Amid an outbreak of coronavirus, a tree was reported in April this year to the African island nation of Madagascar. A local plant-made beverage is being used in the country to prevent coronaviruses. The President of Madagascar, And Ra Ra Ra Olina, himself propagated the term ‘Artemisia’. It is known that plant extracts called Artemisia are effective against malaria. But the World Health Organization says there is no evidence that the tree can cope with Kovid-19. However, scientists have started experimenting with trees. Some have already found ingredients that are effective against corona.
Where did this artemisia come from?
The origin of Artemisia is Asia. But it happens in many other countries – where the weather is hot and there is plenty of sun. Artemisia has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years.
Medications made of artemisia are commonly used as malaria or fever and as a pain reliever. In Chinese medicine it is called Kinhao. In English it is called sweet wormwood or annual wormwood. It is also used as an alternative medicine or in making some alcohol.
Does Artemisia work against Kovid-19?
In April of this year, Madagascar President Rajoilina said a survey was done on a drink called Kovid-Organics made from Artemisia, and found it effective in treating the disease. In November, he repeated the same demand again. However, no evidence has been revealed as to what exactly the drink was made of. But the government says that 80 percent of it comes from Artemisia trees. Its capsules and injections have also been developed in Madagascar and clinical trials have begun.
German and Danish scientists are now investigating Artemisia annua tree extracts. Laboratory tests, they say, have shown some effect against the new coronovirus. Studies have shown that this extract, when used with pure ethanol or distilled water, acts as an anti-viral. However, his research has not been independently verified by other scientists. These researchers are now working with the University of Kentucky in the United States, and at some point it will be tested on the human body. China is also investigating traditional medicines made using the plant Artemisia annuus on its own initiative.
There are several species of Artemisia plants. South Africa is also testing in laboratories whether two species, Artemisia annua and Artemisia Afra, work against Kovid-19. However, the results have not been found yet.
What is the World Health Organization saying?
The World Health Organization says it has not yet received detailed information about the Madagascar test. The agency’s African field official Jean-Baptiste Nikima told the BBC that after looking at the results of the first tests, they could either join the trials for the next episode. So far, however, the WHO states that there is no evidence that any product made from Artemisia works against Kovid-19. They also say that the plants on which the drug is made should be tested for efficacy and harmful side effects.