euphorbia peplus

Euphorbia Peplus is a common plant from the Euphorbia group. Components of its milky sap are being studied for the treatment of skin cancer, leukemia, warts and sunspots. Recent research into Euphorbia Peplus has shown that a wide range of cancer cells is acutely sensitive to this substance.

Botanical Classification of Euphorbia Peplus:

  • Family: Euphorbiaceae
  • Genus: Euphorbia
  • Species: Euphorbia Peplus
  • Scientific Name: Euphorbia Peplus (Linneaus)
  • Common Names: Petty Spurge, Radium Weed, Cancer Weed, Wart Weed and Milkweed.
  • Europe
  • West Asia
  • North Africa
  • Euphorbia Peplus is now a common weed in North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Euphorbia Peplus Extracts:

  • The Sap as a natural mixture:-
    • burns off some skin cancers, sunspots, warts and corns.
  • The Active Ingredient: Ingenol Mebutate:-
    • it is an activator of Protein Kinase C which is a key factor in the treatment of cancer.
    • in laboratory experiments against leukemia cells lines, Ingenol Mebutate (Ingenol-3-angelate) was found to be both selective in targeting leukemia cells and that the cancer is highly sensitive to the small doses being applied.
    • in laboratory trials with skin cancer in mice, 3 daily topical applications resulted in significant clearance.
    • intermediate clinical trials (Phase IIa) against Sunspots (Actinic Keratosis) resulted in significant clearance.
    • Phase I/II clinical trials show that the sap from Euphorbia Peplus resulted in significant clearance of human non-melanoma skin cancers.

Caution: Petty Spurge sap is toxic and is not for internal use.

Scientific Data on the Latex of Euphorbia Peplus:

  • The natural milky sap (the latex) contains: Ingenol Mebutate.
  • Ingenol Mebutate is an hydrophobic diterpene ester.
  • Synonyms for Ingenol-3-angelate: 3-ingenol-angelate, Ingenol Mebutate.
Euphorbia Peplus latex
Euphorbia Peplus Latex.

The Plant and its Environment

  • annual plant
  • length: grows to 30cm
  • stem varies from red at base to green near the top.
  • branches: develops branches as it matures.
  • leaves:
    • length: 1-3cm
    • shape: oval-acute
    • pattern: alternate along the stem but opposite near the top of the plant.
  • flowers: yellow-green;
  • fruit and seeds: the fruit has three lobes which contain the seeds.
  • Environment: Temperate and Subtropical zones;
  • Soil: sandy calcareous;
  • Location: prefers shade; found in gardens, roadsides, cultivated land and open woodlands.
  • Cautions: Milkweed (Euphorbia Peplus) should not be confused with either Milkweed (Asclepius) or Milkweed (Sonchus Oleraceus); Euphorbia Peplus should not be confused with Euphorbia Peplis (Purple Spurge).
Euphorbia Peplus
Euphorbia Peplus (enlarge)

Historical Uses of Euphorbia Peplus Sap:

Skin Care: in traditional European folk medicine Euphorbia Peplus sap has been used for treating Sun Spots, Warts, Corns and (non-Melanoma) Skin Cancers. This was done by carefully putting some of the latex sap extracted from the freshly cut stem onto the Sun Spot or Wart. The sap "burnt off" any skin that it came into contact with. Using it today, one should avoid contact with the eyes and internal membranes. Use of the sap near or above the eyes and mouth is not advised as sweating, rubbing and washing may carry the sap into the eyes or mouth causing inflammation and scaring. For Melanoma see Turmeric Extract.

From Research Articles on Euphorbia Peplus Extracts

Article 1: Petty Spurge sap and human non-melanoma Skin Cancers.
In Pase I/II clinical trials of Euphorbia Peplus sap against human non-melanoma skin cancers of various types, the sap cleared at least 78% of superficial skin cancers and at least 50% of those of a non-superficial kind.
Source: PMID: 21375515 (Brisbane, Qld, Australia, 2011)

Article 2: Ingenol Mebutate and Actinic Keratosis.
In a clinical experiment of Ingenol mebutate gel (0.05% strength) 71% of treated lesions were cleared. Furthermore, 67% of patients had four or five treated lesions cleared.
Source: PMID: 19178487 (Brisbane, Qld, Australia, 2009)

Article 3: Ingenol-3-angelate and Leukemia
In a laboratory experiment on myeloid leukemia cell lines and primary acute myeloid leukemia cells Ingenol 3-angelate, a selective activator of Protein Kinase C, induced apoptosis at nanomolar concentrations indicating that it has potent anti-leukemic effects.
Source: PMID: 15845901 (Birmingham, UK, 2005)

Article 4: 3-ingenyl angelate (PEP005) and Skin Cancer
In a preclinical study of 3-ingenol angelate (from the plant Euphorbia Peplus) on mice, three daily topical applications resulted in the clearance of skin cancer tumors (both mouse tumours and human tumors). The cosmetic outcome was also considered to be excellent.
Source: PMID: 15087400 (Brisbane, Qld, Australia, 2004)

Old Herbs - New Science

Ananain and Comosain (from Pineapple stem)

Cinnamon Extract

Curcuma Longa


Ficain (from Fig Trees)

Licorice Root Extract

Petty Spurge and Euphorbia Peplus

Rosmarinic Acid (from Rosemary, Sage)

Spanish Sage

Turmeric Extract

Vineatrol (from Grapevine shoots)

Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha)

Withanolide (from Ashwagandha)

Zerumbone (from Ginger)
This website acknowledges Pubmed ( as source for medical research abstracts.

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