Daar word kennis geneem dat die Wêreld Gesondheidsorganisasie “probeer wal gooi” om die kruietee te gebruik. Alles moet eers getoets word wat verstaanbaar is, volgens hul eie standaarde. Heelwat mense het dit al uitgetoets want mense gebruik dit al jare – en daar was al artikels daaroor geskryf. Ons sien net wat tans gebeur hoe mense “siek word” of “sterf”, maar daar word ook ‘n groot persentasie GESOND. Volgens die WHO is daar geen kuur nie, maar hoe is hierdie duisende dan andersinds genees? Wat word oor die algemeen in hospitale gebruik, waar mense gesond word of sterf aan ander onderliggende siektestoestande soos kanker, diabetes of longontstekening.
Van hierdie onderliggende siektestoestande is identies dan enige griep epidemie. Watter ander simptoom(e) is daar waarvan ons nie bewus is nie, behalwe bestaande en verwante”griep” simptome of ander onderliggende siektestoestande? Mens sou reken daar moet groot blydskap wees sonder dat inentings hoef plaas te vind, wat ook geen waarborge is nie, want griepinspuitings werk ook nie. Inentings verg tyd en ook baie geld.
Dalk is dit tyd dat hierdie selfde natuurlike middel aangewend word vir griep epidemies dan sal daar minder sterftes wees en minder mediese uitgawes. Indien tradisionele en natuurlike of organiese medisyne baie sterk positiewe resultate oplewer, sou mens gereken het dat die “wetenskaplikes en medici” al op Madagaskar geland het om dit fisies te gaan toets om dit te bevestig. Indien ‘n land ‘n plaaslike en natuurlike tee gebruik het wat alle negatiewe gevalle positief gemaak het, is dit opsigself ‘n prestasie. Dit was al selfs in Suid-Afrika getoets – mens wonder net hoekom ons eie regerings en owerhede so stil is daaroor.
Artemisia afra is one of the oldest and best known medicinal plants, and is still used effectively today in South Africa by people of all cultures. The list of uses covers a wide range of ailments from coughs, colds, fever, loss of appetite, colic, headache, earache, intestinal worms to malaria.
However, only limited research has been conducted on this species. According to a recent publication by Van Wyk (2008), only 42 scientific publications and 2 patents related to A. afra are available of which 27 publications and 1 patent were published between 2001 to 2008. .
The many different common or local names describing this plant may be ascribed to the widespread use by different ethnic groups (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1932). In the Xhosa language it is known as “Umhlonyane”, the Zulu language “Mhlonyane”, in Sotho “Lanyana”, Tswana “Lengana”, English “African wormwood” and in Afrikaans “Wilde als”. It is usually employed for treating a variety of ailments such as coughs, colds, headaches, chills, dyspepsia, loss of appetite, gastric derangements, colic, croup, whooping-cough, gout, asthma, malaria, diabetes, bladder and kidney disorders, influenza, convulsions, fever, heart inflammation, rheumatism and is also used as a purgative (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1932, Thring and Weitz, 2006). These uses indicate that A. afra possesses antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities.
The genus Artemisia consists of about 500 species, occurring throughout the world. Some very important drug leads have been discovered from this genus, notably artemisinin, the well known anti-malarial drug isolated from the Chinese herb Artemisia annua. The genus is also known for its aromatic nature and hence research has been focussed on the chemical compositions of the volatile secondary metabolites obtained from various Artemisia species.
In the southern African region, A. afra is one of the most popular and commonly used herbal medicines.
It is used to treat various ailments ranging from coughs and colds to malaria and diabetes. Although it is one of the most popular local herbal medicines, only limited scientific research, mainly focussing on the volatile secondary metabolites content, has been conducted on this species. The aim of this review was therefore to collect all available scientific literature published on A. afra and combine it into this paper. In this review, a general overview will be given on the morphology, taxonomy and geographical distribution of A. afra. The major focus will however be on the secondary metabolites, mainly the volatile secondary metabolites, which have been identified from this species. In addition all of the reported biological activities of the extracts derived from this species have been included as well as the literature on the pharmacology and toxicology. We aim at bringing together most of the available scientific research conducted on this species, which is currently scattered across various publications, into this review paper.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a well-known and well-studied research field.
