Archive for the ‘Malaria’ Category

Artemesia PPT at WHO by IDAY-IFBV 25 jan 2012

juin 24, 2012

Artemesia PPT at WHO by IDAY-IFBV 25 jan 2012

polysaccharides, artemisia et malaria

octobre 30, 2011



The essential role of sulfated polysaccharides in artemisia annua tea infusion



So far the presence of polysaccharides  in Artemisia annua has been barely covered in the scientific literature. The reason may be that they are only soluble in water and most of the Artemisia extracts for research are obtained by organic solvents. Polysaccharides are polymeric carbohydrates of high molecular weight. They have probably  been overlooked in the research on Artemisia annua.

Their presence in other medicinal plants has been more extensively studied. They represent a very large part of the extracts.  Neem contains 22 % of carbohydrates and moringa 5% and they are known to contribute to the therapeutical and immune stimulating properties of these plants (Lan Min-Bo et al., Food Science and Biotechn., 19, 2010, 1463-69). A recent article on Mongolian Artemisia rutifolia and Artemisia sphaerocephala find for water-soluble polysaccharides 6.4 % and 9.0 % respectively of the dry weight of the aerial parts of these plants (N Batbayar et al., Asian J Trad Medicines, 3, 2008). All safety and toxicity studies suggest that polysaccharide products are well tolerated ( J Ramberg et al., Nutr J. 9, 2010 54). They have a proliferation effect on lymphocytes (X.Wei  et  al., Carbohydrate polymers 79, 2010, 418-422), contribute to the secretion of anti-inflammatory interleukins like Il-10 ( S Omarsdottir et al., Int Immunopharmacol. 6, 2006, 1642,-50), they stimulate the intestinal microbiota and reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-8 in CaCo2 cells ( J Nutr 141, 2011, 971-977), activate macrophages, monocytes and splenic lymphocytes (SE Byson et al., Arch Pharm Res32, 2009, 1565-72). Water soluble polysaccharides from artemisia iwayomogi suppress the apoptosis of thymocytes ( J Hwang et al., Biol Pharm. Bull., 208, 2005, 921-924). Those of Artemisia capillaris inhibit the adhesion of helicobacter pylori to host cells ( Woo Jeung et al., J Microbiol Biotechnol, 132003, 853-858). Those of Aloe vera  are claimed to reduce inflammation and pain that is associated with psoriasis. Several artemisia species from Mongolia have wound healing properties which the authors relate to their polysaccharide content ( N Batbayar et al., Asian J of Trad Med, 3, 2008, 33-40). Artemisia annua has been used for the treatment of lupus erythematosus ( YX Zhang et al., Immunopharmacol .Immunotoxicol 31, 2009. 625-30). Artemisia annua also contains 3.4 % of sulfur and the acidic polysaccharides it contains are probably sulfated.  

Sulfated polysaccharides have excellent antioxidant activities ( M Rocha de Souza et al., J Appl Phycol 19, 2006, 153-160). They stimulate the immune system via glutathione. They are potent inhibitors of various viruses (M Baba et al., Antimicr Agents Chemother 32, 1988, 1742-45). The antiviral activity of marine sulfated polysaccharides is proportional to the degree of sulfatation. The activity is even abolished by desulfation. Sulfated polysaccharids act as anticoagulants and tumor inhibitors ( XZ WU et al., West Indian Medical Journal, 55, 2006). They have antagonistic effects on tumor cell migration and angiogenesis ( C Delma et al.,Cancer Prev Res 1, 2008 Suppl A4) . Sulfated polysaccharids from Azadirachta indica (neem) have a strong anti-herpetic activity.   Some polysaccharides reduce liver damage and decrease high density cholesterol (Daye Cheng et al., Molecules, 16, 2011, 2542-50). They increase the level of glutathione in the body.  Most of the polysaccharids in Artemisia tripartita are sulfated and inhibit ROS production ( G Xie et al., Phytochemistry, 69, 2008, 1359- 1371). Sulfated polysaccharides from Artemisia princeps accelerate the rate of thrombin inhibition (T Hayashi et al., Thrombosis Res. 87, 1997, 105-112) Artemisia plants contain a high concentration of  3-4 % of sulfur on dry weight. The concentration in other plants varies from 0.1 to 4.0 %.

