“On the African continent, the herb Artemisia has become a political issue since it was presented by Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina in April as a supposed solution to the Covid-19 pandemic. The former marketing entrepreneur took a sip of the brown liquid he introduced as “Covid-Organics” (CVO) on television. The drink will go down in history as a prevention and medicine against the virus, and will indeed change the fate of Africa. Madagascar did not have a Covid-19 death because of the drug, the politician claimed. And there will be “none.”
Herbs from the island are used, including a plant from the genus Artemisia. The resulting active substance artemisinin has been successfully used for many years, especially in the treatment of malaria – 330 million artemisinin preparations are administered to around 100 million patients worldwide every year in this area alone. And Madagascar is one of the largest producers.
So far, the matter has not seemed serious. On Wednesday, however, the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam caught the eye. In collaboration with virologists from the Free University of Berlin and the University of Kentucky, it was found that extracts from an Artemisia plant originating in the USA were “effective against the new coronavirus” in laboratory studies.