Antimalarial tea: from herbal remedy to licensed phytomedicine

20-Apr-2015

The fascinating story and challenges behind the development of this plant-based treatment are presented in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Malaria is a critical health problem in West Africa, where traditional medicine is commonly used alongside modern healthcare practices.

A herbal remedy derived from the roots of a weed, which was traditionally used to alleviate malarial symptoms, was combined with leaves and aerial portions from two other plants with antimalarial activity, formulated as a tea, and eventually licensed and sold as an antimalarial phytomedicine.

The fascinating story and challenges behind the development of this plant-based treatment are presented in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

The article is available from the The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website, here, until 14 May.

Dr Merlin Willcox (University of Oxford, UK), Dr Zéphirin Dakuyo (Phytofla, Banfora, Burkina Faso) and coauthors discuss the antimalarial and pharmacological properties of the herbal medication derived from Cochlospermum planchonii, a shrubby weed known as N'Dribala, Phyllanthus amarus and Cassia alata. Sign up for your free email newsletter

The authors provide a unique historical perspective in describing the early evaluation, development and production of this phytomedicine. They present the ongoing research and challenges in scaling-up cultivation, harvesting the plants and in production of the final product. The article also describes other traditional uses of the medication, such as to treat hepatitis.

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