In fact most of the Artemisia species are halophytic and in halophytic plant the concentration of sulfated polysaccharids is proportional to the salinity of the soil. Glyphophytes like rice, corn or beans don’t contain sulfated polysaccharids ( RS Aquino et al., PlosOne 2011)

There are more polysaccharides in stems than in leaves and their solubility is also higher for this part of the plant due to a weaker binding to the lignin of the stems (YC Zhang. Life Science College of Ningxia University)

The influence of polysaccharides on the solubility of hydrophobic molecules

Artemisinin and essential oils like limonene, eucalyptol, pinenes have a very low solubility in water.  The latter are well described in the scientific literature for their bactericidal, antihelminthic, antiparasite and immune stimulating properties. Polysaccharides are amphiphilic, i.e. lipophilic and hydrophilic and they contribute to the dissolution of these compounds in water, forming stable emulsions with the solutes, with particle sizes around one micron. Polysacchrarides are water-swellable.  This explains why most of them could be retained on filters with a 0.5 micron pore size and why they clog the filters in wine production. The polysaccharide content of polysaccharides in a plant can be estimated by the so called swelling test. A given quantity of dry material in agitated with water and left over night. The volume increase is then compared with the dry material.

The complexation  by inclusion of artemisinin with cyclodextrins improves the oral bioavailability (J Wong et al., Int J Pharmaceutics, 227, 2001, 177-185). Polysaccharides form complexes with coenzymes ( R Bergeron et al., J Biol Chem. 250, 1975, 1223-30). This complexation and higher bioavailability may explain the  much lower therapeutic doses against malaria required for artemisinin in tea infusions than for pure artemisinin. Polysaccharide droplets are well known as carriers for lipophilic drugs ( K Iwamoto et al., J Pharm Sci, 80, 1991, 219-24). Polysaccharides from Moringa olifeira are used as coating for paracetamol granules  and retard the drug release (G. Kulkarni et al., Natural product radiance, May-June 2002). The solubility of highly branched sulphated  acidic polysaccharides is enhanced in water containing sodium bicarbonate ( LC Vriesmann et al., Braz Arch Biol Technol 52, 2009).

The water soluble polysaccharides also dissolve the minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, aluminium barium, magnesium and contain  4-5 x more of these than in the dry plant material (G Shalamova et al. Plenum Publishing Corporation, 1985). The bioavailability of these complexed essential minerals is better than for the non chelated ions. But the chelation of iron by sulfated polysaccharids has the opposite effect. A high iron load in the bloodstream or an iron rich alimentation leads to a higher parasitemia. By removing the iron by chelation polysaccharids may have a beneficial effect against malaria infection (L Silva Costa et ., Mar Drugs 9, 2011, 952-966).This effect on parasitemia has been proven for other iron chelators (VR Gordeuk et al., Bloodjournal, 79, 1992, 308-312)

The bioavailabiliy of artemisinin is also enhanced in the tea. As Weathers states ( P. Weathers et al., Phytochem Rev, online 07 March 2010) :”Of particular interest is the comparatively high level of transfer of artemisinin into the bloodstream from the plant material vs. the pure drug. There was 45 times more pure artemisinin  fed to the mice than the amount fed via Artemisia annua leaves, yet almost the same amount appeared in the bloodstream. Furthermore, when equal amounts of pure drug  ( 37 µg) and plant delivered drug were fed to each mouse, the amount of artemisinin found in the blood from the plant fed material far surpassed the level from pure delivered drug (undetectable).”. According to study in Pakistan all Artemisia species contain small amounts of artemsinin (A Mannan et al.,  Malaria Journal, 9-310, 2010) which considering the Avogadro number leaves in any cup of Artemisia tea billions of artemisinin molecules for attacking each individual plasmodium in the bloodstream.

Their prophylactic role in malaria.

