Artemisia annua tea for malaria prophylaxis

 

In recent years several NGO’s, like IFBV,  promote artemisia annua tea in tropical countries. This plant has excellent therapeutical properties against malaria, as demonstrated by several clinical trials. And as it is now growing in many African gardens and schools a lot of people have noticed that if they drink this tea regularly they are immune against malaria.

These prophylactic properties have been confirmed at large scale in Kenyan schools, partners of the IDAY network. In 2010 artemisia annua plantations were extended to some 50 schools. Pupils and teachers use the tea as cure against malaria (20 cups over 7 days), but once cured they continue taking one or two cups per week. And over the months they noticed that Artemisia annua has a strong prophylactic effect. Absenteeism for students and teachers dropped from 30 to almost 0 %. Much less money has to be spent for drugs and health care ;  this money can now be used for educational needs. Dr T Arudo also reports that tea from this plant has a strong therapeutical effect on typhoïd fever and diarrhoea. A research team at Luxembourg had found in 2009 that Artemisia annua tea efficiently sterilizes water.

Recently a scientific paper confirmed the prophylactic effect against malaria on several hundred farmers in Uganda. (PE Ogwang et al., Brit J Pharm Res ISSN 2231-2919). A medical team at Luxembourg had already found in 2010  that Artemisia annua tea  activates the lymphocytes in human blood, but only if the tea was poor in artemisinine. In Uganda it was found that A. annua extract devoid of artemisinin significantly boosts monocyte counts in albino rats (p<0.001).The action of flavonoids, polysaccharides and essential oils could explain the mechanism of prophylaxis of A. annua ‘tea’

Pierre Lutgen

ifbv@pt.lu


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