Rich artemisia instead of poor (so-called pure) artemisinin!
1. Using artemisia tea has the advantage that each country can produce and use its own anti-malarials with Artemisia annua. Scientific results have shown that the artemisinin content in the blood is high enough after drinking artemisia tea. We quote: "...the minimum concentration required for growth inhibition of P. falciparum can clearly be exceeded with the Artemisia preparations" (Mueller, M.S. et al, Randomized controlled trial of a traditional preparation of Artemisia annua L. in the treatment of Malaria, Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (2004) 98, 318-321)
2. The anti-malarial activity of artemisia tea is much stronger than the same quantity of isolated artemisinin, and this is clearly due to the other anti-malarial components within the tea. When artemisinin is extracted for the production of pharmaceuticals, this is considered to be a process of ”purification”. Rather than being purification, it is more like ”poorification”! In fact the components that are discarded are not ”impurities” but extremely valuable anti-malarial substances. From the same number of Artemisia annua plants, many more people can be treated for malaria with artemisia tea, than if those plants are used for the extraction of artemisinin.
Therefore it makes absolutely no sense for poor countries to throw valuable anti-malarials onto the garbage heap! Because if you remove only artemisinin from your leaves, there is still plenty of anti-malaria activity remaining, that may in fact be even higher than the effect of the isolated artemisinin. We quote: "The ....(other) fractions contained no detectable amounts of artemisinin and/or artemisinin derivates suggesting that their activity was caused by other, so far unknown products" (Francois, G. et al: Antiplasmodial activities of sesquiterpene lactones and other compounds in organic extracts of Artemisia annua, Planta Medica (1993) vol. 59 (7), pp A677-A678)
3. Artemisinin is only one of 29 sesquiterpenes in Artemisia annua. In addition Artemisia annua contains at least 36 flavonoids, many of which have anti-malarial activity. Since 1986 it has been known that the water soluble fraction of Artemisia annua, after removal even of the artemisinin, has the effect of reducing fever. (Merlin Willcox et. al. 2004 Traditional Medicinal Plants and Malaria, CRC Press, p50.) We quote: "In vitro investigations of the extract of the plant have shown that other constituents, notably flavonoids, enhance the antiplasmodic activity of artemisinin" (Elford, B.C. et al, Potentiation of the antimalarial activity of Qinghaosu by methoxylated flavones, Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, (1987), 81, 434-436)
4. There is no doubt that isolated artemisinin, as well as Artemisia annua anamed tea, will not always be sufficient to treat malaria alone. For these cases, we encourage the combination of artemisia tea with either a) a cheap medicines such as Fansidar or Amodiaquine, or b) another herbal tea, as is practised in Kenya, using Euphorbia hirta, or in D. R. Congo, with Cinchona succirubra. According to our observations, the A-3CT (Artemisia annua anamed Combination Therapy) is as good as any ACT (Artemisinin Combination Therapy). We warmly invite independent researchers to conduct clinical studies on A-3CT.
5. Given that Artemisia annua tea has been used in China for 2000 years with the development neither of any resistance nor of any serious side-effects, it is a mystery as to why the WHO does not officially place Artemisia annua tea on the same level as the use of commercially produced artemisinin-derivates.
6. Do not believe people who say that the artemisinin content in the leaves is not stable, and should therefore not be marketed. We have examined dried leaves of A-3 that were 3 years old, and they showed practically no loss of artemisinin content. The leaves were stored in dark and dry conditions.
We are delighted to report that anamed is not the only organisation that is promoting the treatment of malaria with artemisia tea.
For example, see a report of the World Agroforestry Centre