petty spurge

Petty Spurge 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 Petty Spurge has shown that a wide range of cancer cells is acutely sensitive to this substance.

Botanical Classification of Petty Spurge:

  • 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
  • Petty Spurge has now become widespread after introduction into North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Petty Spurge 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 leukemia cells are 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 Petty Spurge resulted in significant clearance of human non-melanoma skin cancers.

Caution: Petty Spurge sap is toxic and should not be used internally.

Scientific Data on the Latex of Petty Spurge:

  • The natural milky sap (the latex) contains: Ingenol Mebutate.
  • Ingenol Mebutate (Ingenol-3-angelate) is an hydrophobic diterpene ester.
  • Synonyms for Ingenol-3-angelate: 3-ingenol-angelate, Ingenol Mebutate.
Petty Spurge Latex
Petty Spurge 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 (E. Peplus) should not be confused with either Milkweed (Asclepius) or Milkweed (Sonchus Oleraceus); Euphorbia Peplus should not be confused with Euphorbia Peplis (Purple Spurge).
Petty Spurge
Petty Spurge (enlarge)

Historical Uses of Petty Spurge Sap:

Skin Care: in traditional European folk medicine the sap of Petty Spurge 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.

Dosage and Side-effects: use once a day over two or three days. Side effects include redness, irritation and blistering. A scab will form and then fall off after a week or so. It does not usually leave a scar.

From Research Articles on Petty Spurge 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.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Pregnant or lactating women, diabetics, hypoglycemics, and people with known medical conditions and/or taking medicines should consult with a licensed physician and/or pharmacist prior to taking dietary supplements.
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