Malaria is transmitted from  mosquitoes to humans by sporozoites during the blood meal of the female anopheles. They travel to the liver where they invade hepatocytes and develop into merozoites which then invade red blood cells. The plasmodium sporozoites are coated with proteins (called circumsporozoite CS).These perform numerous functions for the parasite. They help the parasite to invade salivary glands in mosquitoes, they help the sporozoite to glide on solid surfaces (K. Matuschewski et al.,  The EMBO Journal, 21, 2002, 1597-62) and are involved in the attachment of sporozoites to liver cells. CS protein is one of the key targets recognized by the host immune system.  But malaria sporozoites and the CS easily bind to sulfated glycoconjugates or polysaccharides ( SJ Pancake et al., Parasitologia, 35 1993, 77-80) inhibiting the invasion of hepatocytes and their infectivity. The sulfated polysaccharide fucoidan also has an appreciable effect inhibitory effect on amastigote multiplication in leishmanianiasis , but also imparts resistance to reinfection ( S Kar et al., J Antimicrob Chemother 66, 2011, 618-25). Trypanosoma cruzi amastigotes also have a glycoprotein coating which may be affected by the carbohydrates of Artemisia (S Kahn et al., Infection and Immunology, 64, 1996, 2649-2656). For antivirally active sulfated polysaccharides the in vivo efficacy mostly corresponds to their ability to inhibit the attachment of the virion to the host cell surface T Ghosh et al., Glycobiology 19, 2009, 2-15)

Sulfated polysaccharids also interfere with the plasmodium merozoite surface protein and  inhibit the invasion of  merozoites into erythrocytes in vitro and in vivo( JH Chen et al., Parasitology Research, 104, 245-250). At Heidelberg ( Y Adams et al., Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 50, 2006, 2850-82)it was confirmed that a large panel of sulfated saccharides displayed antimalarial inhibitory properties ( 50% inhibitory concentration of 7.4  µM). Heparin and other sulfated polysaccharides have been shown to inhibit blood-stage growth of plasmodium falciparum ( MJ Boyle et al., Bloodjournal, October 2011). Ginseng polysaccharides show preventive and curative antimalarial activities. This was confirmed in vivo inn malaria infected mice ( HH Chen et al., Pharm Biol. 49, 2011, 283-289). Ginseng polysaccharides show synergism with artesunate ( China Papers, January 16 2010). It is thus likely that the same synergism takes place in artemisia annua tea. US Patent 5512672 claims that sulfated polysaccharides combined with quinine  show a strong inhibition of parasite infection.

By the same mechanism negatively charged glycoconjugates inhibit the cytoadherence of parasitized erythrocytes to the endothelium of capillaries ( Lihua Xiao et al., Infection and Immunity, April 1996, 1373-78). Mice infected with plasmodium berghei have reduced parasitemia after the administration of dextran sulfate, reduced anemia and an improved survival. It is thus possible that polysaccharides may reduce the severity of cerebral malaria.

Patent WO/2011/000032 extensively describes methods for designing and producing sulfated polysacchararides that have antiplasmodial activity, as well as methods for preventing  and treating diseases including malaria with such molecules.

Frequent recurrent infections occur after artemisinin or artesunate motherapy, because the plasmodia treated by this strong peroxide enter in a stade of quiescence or encapsulated dormancy, where they are protected from the drugs lethal effects. They recover at a later date to resume normal growth ( A Codd et al., Malaria Journal 10, 2011, 56). Certain polysaccharides or peptidoglucans prevent excystement of dormant plasmodia.

Infected erythrocytes also adhere to the placenta (or more exactly to the chondroiton-4-sulfate CSA) and are linked to the severe disease outcome of pregnancy associated malaria. An Australian research group ( KT Andrews et al., Infect Immun 73, 2005, 4288-94)has screened 11 soluble sulfated polysaccharides, including cellulose sulfate (CS10),  for their capacities to inhibit adhesion of infected erythrocytes on ex vivo placental tissue.  Most of them inhibited this adhesion and particularly CS10 caused already bound infected erythrocytes to de-adhere in a dose dependant manner.

Pierre Lutgen                                                                                                                                          October 2011.


Artemisia annua Tee: Prophylaxe gegen Malaria

août 15, 2011


Seit einigen Jahren empfehlen verschiedene Fördervereine, darunter auch IFBV in Luxemburg , die Pflanzung von BEIFUSS (ARTEMISIA ANNUA) in tropischen Ländern. Wie neue klinische Versuche  bewiesen haben, besitzt diese Pflanze ausgezeichnete therapeutische Eigenschaften gegen Malaria.


