ARTEMISIA EFFECTS ON COVID-19 SYMPTOMS & OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS
– DR THUTO PIUS TSOOANA
What is Artemisia?
- Artemisia is a broad and diverse genus of plants with between 200 and 400 species belonging to the daisy family Asteraceae. The common names for various species in the genus include mugwort, wormwood, and sagebrush. Artemisia afra is the species commonly found in Lesotho, locally known as Lengana. This aromatic plant, grows well in dry, and stony grounds.
There’s a new recent study , led by Dr. Yuyong Zhou from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and Dr. Kerry Gilmore from the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces in Germany, aimed to prove the effectiveness of Artemisia against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro.
Are there any medical uses of this plant?
- In Africa as a whole, this is a well known and frequently used herb by many people, tribes and many cultures. Artemisia, because of the practically proven anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antimicrobial, insecticidal, antimalarial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant activities, It’s therefore often used to treat cough, fever, headache, intestinal parasites, constipation and malaria too.
- Even with the world ongoing pandemic times, Basotho people and other many africans still use this plant ( Lengana) for the treatment of covid-19 symptoms and exhibit a quick relief. In Asia, China to be specific, this plant is used a lot to treat covid-19 patient in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Here is how the Africans usually use artemisia ( lengana):
- Steam inhalation
- Full body wash
- Partial body wash
- Enema – for treating constipation
- Oral ingestion
COVID-19 VS ARTEMISIA?
- Lets quickly review what covid-19 does in the human body; COVID-19 infection can inflame and damage the walls and linings of the air sacs in your lungs. As your body tries to fight it, your lungs become more inflamed and fill with fluid. This can make it harder for them to swap oxygen with carbon dioxide, resulting in shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing , causing a less or reduced oxygen saturation. Therefore , It starts with basic flu symptoms. Due to the replication/duplication of the virus, it could eventually affect your lungs, liver, kidneys, and even your brain.
- Now, how does Artemisia crack all of this complications caused by the corona virus? Well, as it has been previously mentioned that this plant exhibit very fundamental applications in the clinical setup, the isolated pure compounds of Artemisia are known for their immune-modulating and pro-inflammatory host response enhancing properties.
- By being anti-inflammatory, this herb stops the inflammation caused by the virus in our body in order to disrupt the chain of hypersensitivity events which lead to a cytokine storm that ends up with fever, chills, shortness of breath, chest pain and body-ache.
- In fighting this invisible monster covid-19, the artemisia with its anti-microbial , anti-viral properties, directly fights the virus and affect its ability to replicate or multiply. Replication / duplication of the virus is the sole reason for many more known complications of the covid-19 such as heart failure and lung failure.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS? – side effects on herbs are often personal, for example, one may be allergic to corn , certain flowers etc while some other people may not be.
- However some noted side effects of Artemisia are ;
- May trigger seizures
- Liver and Kidney failure associated with prolonged use
- Extremely lowered blood pressure and heart rate.
Any Special Precautions & Warnings?
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of Artemisia during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Diabetes: There is evidence that Artemisia might lower blood sugar. Some experts worry that taking Artemisia along with drugs used for controlling diabetes might lower blood sugar too much.
Diabetic patients who consume Artemisia have to monitor their blood sugar levels closely. The dose of medications taken for diabetes might need to be adjusted.
Surgery: Artemisia might affect blood glucose levels. That has raised a concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop taking Artemisia at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Any contraindication ? Medications for diabetes (Anti-diabetes drugs) Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Artemisia might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking Artemisia along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of one’s diabetes medication might need to be changed.
In a nutshell , this plant – ARTEMISIA ( LENGANA) with its anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects in respiratory infections, has proven to be effective against SARS – CoV-2 and COVID-19 symptoms. This also helps us to crash the fear of covid-19 variants which in my opinion, comes with more aggressive flu-like symptoms, more lethal especially in many age-groups and spreads rapidly. However , this article is not aimed to proclaim that artemisia ‘cures’ covid-19 but to give awareness that it can be effective to relief covid-19’s aggressive flu-like symptoms, because even the normal cold or flu, there’s still no cure for it. The prescription we get for flu is to clear the symptoms which make us uncomfortable.