For thousands of years, people have been using the plant Artemisia annua to treat malaria and, in contrast to many other plants that have been used for thousands of years, its effect has been confirmed. As more than two hundred million people in Africa have malaria, A. annua tea is a popular beverage.
Another disease prevalent on the African continent is the HIV virus, a relatively new phenomenon without a history of healing plants. However, there are rumours that artemisia tea might help slow down the development of HIV.
Two pharmacologists from Leiden and two from Switzerland decided to test whether there was any truth to the claim. And, as you can read in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, it works on cell cultures and so does Artemisia afra, a relation of the malaria plant. Redbush tea, used for control, did not have any effect, which is a pity. Nevertheless, In Vitro is not the same as In Vivo, and accordingly the scientists warn that we need more evidence before the anti-HIV effect Artemisia varieties can be validated.

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