Lin J, Wei L, Shen A, Cai Q, Xu W, Li H, Zhan Y, Hong Z, Peng J. Hedyotis diffusa Willd extract suppresses Sonic hedgehog signaling leading to the inhibition of colorectal cancer angiogenesis. Int J Oncol. 2013 Feb;42(2):651-6.

Cai Q, Lin J, Wei L, Zhang L, Wang L, Zhan Y, Zeng J, Xu W, Shen A, Hong Z, Peng J. Hedyotis diffusa Willd Inhibits Colorectal Cancer Growth in Vivo via Inhibition of STAT3 Signaling Pathway. Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(5):6117-28.

Chen XZ, Cao ZY, Chen TS, Zhang YQ, Liu ZZ, Su YT, Liao LM, Du J. Water extract of Hedyotis Diffusa Willd suppresses proliferation of human HepG2 cells and potentiates the anticancer efficacy of low-dose 5-fluorouracil by inhibiting the CDK2-E2F1 pathway. Oncol Rep. 2012 Aug;28(2):742-8.

Wang JH, Shu LH, Yang LL, Zhang M, He P. 2-Hydroxy-3-methylanthraquinone from Hedyotis diffusa WILLD induces apoptosis via alteration of Fas/FasL and activation of caspase-8 in human leukemic THP-1 cells. Arch Med Res. 2011 Oct;42(7):577-83.

Lin J, Wei L, Xu W, Hong Z, Liu X, Peng J. Effect of Hedyotis Diffusa Willd extract on tumor angiogenesis. Mol Med Rep. 2011 Nov-Dec;4(6):1283-8.

Lin CC, Kuo CL, Lee MH, Hsu SC, Huang AC, Tang NY, Lin JP, Yang JS, Lu CC, Chiang JH, Chueh FS, Chung JG. Extract of Hedyotis diffusa Willd influences murine leukemia WEHI-3 cells in vivo as well as promoting T- and B-cell proliferation in leukemic mice. In Vivo. 2011 Jul-Aug;25(4):633-40.

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Lee HZ, Bau DT, Kuo CL, Tsai RY, Chen YC, Chang YH. Clarification of the phenotypic characteristics and anti-tumor activity of Hedyotis diffusa. Am J Chin
Med. 2011;39(1):201-13.

Lin J, Chen Y, Wei L, Chen X, Xu W, Hong Z, Sferra TJ, Peng J. Hedyotis Diffusa Willd extract induces apoptosis via activation of the mitochondrion-dependent pathway in human colon carcinoma cells. Int J Oncol. 2010 Nov;37(5):1331-8.

Zhang Y, Chen Y, Fan C, Ye W, Luo J. Two new iridoid glucosides from Hedyotis diffusa. Fitoterapia. 2010 Sep;81(6):515-7.

Liu Z, Liu M, Liu M, Li J. Methylanthraquinone from Hedyotis diffusa WILLD induces Ca(2+)-mediated apoptosis in human breast cancer cells. Toxicol In Vitro. 2010 Feb;24(1):142-7.


  • Case Adams, Naturopath

    California Naturopath, Ph.D. in Natural Health Sciences, Doctorate in Integrative Health Sciences, Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. Diplomas in Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Colon Hydrotherapy, certificates in Pain Management and Case Management/Contact Tracing. Has authored more than 30 books and hundreds of periodical articles on natural medicine. Recreational activities include surfing, sailing, running, biking, swimming, SUPing, hiking. Contact: case(at)caseadams(dot)com.

    https://www.caseadams.com [email protected] Adams, Naturopath Case

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