IDAY at Pairi Daiza
Zoom on Artemisia
One of the medicinal plants of particular interest to the IDAY network is Artemisia annua. It is a plant that, in the form of herbal tea or powder, provides protection against malaria (otherwise known as malaria), without the need for medication. Malaria is a deadly disease that kills nearly 1000 children a day.
Artemisia annua is a medicinal plant from the Chinese pharmacopoeia and has been used for more than 2000 years in Asia to treat malaria and as a plant for well-being.
It is a so-called annual plant, which means that it starts a new life cycle every year. It grows all over the world and its seed is adapted to African climates.
➢ WHAT ARE ITS VIRTUES?
- It protects: it is said to repel mosquitoes, i.e. it repels mosquitoes.
- It prevents: in many African countries, mosquitoes bite us and transmit a parasite that causes a potentially fatal disease: malaria. When we consume this plant as an herbal tea, it increases our immunity. This means that we defend ourselves better against external parasites.
- It heals: we can also use the plant when we have a malaria crisis. The herbal tea then heals us in 7 days!‹
Several clinical studies around the world confirm the effectiveness of their herbal tea and powder without creating side effects or resistance. Moreover, its low cost makes it accessible to the entire population.
This plant also reduces the inconveniences of menstruation periods, which directly encourages the schooling of girls.
Artemisia annua also acts as a dewormer against intestinal parasites, another important source of absenteeism in Africa. The plant is also very appreciated by animals, which requires the installation of fences around the plantations.
➢ HOW TO GROW IT?
It is necessary to sow a seedling. Once the young seedling has reached 4 centimeters in height, it will have to be transplanted in a nursery. Then, once it has reached 15 centimeters in height, it should be planted in the ground, observing 80 centimeters of space between the plants.
As soon as the very first floral bud appears on the plant, usually 4 to 5 months after planting the seed, it is at maturité́. This is the time to harvest it to cut it, dry it and crush it into small pieces.
It is estimated that one hectare of Artemisia annua protects 6,000 people from malaria.
In the context of the subtropical medicinal ecological garden, Artemisia annua will be associated with other plants: moringa, lemongrass, chayo, cabbage, carrot, etc.
Today, the plant can be consumed individually, but not marketed on a large scale. Indeed, for a pharmaceutical product or plant to be officially admitted as a medicine, it must meet certain standards. It must be demonstrated that the new treatment is at least as good as the existing one. Extensive laboratory research
(called in vitro) have demonstrated the superiority of Artemisia annua, but they have yet to be conducted on people (in vivo) according to the strict standards of the WHO, World Health Organization. IDAY is precisely at the origin of a research program with an African university and international researchers.
For more information on this plant, go to the IDAY website where you can find, at the bottom of the page, a video and a document on the cultivation of the plant as well as a scientific file: https://iday.org/en/education-and-health-school-gardens-and-kitchens
Video on Artemisia annua: