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Take This Tea and Call Me in the Morning [Slide Show]

Researchers use reverse pharmacology to evaluate traditional herbal medicines in Africa

By Brendan Borrell

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PEDIATRIC WARD

at the Mbarara Regional Hospital in Uganda is filled with children suffering from malaria.....[ More ]

THE WORLD’S

most effective conventional antimalarial drug was derived from the sweet wormwood plant, Artemisia annua, which had been used by Chinese doctors for 2,000 years. Today wormwood tea is being used in parts of Africa for malaria treatment and prevention, although the World Health Organization frowns on it.....[ More ]

RESEARCHERS

Merlin Willcox and Bertrand Graz visit an herb garden cultivated at a Ugandan outpost for the German organization Action for Natural Medicine. The organization helps villagers learn to cultivate their own Artemisia annua and make antimalarial tea from it.....[ More ]

MERLIN WILLCOX

and Bertrand Graz led a workshop at Makerere University in Kampala in February 2013 to help African scientists run their own clinical trials on herbal medicines.....[ More ]

WORKSHOP ATTENDEE

Maud Kamatenesi of the Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Laboratory at the Ugandan Ministry of Health (middle) went on to run a so-called retrospective treatment outcome study on plants that local women use to treat malaria in southwestern Uganda.....[ More ]

TRADITIONAL MEDICINE

in Africa also has a dark side. “We treat fibroids. We treat syphilis. Gonorrhea. Sinus headache. Body rashes. Warts. Diarrhea,” says Yasire Ssebeliba, an entrepreneur who runs a mini medical empire in a Kampala slum.....[ More ]

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