Many academic and pharmaceutical institutions around the World fund research into TCM with the aim of finding new pharmaceutical entities, establishing quality control protocols and to prove the efficacy of these traditional medicines. Compared to TCM, the traditional African medicine research is lagging behind. One of the main reasons for this is that the available information on medicinal plants is not always well documented.
Furthermore, Africa encompasses a huge area with diverse cultures and languages, which makes sharing of information difficult. The lack of well-funded research institutions or pharmaceutical companies on the continent is also adding to the problem.
African researchers should therefore aim at establishing their own “Traditional African Medicine” (TAM), which on the long run should bring to Africa the same economical and social benefits that TCM has brought to China. In order to achieve this goal, it would be extremely beneficial to the cause if one can identify a flagship species which will epitomize the end goal of establishing a TAM. For this reason, we have decided to review most of the scientific literature available on the endemic Artemisia afra Jacq. (Asteraceae) species to establish if it might have the same medicinal potential as the Chinese A. annua species.
Herb Artemisia afra has recently attracted worldwide attention of esearchers for its possible use in the modern diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases etc. This review is exhaustive and
systematic organization of the available literature on Artemisia afra (A. afra) from January 1922 to July 2011.
The literature survey presents the number of publications with respect to time. Patents are briefly described; the traditional uses are classified and summarized. Some emphasis is given to the data and projections of modern
diseases and the ongoing research in this area in the context of title of this review. The pharmacognostic aspects, chemical constituents and factors affecting it, the activity, analysis & quality control, pharmaceutical dosage form etc. is dealt in this review.
There are four utility patents given for A. afra from Oct. 1997 till
Two patents each were granted in US and in Europe. Two patents mainly are in diabetes, one in cancer and; one in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The gist of all the four patents is given below in reverse chronological order. It is expected to give readers some clues for further research and application.
A. afra belonging to genus Artemisia is exceptionally and widely used in many parts of the world either alone or in combination with other plants as herbal remedies for a variety of ailments like simple headache to neurological disorder like epilepsy. There are more than 1 lakh traditional healers practicing in South Africa . In this section, the various conditions in which A. afra is being traditionally used, as cited in the literature is given.
Respiratory tract related problems
It is primarily used in common cold, cough, sore throat, influenza, asthma as it is said to clear the respiratory and bronchial passages . The leaves are heated and the vapors inhaled to alleviate symptoms of colds and flu. It is also used to clear the blocked nasal passage by inserting fresh leaves in the nostrils or by using as snuff; to relieve pain in the throat in scarlet fever, either the hot infusion is used as gargle or the throat is exposed to vapors . The leaves are commonly smoked by some tribes to help release phlegm, to ease and soothe a sore throat, coughing at night . For cold and chest problems in infants, fresh leaves are placed in flannel bag and hung around baby’s neck. The use of A. afra in combination with other medicinal plants has been widely documented in the ethnobotanical literature is given  in Table 2.
2016 SOUTH AFRICA
A very recent paper of a South African research team shows that among 8 medicinal plants Artemisia afra has the lowest IC50 for impairing the development of late stage gametocytes (P Moyo et al., J of Ethnopharmacology, acceopted 15 March). A very important finding as not many plants have such a significant gametocytocidal effect.
It confirms the in vivo results obtained end of 2015 in a large scale, double blind randomized clinical trials in Maniema, RDCongo (see Breaking news from clinical trials with Artemisia plants) where Artemisia afra was one of the branches of the test. Artemisia herbal tea completely eliminated gametocytes but they were still present on day 28 in 10% of those treated with Coartem In 2013 already Dr Constant Kansongo in Katanga had found in a trial with 44 Plasmodium falciparum infected patients that after 7 days of treatment with 20 gr of capsules containing A afra powder the gametocytes had completely disappeared, except for one patient. Artemisia afra does not contain any artemisinin. The best explanation available is the high arginine content of Artemisia plants (see “Arginine, a deadly weapon against gametocytes” on malariaworld.org). Frank van der Kooy at the University of Leiden found that Artemisia afra has anti-HIV properties stronger than Artemisia annua.
