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Artemesia Annua - Cure for Malaria

Mosquito-borne diseases such as Malaria continue to be major health problem in most tropical countries, including India. The severity of this problem is alleviated due to the fact that the malarial parasite quickly adapts to the various drugs that are used to fight it. Recent studies show that the parasite has become resistant to Chloroquine and Sulfapyrimethamine. One of the drugs that still remains effective is Quinine, however it has a number of undesirable side effects.

One of the alternative treatments for malaria that has proven to be successful is the use of the herb Artemisia Annua.
The Artemisia Annua herb is found in China where it is commonly known as Qing Hao Tsu. Although this herb has been in use in traditional Chinese medicine for the last couple of centuries, its usage in the treatment of malaria, in the form of injections and tablets, is a relatively new development. Chinese researchers found mention of the usage of this herb to treat malaria like symptoms in the Handbook of Physicians for Emergencies, written by Ye Hong six hundred years ago. Scientists at the Chinese Institute of Traditional Medicine collected the herb and carried out a slow temperature extraction procedure. They then isolated the principle anti-malarial agent found in the herb and synthesized it in the form of a drug for human consumption. After almost twenty years of trials and testing, it was conclusively determined that this drug successfully cured malaria. Over and above this, it was also proved that this drug was even successful in curing strains of malaria that had become resistant to Chloroquine.

This discovery was hailed as a major breakthrough in the fight against malaria at a recent meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO). This anti-malarial drug is now available in the form of intravenous injections, intramuscular injections, tablets, capsules, and suppositories. It also holds very important ramifications for other countries, such as India, that have a rich history of traditional medicine. If the strategy adopted by the Chinese in adopting their ancient medical techniques to modern medical practices is utilized by other such countries, it could lead to many more breakthroughs in disease treatment and eradication.
Submitted on January 16, 2014