Seitdem man ARTEMISIA ANNUA in vielen afrikanischen Gärten pflanzt, sind  immer mehr Personen   die getrockneten Beifussblätter als ‘Tisane’  regelmässig trinken, und bemerken, dass sie gegen Malaria immun werden.


Diese prophylaktischen Eigenschaften wurden auf breiter Basis  in Schulen in KENYA bestätigt (diese Schulen gehören zur Organisation IDAY). Schon 2010 wurden Pflanzungen von ARTEMISIA ANNUA auf ungefähr fünfzig Schulen ausgedehnt. Lehrer und Schüler haben den Artemisia-Tee getrunken, um ihre Malaria-Krise zu heilen. Sie haben es jedoch zur Gewohnheit gemacht, regelmässig mehrere Tassen Tee pro Woche zu trinken: das Resultat ist eine ausserordentliche Wirkung um neuen Infektionen oder Rückfällen vorzubeugen.

Die Abwesenheitsquote der Schüler und Lehrer ist von 30% auf nahezu 0% zurückgegangen, und die Schulergebnisse  haben sich in Bezug auf die gesamte Schülerzahl wesentlich verbessert. Laut Ergebnissen von Dr. R. ARUDO wurden therapeutische Ergebnisse auch bei Typhus und Menorrhoe junger Mädchen festgestellt.

Des weiteren hat die Reduzierung der Gesundheitsausgaben es ermöglicht, Gelder für die Schulerziehung freizumachen.


Eine neue wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichung   aus Uganda  (PE Ogwang et al., Brit J Pharm Res ISSN 2231-2919)  bestätigt diese Resultate in bemerkenswerter Weise. Der Autor führt die Prophylaxe auf eine Aktivierung der Monocyten zurück, die unter den ersten Blutkörperchen sind, die im Fall einer Malariaattacke aktiv werden.

Luxemburger Untersuchungen in Bezug auf die Aktivierung der Lymphozyten zeigten 2010, dass auch ein Tee mit nur  geringen Artemisiningehalt einen wesentlich positiveren Einfluss auf das Immunsystem ausübt.

Die vorbeugende  – und sogar therapeutische –  Wirkung der ARTEMISIA ANNUA Pflanze beruht demnach auf anderen  Substanzen, die in der Pflanze enthalten sind. Professor PE Ogwang geht sogar so weit, dass er eine Prophylaxe gegen Malaria mit Beifuss empfiehlt, das keinerlei Artemisinin enthält. 



Dr Pierre Lutgen


Artemisia annua tea for malaria prophylaxis

août 14, 2011


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

Profilaxis del paludismo con artemisia annua

août 10, 2011

La Artemisia annua y la profilaxis del paludismo



Desde hace varios años muchas asociaciones como IFBV, promovieron la plantación de la Artemisia annua en los países tropicales. Esta planta tiene excelentes propiedades terapéuticas contra el paludismo (o malaria), como lo han confirmado recientes estudios médicos. Y desde que se encuentra en numerosos jardines africanos más y más personas han remarcado que si ellas beben esta tisana de manera regular quedan inmunizadas contra el paludismo.

Sus propiedades terapéuticas quedaron confirmadas a gran escala en las escuelas de investigación IDAY en Kenia. En 2011 las plantaciones de Artemisia annua se extendieron a una cincuentena de escuelas. Los maestros y los alumnos recurrieron con toda seguridad a la tisana para curarse de las crisis de paludismo, pero también adquirieron el hábito de beber varias tazas semanales. Se hizo evidente un marcado efecto preventivo contra nuevas infeccio-nes o recaídas de los ataques palúdicos. La tasa de ausentismo de los alumnos y maestros cayó desde 30% a casi 0% y los resultados escolares fueron mejorados por todo el conjunto de alumnos. Según el Dr. T. Arudo los efectos terapéuticos también fueron notables para el tifus como así una disminución de la menorrea para las niñas. La disminución de los gastos para la salud permitió destinar esos fondos para gastos de la educación.