A paper of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (BJ Huho et al., Malaria Journal, 2012 11:118) comes to the conclusion that in high perennial transmission settings case management with ACT may have little impact on overall infectiousness of the human population.
They even found in their study, that the most direct indicator of human-to-mosquito transmission, namely oocyst prevalence was substantially higher after ACT introduction.
A study from Burkina Faso found in a recheck 12 months after a clinical trial with ACTs that the number of symptomatic malaria episodes was even slightly higher in the ACT arm than in the control arm and that after several treatments the prevalence of gametocyte carriers was the same in both arms (AB Tiono et al.,Malaria Journal 2013, 12:79).
Another study found that ACT did not significantly reduce the proportion of infectious children. Submicroscopic gametocytaemia is common after treatment and contributes considerably to mosquito infection. (JT Bousema J Infect Dis., 2006, 193, 1151-59). Because of the short half-life of artemisinin and because high doses induce dormancy in the asexual parasite, asexual forms, mostly rings, remaining after completion of ACT may develop into mature gametocytes 7-15 days later. Some patients have the first appearance of gametocytemia 4-8/day after completion of a 3 day-ACT. (Wilairatana P, et al.,Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2010 Nov;41(6):1306-11).
What worries the authors of the study from Mali is not only that similar results had been found in a study in 2002-2004, but the fact that baseline gametocyte carriage was significantly higher 6 years after deployment of ACTs in this setting. If artemisinin derivatives really enhance recrudescence and gametocyte carriage, this is indeed alarming. It would mean that ACTs will not eradicate malaria but enhance it in the long run.
Artemisia afra is growing wild from The Cape to Addis Abeba.
Covid-19 in Madagascar: The president’s controversial ‘miracle cure’
The World Health Organization is warning that Madagascar’s herbal tonic its president claims can cure patients of COVID-19 has no scientific basis. Other African countries such as Tanzania and Guinea-Bissau have made plans to import the tonic, which contains the artemisia plant, which is normally used to treat malaria.
Health and traditional medicine experts have cautioned against the use of the herbal plant Artemisia afra – commonly known as African wormwood or umhlonyane (Nguni) and lengana (Sotho) – without proper consultation.
The plant which had been used in many SA households for years to treat symptoms related to colds and flu, among other ailments, has become a big topic of debate following claims made by Madagascar’s president Andry Rajoelina. Rajoelina launched a herbal mixture called Covid-Organics last month, which he claims cures the coronavirus. One of the key ingredients in Covid-Organicsis is artemisia. The World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a statement at the weekend, welcoming innovations around the world, including repurposing drugs, traditional medicines and developing new therapies in the search for potential treatments. However, it strongly cautioned against wrongful use of such treatments and the spread of misinformation.
So far the disease has infected 3.58 million people around the world and killed 252,000 globally with numbers climbing daily. Mkhulu Solly Nduku, one of the leaders of Traditional Health Practitioners, said umhlonyane has proven its worth to fight off various symptoms of colds and flu. “We do encourage the use of umhlonyane for flu symptoms and other herbs if the flu is resistant. People should visit their traditional health practitioners for directions on how to use umhlonyane. However, we can’t say it works for corona but it works very well for flu symptoms,” Nduku said. Dr Tabeho Mmethi said people should know that there is no cure for Covid-19. “Even though not scientifically proven there seems to be some allegations that umhlonyane does boost the immune system like your vitamin C. What is important with the virus is the strong immune system so as to avoid opportunistic infections.” Department of health spokesperson Popo Maja said the government can’t endorse the use of lengana because it was not scientifically verified. “We know that our grandmothers used this African herb for cold and flu symptoms and it worked for them. As long as it is not poisonous and psychologically people are fine with it we can’t stop them, but we cannot tell them to use the Africa herb,” he said. According to social anthropologist Prof David Dickinson from Wits University, it is normal human behaviour for people to look for a cure for Covid-19 in the midst of the uncertainty and fear it has caused.
