All about artemisia annua

Teny Malagasy Français DeutschEspanolItaliano 中国人

Artemisia Annua Madagascar

Artemisia annua, also known as annual wormwood or Chinese wormwood, is a medicinal plant that has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. This plant with multiple properties is used to fight against malaria. You will find everything you would like to know about this plant in this article.


What is artemisia annua?

Artemisia annua is a species of dicotyledonous plant. It belongs to the Asteraceace family. This plant has always existed, as it has its origins in the Old World, i.e. in Eurasia and North Africa. It was then introduced into the temperate regions of America. It was not until the 1990s that it was introduced in Africa and Latin Africa. This annual herbaceous plant is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine to combat fever. It also contains other active substances that help to combat parasites such as Plasmodium, which causes malaria, and cancer cells.


Artemisia annua: a bit of history

In 1967, the Vietnam War was in full swing and Vietnamese warriors were dying more from the ravages of disease than from the enemy’s bullets. China, for its part, was also suffering the full force of the epidemic in its southern provinces. To help its ally Ho Chi Minh and also to prevent its population from being decimated by the disease, China set up a research program, Project 523.

Tu Youyou, the researcher who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2015, has been promoted to head this project. She focused her work on artemisia annua. Indeed, chloroquine, the derivative of quinine from the cinchona cork had almost no effect. She thus plunged back into traditional Chinese medicine and it is there that she rediscovered the annual artemisia annua. She also found that in the regions where the plant is used, there is almost no trace of malaria. She continues her research to extract the active ingredients from the plant and make it an effective remedy. At the same time China sent stocks of annual mugwort to Ho Chi Minh’s soldiers who were able to fight against malaria and stand up to the American troops.


What are the benefits of artemisia annua?

As mentioned above, artemisia annua or annual mugwort has many virtues. In particular, it has been used to cure intermittent fevers since the dawn of time. Since the discovery of Tu Youyou, artemisinin, extracted from artemisia annua, has been used in the development of anti-malarial drugs. This plant is also a very effective anti-malarial. Among the 400 or so components of this plant, about 20 have anti-malarial properties. It is this richness that makes it very effective in the treatment of malaria.

Its anti-malarial properties are not the only virtues of this plant. Artemisia annua also has anticancerous properties. Studies in vitro, i.e. outside the body have shown that artemisinin (the active ingredient extracted from artemisia annua) can destroy cancer cells that cause leukemia, breast cancer or prostate and colon cancer. Studies carried out on dogs have also shown that this plant could cure cancer of the bone and lymph nodes.


Artemisia annua: what’s in it for Covid-19?

Artemisia annua has long been used in traditional medicine to fight certain viral diseases and to alleviate the symptoms of malaria, including intermittent fevers. It is thus quite possible that this plant can make its contribution in the treatment of Covid-19. In countries where traditional medicine is widely used, such as in Madagascar, many believe that taking a herbal tea from this plant could alleviate the symptoms of Covid-19. The country’s Applied Research Institute has implemented a decoction based on this plant as part of the fight against Covid-19. While there is still a long way to go to prove whether this remedy is really effective against covid-19, scientists say that taking it could not do any harm and in some cases can help improve the comfort of people suffering from the disease.


How to take artemisia annua ?

In several countries of the world, particularly in Asia and Africa, artemisia annua is taken in many different ways. It can be taken as a dry plant infusion, at a rate of 5 g per litre of water, or as a tincture of fresh plant. It is also possible to take fresh plant juice. However, the most common form is the dry plant infusion, which is the easiest to use and the easiest to find. There are also artemisinin-based medicines on the market that are prescribed to combat malaria and malaria.


Artemisia annua: why is WHO reluctant ?

The WHO (World Health Organization) recognizes the potential of artemisia annua and the efficacy of artemisinin-based medicines. However, it remains rather reluctant about the widespread use of this remedy, especially in its non-therapeutic form. WHO states that, so far, there is no specific research that can attest to the exact concentration of artemisinin in preparations to be taken in the form of herbal teas, etc., and that it is not possible to determine the exact concentration of artemisinin in these preparations. The administration of an infra-therapeutic dose, i.e. less than the dose necessary to control the disease, could increase the form of resistance to the disease. In the end, instead of being immune, people who take these remedies may be resistant to the treatment and will be difficult to cure afterwards.


Artemisia annua: adjustments for better efficiency

Artemisia annua can thus be effective, but its use should not be taken lightly. In order to be sure that the plant contains all the components needed for disease control, care must be taken when growing it. The WHO states that, as with almost all medicinal plants, effectiveness depends primarily on the climatic, geographical and environmental conditions in which the plant has evolved. For this reason, artemisia annua planted in some places may contain more artemisinin than those planted in other places.

All information provided on the website is for informational purposes only. They do not engage our responsibility because this information does not substitute in any case the opinion of a doctor. For any use of the products offered on this site (essential oils and others) for therapeutic purposes, please consult a medical professional.