Coronavirus: This medicinal plant is effective against SARS-CoV-2 – Naturopathy naturopathy specialist portal

Wormwood extracts act against the new Coronavirus

The Annual wormwood (Artemisia annua) has long been regarded as a natural remedy, which is used against Malaria. Researchers now report that the Plant could also help in the fight against COVID-19.

According to a recent communication from Chemists at the Max-Planck-Institute for colloid and interface research in Potsdam, in close cooperation with Virological and virologist at the Free University of Berlin have shown in laboratory studies that aqueous and ethanolic extracts of specially bred mugwort plants (A. annua) against the new Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 are effective. In the USA human clinical trials in which the efficacy of teas and coffee, the A. Annua is included, as well as the Anti-Malaria begin drug artesunate is tested.

Herbal extracts for the treatment of infectious diseases

In Asia, Africa and South America for thousands of years herbal extracts are used in the treatment of infectious diseases. Extracts of mugwort plants were successfully applied for the treatment of febrile diseases, including Malaria.

According to the Max-Planck-Institut Artemisinin is extracted from wormwood. It is the basis for the world health organization (WHO) recommended Anti-malarial combination therapies, which are applied each year, millions of adults and children with little or no side effects.


The use of A. annua teas as a malaria treatment is promoted as a natural combination therapy against infections, and, although the WHO reject their use, given the concern about the development of resistance against malaria drugs are strongly.

The researchers from the participating institutions wanted to find out whether A. annua extracts – pure Artemisinin and related derivatives, and mixtures thereof may also be against the new Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 to be effective. These drugs would be attractive candidates for reuse, because they have an excellent safety profile, is readily available, quickly scalable, and relatively inexpensive.


“After I had worked with Compounds from mugwort-plant, I was familiar with the interesting activities of the plants against many different diseases, including a number of viruses. We were therefore of the opinion that it was worthwhile to investigate the activity of this plant against COVID-19“, explains Prof. Peter H. Seeberger, of the study together with Dr. Kerry Gilmore initiated and supervised.

The addition of coffee boosted the activity

The results showed that A. annua leaves from a cultivated seed-strain, was bred in Kentucky in the United States, but, in the case of extraction with absolute Ethanol or distilled water is the best anti-viral activity. According to the scientists, the addition of either ethanolic or aqueous A. annua extracts before virus addition resulted in a significantly reduced plaque formation. The ethanolic extract of A. annua, and coffee proved to be as the most active.

Artemisinin alone, but shows only low anti-viral activity. “I was surprised that A. annua extracts worked significantly better than pure artemisinin derivatives, and the addition of coffee, the activity increased further,” said Klaus Osterrieder, a Professor of Virology at the Free University of Berlin, carried out all the activity tests.

At the academic medical centre of the University of Kentucky (USA) to begin human clinical trials with tea and coffee, which contained A. annua leaves, the activity of mugwort-test extracts. In addition, a Artemisinin is used according to the communication Artesunate, derivative for the treatment of Malaria, also in a clinical Phase 1/2 study. (ad)

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