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Breaking scientific news from clinical trails with the Artemisia plant:

A team of medical doctors in the RDCongo , Jerome Munyani and Michel Idumbo have run randomized double blindclinical trials on a large scale in the Maniema province with the participation of 1000 malaria infected patients. These trials were run in compliance with the WHO protoco, full approval of the health authorities of the country and province and encouragement of WHO-Afro.

Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra were compared with ACTs (Coartem and ASAQ). For all parameters tested herbal treatment was significantly better than ACTs: faster clearance for fever and parasitemia, absence of parasites on day 28 for 99.5% of the Artemisia treatments and 79.5 % only for the ACT treatments. A total absence of side effects was evident for the treatment with the plants, but for the 498 patients treated with ACTs 210 suffered from diarrhea, and/or nausea and vomiting, cutaneous eruptions, anorexia abdominal pain, vertigo and hypoglycemia among others. Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra was equally efficient. More important was the total absence of gametocytes after 7 days treatment with the herb. A tremoundous hope for malaria eradication.

Simiyu Silas Khamala, Kenyatta universities showed that only one plant species Artemisia afra showed reasonable insecticidal activity. Essential oil from Artemisia afra was found to be an excellent alternative for ITNs and Indoor Residual Spraying yo most pesticides used today which are either toxic or leading to severe resistance, like pyrethroids on mosquito nets. The complete insecticidal and knock down times ranged from 4-6 hours 15 minutes to 2 hours respectively. Artemisia afra essential oil attained 100% mortality at 8 and 10 %.

CN Muthhaura et al, Exp Parasit 201, 127 609-625 concluded that the activity of Artemisia afra was due to a mixture of substances, which act additively or synergistically.

In a study of 8 medicinal plants from Zimbabwe Artemisia afra was among the strongest against various strains of Plasmodium falciparum ( C Kraft et al Phytotherapy Research 17, 123-128. 2003)

Artemisia afra tea is recommended by the Ministry of Health of Tanzania as an anti-malarial.

The herb Artemisia afra is traditionally both used as a prophylaxis andtreatment of malaria.

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