Una reciente publicación científica de Uganda lo confirma de manera notable (P.E. Ogwang et al., Brit J Pharm Res ISSN 2231-2919). El autor atribuye la profilaxis a una activación de los monocitos que están entre los primeros glóbulos de sangre que intervienen en caso de un ataque palúdico. Por otro lado se sabía desde hace mucho tiempo que la artemisinina no muestra ningún efecto de inhibición sobre los esporocitos inyectados por los mosquitos en la piel humana. (GP Dutta et al., J Parasitol. 76,1990,849). Los estudios hechos en Luxemburgo sobre la activación de los linfocitos muestran igualmente que una tisana pobre en Artemisinina tiene un efecto mucho más positivo sobre el sistema inmunitario. El efecto profiláctico y asimismo terapéutico de la Artemisia annua se deberían a otros consti-tuyentes de la planta y el Dr. PE Ogwang está por recomendar como medio de prevención una hierba exenta de artemisinina.


Pierre Lutgen

Artemisia annua et prophylaxie du paludisme

août 8, 2011

Artemisia annua et prophylaxie du paludisme

Depuis quelques années plusieurs associations, dont IFBV, propagent des plantations d’artemisia annua dans les pays tropicaux. Cette plante a d’excellentes propriétés thérapeutiques contre le paludisme, comme des essais cliniques récents l’ont confirmé. Et d

epuis qu’on la trouve dans de nombreux jardins africains de plus en plus de personnes ont remarqué que si elles boivent cette tisane régulièrement elles sont immunisées contre le paludisme.

Ces propriétés prophylactiques ont été confirmées à grande échelle dans les écoles du réseau IDAY au Kénya. En 2010 des plantations d’artemisia annua se sont étendues à une cinquantaine d’écoles. Les enseignants et les élèves ont eu recours bien sûr à la tisane pour se guérir de crises de paludisme, mais ils ont pris l’habitude également de boire quelques tasses par semaine. Un remarquable effet préventif contre de nouvelles infections ou rechutes a été mis en évidence. Le taux d’absentéisme des élèves et des enseignants a chuté de 30% à presque 0% et les résultats scolaires se sont nettement améliorés pour l’ensemble des élèves. Selon le Dr T Arudo des effets thérapeutiques ont également été remarqués contre le typhus ainsi qu’une diminution de la ménorrhée pour les filles. La diminution des dépenses de santé a permis de dégager des fonds pour des dépenses d’éducation.

Une publication scientifique récente  de l’Ouganda le confirme de façon remarquable (PE Ogwang et al., Brit J Pharm Res ISSN 2231-2919). L’auteur relie la prophylaxie à une activation des monocytes qui sont parmi les premiers globules du sang à intervenir en cas d’attaque malariale. On sait de longue date que l’artemisinine  ne montre aucun effet d’inhibition sur les sporozoïtes injectés pas le moustique dans la peau humaine. (GP Dutta et al., J Parasitol. 76, 1990, 849). Des études faites à Luxembourg sur l’activation des lymphocytes montrent également qu’une tisane pauvre en artemisinine a un effet beaucoup plus positif sur le système immunitaire. L’effet prophylactique et même thérapeutique de l’artemisia annua serait  donc dû à d’autres constituants de la plante et le Pr PE Ogwang va jusqu’à recommander comme moyen de prévention une armoise exempte d’artemisinine.

Pierre Lutgen

artemisia annua tea kills gametocytes

juin 27, 2011


Artemisia annua prevents the transmission of malaria from man to mosquito



In the human body the parasite injected into the bloodstream by the mosquito undergoes the transformation from the asexual plasmodium into the sexual gametocytes which the mosquito is going to pick-up during its blood meal. The killing effect of artemisinin on gametocytes is known since twenty years and was first mentioned in in vitro trials at the John Hopkins University. These results were confirmed in 1993 by research teams in China and India and mentioned in the document WHO/MAL/98.1086. The Malaria Journal published  a review article[i] in 2008 describing similar studies involving a few thousand people in several countries.

