Alternative names: Artemisinin, Sweet Wormwood
Artemisinin is isolated from the herb Artemisia annua, in use in China more than 2000 years as a herbal tea against fever. Artemisinin drugs are being used extensively in South-East Asia and increasingly in Africa. Active derivatives have been synthesized – artemether, arteether and artesunate – which are used for oral, intramuscular, rectal and intravenous administration.
Qinghaosu, or artemisinin – also known as sweet wormwood – provides a possible solution to the ever growing problem of Plasmodium falciparum – drug resistant malaria. Widely used in China, it is fast and efficient when used to treat people who already have malaria, with no side-effects.
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