Artemisia annua, an inexpensive alternative to Covid-19 - very promising leads!

Teams of researchers are currently testing the efficacy of Artemisia annua against Covid-19, mainly in the U.S. but also in Europe and South Africa. Several Chinese studies had shown that this plant, traditionally used to treat malaria, had strong antiviral activity against SARS-CoV in 2003.American researchers are enthusiastic: “If subsequent clinical trials are successful, Artemisia annua could potentially be used as a safe, globally available therapy at reasonable cost and offer an alternative to vaccines.”



University of Kentucky, USA & Max Planck Institute, Germany

“Researchers at the College of Medicine have launched a clinical trial to test the plant’s efficacy against COVID-19. A 2005 Chinese study showed that Artemisia annua had strong antiviral activity against SARS-CoV, the coronavirus responsible for the SARS epidemic in 2003. Laboratory studies this year indicated that the leaves of the plant also have strong antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Although laboratory results are promising, it is still too early to know whether Artemisia annua can help treat people with COVID-19. »

Columbia University, University of Washington & Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA

Researchers show in vitro efficacy of Artemisia annua against SARS-CoV-2. “If subsequent clinical trials are conclusive, Artemisia annua could potentially be used as a safe therapy provided worldwide at a reasonable cost and offer an alternative to vaccines”. (pre-publication, 8 January 2021)

Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubiran, Mexico

Launch of a large-scale clinical study on 360 Covid-19 patients with co-morbidities (diabetes, obesity, hypertension…) in September 2020. The aim of the clinical trial is to establish whether Artemisia annua prevents hospitalisation or serious illness.
Description de l’étude clinique :

Mateon Therapeutics, California, USA

The laboratory has shown potent in vitro activity to inhibit the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. It has initiated an in vivo study to establish the efficacy of artemisinin as an affordable first-line treatment in India.

Press Releases:

University Of California-Santa Clara, USA

“The team has selected a list of priority botanicals for deep analysis, focusing on several well-known natural products that have been used for anti-inflammatory effects or for enhancing the immune system. The list includes sweet Annie (Artemisia annua, also called sweet wormwood)”.

Press Release University Of California, 8 July 2020

Europe / South Africa

Institut Max Planck & Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) & University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

« Effective and affordable treatments for COVID-19 patients are needed. We report on the in vitro efficacy of Artemisia annua extracts as well as artemisinin, artesunate and artemether against SARS-CoV-2. The last two are approved active pharmaceutical ingredients of anti-malarial drugs. (…) Clinical studies are needed to further evaluate the usefulness of these compounds as COVID-19 treatment”. (pre-publication, 5 October 2020)

North West University, South Africa

“We are raising funds to scientifically investigate the potential to develop Artemisia into an effective treatment of COVID-19. All funds will be managed by North West University”, Prof Frank van der Kooy.

Presentation of research progress

La Maison de lArtemisia is a French humanitarian association promoting the use of Artemisia annua and afra in the fight against malaria, targeting the most vulnerable populations in the world. These two plants have been used for centuries in Traditional Medicine in China and East Africa.Its mission is twofold :
  • accelerate research into Artemisia herbal tea
  • oversee and increase its sustainable production in malaria endemic countries through Houses of Artemisia, local centres of expertise, which coordinate knowledge and distribution of the plant.
Contact: Arnaud Nouvion,