Taking regularly a cup of Artemisia annua tea could strongly reduce not only  the plasmodium and but also the gametocyte load in the blood. We have received many anecdotic reports of this kind from African partners, but the effect deserves a well designed series of clinical trials in different human and geographical environment. Several are planned in vitro and in vivo in cooperation with BELHERB (Association belgo-luxembourgeise pour la promotion des herbes médicinales). Children appear to constitute the majority of carriers of gametocytes  as a study in Kenya showed [ii]. It appears that the anopheles mosquito is preferably attracted by children and especially by those who are carriers of gametocytes.  The efforts should thus concentrate on school children.

Other antimalarial drugs like chloroquine, amodiaquine,  don’t have this gametocytocidal effect. Pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine (SP) even increases  the gametocyte density.  Artemisia annua tea  taken over 7 days presents the advantage over ACT pills taken over 3 days because gametocytes generally only develop after the 5th day of the infection.

Furthermore essential oils which are present in the tea like 1.8 cineol[iii] and limonene[iv] are known as antimalarials, they arrest parasite development at an early stage and inhibit thus the formation of gametocytes. Their presence in the blood could even have a preventive effect against malaria by strengthening the immune system.

The dream of malaria eradication could become true

Pierre Lutgen



Abstract of the data presented at the Conference on “Health and Education in Africa – Fighting malaria and dysentery” at the European Parliament in Brussels on June 16th 2011. Th

[i] LC Okell et al, Malaria Journal, 2008, 7(125)

[ii] LC Gouagna et al., East Afr Med Journ., 2003, 80 (12) 627-634

[iii]  Vanessa Su et al., Flavour Fragr. J. 2008; 23: 315–318

[iv]  IC Moura et al.,Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, September 2001, p. 2553-2558, Vol. 45, No. 9

Artemisia annua WESA Phnom Penh

février 17, 2011

Keynote speech given at the WESA conference Phnom Penh 3 December 2010.

Artemisia annua is very efficient against tropical diseases and disentery

Climate and cultural behavior have always had a major impact on vector-borne and water-borne diseases. Vectors need specific  temperature ranges. for their development.  In tropical regions climatic conditions provide lush environments in which innumerable hosts of infectious diseases thrive. Rainfall also plays a major role and disease vectors, like mosquitoes, are more abundant during the wet season.

As experts in the field of environmental and health certification (ISO 14000 and OHSAS 18000), we have in our international tasks been confronted by the tremendous burden of tropical diseases and dysentery.  If it is true that bad environmental practices have an impact on health and diseases, the contrary is even more true : diseases and poverty have a disastrous effect on the environment,  on water pollution, on deforestation, on the inappropriate use of energy, on landslides.

Diseases fall into two relatively distinct groups, the well-funded  and  the less well-funded like leishmaniasis, malaria, cholera, dengue, chagas, filariasis, dracunculiasis, amoebiasis, fasciola, trachoma, rabies, buruli ulcer, giardiasis…  Funds currently allocated to neglected diseases are dramatically low compared to the health care costs for more common diseases .These neglected diseases  are major causes of death, disability, social and economic disruption for millions of people. The lost productivity, missed educational opportunities and high health-care costs caused by infectious diseases heavily impact families and communities.

Over 9.5 million people die each year due to infectious diseases – nearly all live in developing countries. Children are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases. Pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria are leading causes of death among children under age 5; cerebral malaria can cause permanent mental impairment.

In partnership with associations in a dozen countries and universities in Africa and South America we have concentrated  our efforts on the fight against malaria and dysentery. Our major sponsors are the ArcelorMittalFoundation and the Rotary Luxembourg Vallées.

Malaria, contrary to many beliefs, has also been a common disease in temperate countries, even in Siberia.  After World War II a major effort was undertaken to eradicate this disease, with dramatic success in most Northern countries ; Sicilia, Spain, Florida, Cuba, Russia, Ontario, Algeria, Greece….

The ideal tool for this was DDT, but abuses in its use lead to concerns  for environmental associations and the product was banned before complete eradication was achieved in poor Southern countries. An overreaction with dramatic consequences because despite hundreds of medical studies trying to demonstrate an eventual  human toxicity of DDT, so far none has been able to document any negative health effects and in Sept 2006 the WHO has lifted the ban on DDT for IRS (indoor residual spraying).  In fact DDT acts on mosquitoes more by its repulsive effect than by its toxicity. IRS is a light of hope for millions of children who dye of malaria.