“Science does not yet have a cure for the coronavirus. The only ways we know to prevent infection require difficult to maintain and unwelcome behavioral changes. So, just as with the Aids pandemic, people are keen to find other ways of dealing with the danger.” Hundreds of South African health workers were given a century-old tuberculosis vaccine on Monday in a trial to see whether the venerable formula can …
Dickinson said naturally people will look for alternative answers when science is unable to provide solutions. “People will rely on pre-existing forms of knowledge when science doesn’t have a solution. These include religion, traditional African beliefs, common sense (but not scientific) logic, along with attempts to find the reason for the danger linked to existing beliefs, such as racial oppression, nationalist rivalries, xenophobia and so on,” He said although traditional medicine could have the answer to coronavirus, this needed to be tested and proven first. Zonwabele Solwandle, 63, from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, said he has been using umhlonyane since he was raised by his grandmother. “At the start of the winter season my family always drink umhlonyane to prevent flu and colds. We have never experienced any problems with it, instead it cures flu in record time,” he said. Nomfumaneko Koko, 41, from Libode, also in the Eastern Cape, said she grew up knowing umhlonyane was the cure for cold and flu symptoms. “You just boil the leaves and you pour the liquid in a one-litre bottle and store it in the fridge. Every day in the morning you drink a cup. It works wonders for your flu,” she said. “The use of products to treat Covid-19, which have not been robustly investigated can put people in danger, giving a false sense of security and distracting them from hand-washing and physical distancing which are cardinal in Covid-19 prevention, and may also increase self-medication and the risk to patient safety,” WHO warned.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday called for clinical trials of Madagascar’s Covid Organics, a herbal drink that is said to prevent and cure patients suffering from the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. “We are advising the government of Madagascar to take this product through a clinical trial and we are prepared to collaborate with them,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, told a joint media briefing with the WHO and World Economic Forum.
“We would caution and advise countries against adopting a product that has not been through clinical tests for safety and efficacy,” Moeti said. “We are concerned about the impact that COVID-19 will have on the ability of African countries to progress towards Universal health coverage,” she added. There are over 51,000 confirmed virus cases in the African continent, with more than 17,000 associated recoveries and 1,900 deaths, according to the WHO. She added that WHO was “working with countries to leverage the assets they have in place already, built in preparedness for Ebola and HIV, TB and polio program among others, as well as to scale-up coordination, mobilize people and repair supply chains globally and locally.”
TESTING DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE NOW CURED
Rajoelina, a former DJ who in 2009 at the age of 34 became the continent’s youngest national leader, claimed at the launch that the remedy, named Covid-Organics, had already cured two people. “This herbal tea gives results in seven days,” Rajoelina, 45, told journalists and diplomats in April. Soldiers have since been going door-to-door in the Indian Ocean island country, which has reported 149 cases and no fatalities, dispensing the concoction.
The herbal remedy is produced from artemisia, a plant with proven efficacy against malaria, and other indigenous herbs, according to the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, which developed the beverage. The plant was first imported into the island nation in the 1970s from China to treat malaria. It is now marketed in bottles as a herbal tea, while Rajoelina has said clinical trials are under way in Madagascar to produce a form that can be injected into the body. Following Rajoelina’s claims, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised people against using untested remedies for COVID-19.
“Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world,” WHO, the United Nations health agency, said in a statement on Monday. “Even if therapies are derived from traditional practice and natural, establishing their efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials is critical,” the statement added. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also warned people against using unproven remedies.
“There is no scientific evidence that any of these alternative remedies can prevent or cure the illness caused by COVID-19. In fact, some of them may not be safe to consume,” the CDC said. Meanwhile, the African Union said it was in discussion with Madagascar with a view to obtain technical data regarding the safety and efficiency of the herbal remedy. In an attempt to reassure people and brush aside safety concerns, Rajoelina took a dose of Covid-Organics at the launch event and said it was safe to be given to children.