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Artemisia sieberi and bicarbonate : a revolutionary mixture from Palestine

May 11, 2014 - 18:48 -- Pierre Lutgen

The mode of action of quinine and chloroquine is almost exclusively based on the inhibition of the crystallization of heme into hemozoin, killing plasmodium in its own digestive rejects. In several papers M Akkawi from the Al Quds University in Palestine has shown that extracts of several medicinal plants : Salvia officinalis, Artemisia sieberi, Artemisia afra, Artemisia annua, Inula viscosa had similar effects, in some cases equivalent or better than chloroquine for the inhibition of beta-hematin (see literature references below). In a previous work they had already noticed that the addition of NaCl to the water used for the extraction enhanced the inhibitory effect. They now have completed another series of experiments using diluted solutions of sodium bicarbonate in lieu of distilled water and they notice a spectacular tenfold increase in inhibitory action of beta-hematin. It needs to be mentioned that Artemisia sieberi doesn’t contain artemisinin. This finding could be a breakthrough in the fight against malaria, using Artemisia sieberi and Artemisia afra growing wild in Africa, with some adjunction of bicarbonate. Freeing these countries from the pharmaceutical colonialism. Data and figures are available on request.

(Akkawi, M., A.K. Sharif, K. Salem, A. Saleh and Q. AbuRemeleh, 2012b. Salvia officinalis as a potential anti-malarial drug. Malaria J., 11, Suppl. 1.

Akkawi M, Jaber S, Abu-Remeleh Q, Engeu OP, Lutgen P (2014)Investigations of Artemisia Annua and Artemisia Sieberi Water Extracts Inhibitory Effects on beta-hematin Formation. Med Aromat Plants 3: 150. doi: 10.4172/2167-0412.1000150)


Submitted by Pierre Lutgen on

The University of Al Quds in Palestine surprises us with another interesting finding, confirming previous results indicating that the addition of sodium bicarbonate to aqueous infusions of various Artemisia plants enhanced the inhibition of beta-hematin crystallization.

A similar very significant enhancement was observed for the aqueous infusion of Cymbopogon citratus. The antimalarial properties of the essential oils of lemongrass have been described in several papers, but aqueous extracts have barely been studied. Except for a recent thesis (K Sha’a, Feb 2014, University of Jos, Nigeria). Ex vivo trials on blood samples of Plasmodium falciparum were obtained from symptomatic children and adults. There was a significant reduction in the number of parasitized cells relative to the control. The aqueous extract had a stronger antiplasmodial effect than the ethanolic extract. 

All this is in line with the results obtained by the team of Pr Mutaz Akkawi at Al Quds. The ethanolic infusions show almost no inhibition of beta-hematin. This also highlights the importance to work with aqueous infusion, or even better, with powdered leaves as Pr Pamela Weathers at the Worcester Institute has shown for Artemisia annua. Lemongrass is also one of the 3 components of the prophylactic drug ARTAVOL developed by Pr Patrick Ogwang and the Ministry of Health in Uganda.

Hemant Kumar Bankhede's picture
Submitted by Hemant Kumar Ba... on

Hello Dr. Pierre Lutgen

Thank you for informative post will help many researcher in area of Natural products as antimalarial drugs.


Hemant Kumar Bankhede