Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Conspiracy Theories #1 in a series.

Ok, Artemisia Annua. The Chinese have used it for 2000 years to treat fevers, malaria and parasite infestations. It grows easily in much of Africa (if introduced) as it has been, on a small scale. Recent studies have shown that one of its active ingredients has an anti-malarial effect. Artemisin. So drug companys are making Artemisin Tablets to treat Malaria. Great, you say. No, not so great. Because if you isolate the elements of Artemisia you lose other anti-malarial properties. What's more, the plant grows easily in poor dry conditions and a tea, made from the dried foliage,5grams a day for 4 to 7 days leaves the patient symptom free. People could grow it in the yard and have enough to treat the entire village. They could do this for nothing more than an inital outlay for seeds, as it self seeds. This would be much cheaper for them than buying PharmaGlobalInc.'s pills of isolated ingredient.

The World Health Organisation know all about Artemisia Annua. Why are they not encouraging people in Africa to grow this herb and treat themselves, saving lives, and helping to cut down reinfection? The other problem is that if you isolate an element of the plant, the malaria parasite develops resistance to that element:

"The World Health Organization (WHO) today requested pharmaceutical companies to end the
marketing and sale of "single-drug" artemisinin malaria medicines, in order to prevent malaria
parasites from developing resistance to this drug.
The use of single-drug artemisinin treatment - or monotherapy - hastens development of resistance by
weakening but not killing the parasite. When used correctly in combination with other anti-malarial
drugs in Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs), artemisinin is nearly 95% effective in curing
malaria and the parasite is highly unlikely to become drug resistant.
To anticipate and prevent the onset and spread of drug resistance in the long term, WHO urges the
global malaria research community and the pharmaceutical industry to rapidly invest in the design of
the next generation of antimalarial drugs. By creating ACTs with multiple-drug combinations and
transmission blocking components, resistance can be prevented."

Yet, resistance can be prevented by people taking tea instead of pills. Three times as many people can be treated for the same yield of plant as can be treated by tablets made from the same yield. It makes no economic sense. It makes no scientific sense. It makes no human sense. If the WHO really cared about Malaria they would be educating people on the growing, harvesting, drying and tea-making with this plant.


electro-kevin said...

Should the World Health Organisation now have the accronym WHOOOOO - bearing in mind the spookiness of this conspiracy ?

Not nice, is it, Lilith.

Lilith said...

No E-K. It is not nice. Luckily I have half a kilo of the tea should the mosquito problem get really bad here in Somerset.

Oliver Gosling said...

And where have you been my deary?

Lilith said...

I have been talking to my friend Bunty, Oliver, who has just come back from The Congo. Apparently she has a pygmy half sister.

Lilith said...

Actually there was a Bloggerdrama. I got overly involved and over exposed myself. Poor Hitch was in blackout at the time so he was an unwitting accessory to my shame. At least I think that is what happened.

Oliver Gosling said...

Oh! I am almost tempted to give you my email to find out more. And now poor Hitch is dead...

electro-kevin said...

relieved to have you back, Lilith


Ed said...

Hurrah! Thanks for letting me in!

That is not supposed to be smutty whatever Mr S says.

Scroblene said...


It really is great to have you back!

Under another guise, I said several stupid things on my first ever toe-dip into blogging, and felt a right pillock soon afterwards! (You may say, well, no change there)!

This story of yours smacks of the usual item - money. Some years ago, I heard Barbara Woodhouse, (dog expert), talking about her early years.

She was out in the jungle somewhere, and developed symptoms one of the strains of diabetes. The locals found her a plant to chew, which appeared to clear up the condition.

As she was still understandably close to coma, but at least on the mend, she was carted off to civilisation.

On her eventual return, she couldn't find the locals, or recognise the plant she was given. So a real natural saviour, like your piece states, possibly exists - if we can find it!

Good post that!

Lilith said...

You are all too kind :-) Now, if Hitch would just come back too..

hatfield girl said...

Hello, I can visit Lilith again, lovely. Only I can't understand what anyone is saying. Except that the behaviour described in the post makes economic sense, in a horrible way.

Lilith said...

This really gets to me Hatfield Girl. It is such a cheap, simple and effective treatment.

The full moon has rendered everyone a bit barking. Me included. So glad you are feeling better!