Although welcoming the utilization of DDT-IRS which can immediately save thousands of lives, we believe that the future lies in herbal products more than in chemical insecticides. The extract of Neem (azadirachta indica) for example has strong repulsive and insecticidal properties.

But beyond the preventive strategies based on bed-nets and insecticides, therapies based on herbal medicine can be very effective and will gain in importance. 70 % of the world population still relies on these. One plant plays a key role in this novel approach: Artemisia annua.  Over the last few years we have accumulated scientific evidence which shows that if tea from this plant is taken during seven days (50 gr in 20 cups) the malaria infection is completely cured with a minor risk of recrudescence.  If taken longer than 7 days it can even reduce gametocytemia and  transmission from man to mosquito. The Chinese know this plant for more than 2000 years and nowhere any sign of resistance to the therapy with this herb has been noticed. Artemisia combined therapy (ACT) pills however have given over the last year alarming signs of resistance. Probably because they lack the synergistic effect of polyphenols present in the dried herb.

In order to better coordinate our efforts we have launched this year BELHERB ( Association for the promotion of herbal medicine).  It relies on the work of a dozen university professors and medical doctors from Belgium and Luxembourg.  Chinese and Indian herbal medicines have made miracles for centuries. With modern spectroscopical tools we want to better understand   their pharmacokinetics.

In our own research work at Luxembourg we discovered  that Artemisia annua tea has a strong sterilizing effect on contaminated water. In fact one cup of tea added to a liter of river water gives perfect drinking water. This effect has been confirmed by several European universities, but also by the universities in Senegal, Central Africa and Colombia.

The University of Antioquia in Colombia confirmed that artemisia annua has good therapeutic properties against leishmaniosis and fasciola hepatica.

The University of Belgrade confirmed that artemisia annua tea has cytotoxicity against selected malignant cell lines: human cervix adenocarcinoma HeLa, human malignant melanoma Fem-x and BG, human myelogenous leukemia K562, human breast adenocarcinoma MDA-MB-361 and human colon carcinoma LS174.

In the field of malaria, the most encourageing results were obtained by our African partners at the universities of Dakar, Bangangte, Bangui and Yaoundé.  Their results are available on request.

We have started plantations in a dozen countries in Africa and South America and reach production levels for the commercialization of phytopharmaceutical products in several of these.

The scientists  of “Belherb” are well aware that additional research work is required to confirm and extend above findings in cooperation with our academic partners in the South. Should all this be confirmed, it would be groundbreaking. Each day 20000 children die of Malaria, Cholera, Diarrhea, Leishmaniosia, …   

In this period of climate changes which have dramatic effects on the health of people in Southern countries, Artemisia annua and other “Chinese” herbs could be a free medicine for them and the end of unspeakable sufferings.  

Dr Pierre Lutgen                                                   

Tisane Artemisia annua, puissante polythérapie

mai 22, 2009

2ème congrès « Maladies tropicales, aspects humanitaires et scientifiques »,

Luxembourg, 6-7 avril 2009.

La tisane d’artemisia annua, une puissante polythérapie!

Pierre Lutgen, ONG « Iwerliewen fir bedreete Volleker » IFBV Résultats scientifiques et nouvelles pistes de recherche Résumé Les travaux présentés lors de ce congrès par les chercheurs de plusieurs pays du Nord et du Sud [*] infirment la thèse que la tisane d’artemisia annua serait une monothérapie basée uniquement sur l’action de l’artemisinine contre le Plasmodium. De fortes synergies ont été constatées avec d’autres substances présentes dans la tisane telles les flavonoïdes ou encore des ajouts tels que la curcumine, l’huile d’arachide ou les antibiotiques. Et cet effet multiplicateur est noté non seule-ment contre les protozoaires de la malaria ou d’autres maladies tropicales, mais également contre les bactéries, les virus et certains cancers.

plus sur section française 5 mai et www,

DDT développement Afrique

avril 18, 2009

Qui est responsable du sous-développement en Afrique :

eux ou nous ?

