Malaria: History of Combating the Disease
History of Malaria Treatment from the European Perspective
Since the dawn of human history, it is likely that attempts have been made to treat malaria with herbs and other natural remedies because malaria parasites were present in the Rift Valley, the cradle of humanity, from the very beginning.
The oldest known record of a specific malaria treatment using herbal extracts comes from China in the year AD 340. In the Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergency Treatments, Ge Hong describes a tea made from a “handful of mugwort herb,” which is effective in reducing fever (Klayman 1985). The fever-reducing effect of mugwort herb (genus Artemisia) is based on the plasmodicidal properties of the ingredient artemisinin which is synthetically produced today and to which almost no resistances exist to date (Noedl et al. 2008). However, just recently (June 2009) a retarded activity of artemisinin in Cambodia was announced even by BBC London after being shown already by Noedl et al. (2008). In...
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