Excerpts from the article by Sally Robertson are in italics. Please click the original sources sometimes to give them the advertising revenue that they deserve. Below the italic excepts I will offer my opinion on the development.

Researchers in the United States have shown that extracts of an aromatic herb called Artemisia annua inhibit the replication of severe acute respiratory coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) – the agent responsible for the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Also known as “Sweet wormwood,” Artemisia annua (A. annua) is an herb from Asia that produces the antimalarial agent artemisinin.

Now, researchers at Columbia University in New York, the University of Washington, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute have demonstrated that hot-water leaf A. annua extracts based on artemisinin, total flavonoids, or dry leaf mass show antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. …

The researchers tested the effects of extracts from seven A. annua cultivars sourced from four different continents on SARS-CoV-2 propagated in Vero E6 cells. …

One sample that was obtained in 2008 still exhibited anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity that was comparable to the most recently harvested cultivar samples.

This suggests that the active principle is ubiquitous to different A. annua cultivars and is chemically stable during long-term room temperature dry storage, say the researchers. …

The researchers say that while human trials are clearly needed, the study suggests that consuming reasonable amounts of DLA may serve as a cost-effective treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Here’s a link to the study of M.S. Nair, Y. Huang, D.A. Fidock, S.J. Polyak, J. Wagoner, M.J. Towler, and P.J. Weathers, published January 08, 2021. “Results suggest the active component in the extracts is likely something besides artemisinin or is a combination of components acting synergistically to block post-entry viral infection.” That’s the type of thing that the pharmaceutical/ clinical testing model can’t handle. It’s only one compound at a time. They wouldn’t choose to use as large a number of compounds as are found in herbs.


OPINION

I only found this information by searching for some more background information on a recent article I had written. I searched for “SARS and artemesia,” not COVID and artemisia, because the first time artemesia was used against coronavirus, the virus was called “SARS” in the press. SARS started in late 2002.

Two questions: 1. Why is something like this not major news? 2. Why did it take researchers in the United States so long to put some artemisia in a petri dish with some COVID when other countries were already using it and reporting good results?

It seems like the entire clinical testing model has never been about curing disease. The FDA, CDC, or whoever should have been testing artemisia within 24 hours of the first report of SARS-COVID 2. I mean, the “researchers” used “hot water extracts” (tea) for “in vitro” (a petri dish) studies. Wow, impressive. It took until January 2021 to get that done? What gives?

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