Dans son rapport de 1956 l’OMS disait : le paludisme exerce de graves répercussions sur le développement économique, le commerce et l’industrie. Il a de graves répercussions sur l’agriculture ; des terres précédemment cultivées dans des régions fertiles ont dues être abandonnées. Il freine le développement physique et mental ; des enfants ne fréquentent pas l’école parce qu’ils sont malades ou doivent remplacer leurs parents dans les champs. Il tue deux millions d’enfants par année.

Dans son rapport de 2008 l’OMS confesse que la situation reste aussi catastrophique en Afrique

Après la deuxième guerre mondiale l’OMS et l’UNICEF  avaient estimé que l’emploi du DDT contre les moustiques pourrait fournir l’instrument principal de la lutte contre le paludisme, parce que le plus efficace, le plus économique et le plus facile à mettre en œuvre à grande échelle. Il avait rendu d’énormes services à l’armée américaine contre le typhus en Europe et la malaria dans le Pacifique Un réseau d’experts, d’équipes de démonstration et de techniciens fut mis en place dans une trentaine de pays pour donner des avis techniques complémentaires par correspondance. La malaria fut éradiquée en France, en Espagne, en Finlande, en Italie, ä Zanzibar, à Taiwan, en Inde, en Floride, à Cuba, en Angleterre, en Hollande, au Canada, en Australie

L’éradication définitive du paludisme dans tous les pays du monde devenait un rêve réalisable. Il resterait des moustiques mais ils n’étaient plus vecteurs de la malaria

Mais on avait totalement oublié l’Afrique  Sur les trente pays participant à la conférence de l’OMS à Athènes en 1956 aucun n’était Africain. On se réfugiait derrière l’argument que l’on ne pouvait pas appliquer l’aspersion intra-domicilaire de DDT en Afrique parce que ces pays manquaient de cadres techniques

A la même époque, l’ancien administrateur de l’Agence de Protection de l’Environnement (EPA-US), William Ruckelshaus, a interdit ce pesticide en 1972 malgré les nombreuses preuves scientifiques que le DDT n’était pas responsable des oiseaux morts, de la minceur des coquilles d’œufs, ou de dommages aux humains. Comme il l’a dit plus tard, « Je n’ai pas interdit le DDT à cause de la science. C’était une décision politique . D’autres pays tels que l’Inde produisaient le DDT à un prix plus bas et les Etats-Unis n’en exportaient plus. On a remplacé le DDT par des pesticides plus chers mais plus dangereux. Michael Crichton, l’auteur de Jurassic Park (et docteur en biologie moléculaire) a dit que « l’interdiction du DDT est un des épisodes les plus honteux dans l’histoire du vingtième siècle. Nous savions, et nous l’avons quand même fait, et nous laissons mourir les gens tout autour du monde, et nous nous en fichons. »

La conséquence est horrible et totalement prévisible. Des centaines de milliers d’enfants et de parents mourant chaque année vivraient, si leurs pays pouvaient utiliser le DDT -le vaporisant en petites quantités sur les murs des foyers, une ou deux fois par an, lors de programmes soigneusement conduits de « vaporisation intérieure résiduelle ». L’OMS recommande cette approche depuis le 16 septembre 2006. Mais l’UE impose des normes de concentration tellement basses pour les pesticides sur les produits agricoles des pays africains que ceux-ci ont peur de perdre le marché. La phobie de certains politiciens ou fonctionnaires devant les lobbies verts a plus d’importance que la vie des enfants africains.

Les victimes de la malaria ne seront pas sauvées par des moustiquaires, des pilules inefficaces, de la moralisation éco-impérialiste ou de vagues promesses de « médicaments miracles » qui pourraient être « à leur portée » -dans peut-être 15 ou 20 ans, une fois que 30 millions de personnes supplémentaires seront mortes. Elles ont besoin du DDT, et elles en ont besoin maintenant. Des millions de vies sont en jeu. Avec 1 euro par personne on peut sauver la vie d’un enfant, alors que les pilules ou les moustiquaires coûtent 30 euro.

La malaria est la cause principale de la pauvreté en Afrique. Son éradication rendrait inutiles les milliards d’euro que nous versons tous les ans sur ce continent pour nous donner bonne conscience mais qui corrompent peut-être plus qu’ils ne guérissent.

Pierre Lutgen,