February 2018: Ethiopia: Artemisia project

Artemisia annua tea – a revolution in the history of tropical medicine

Already ten years ago I worked in Lalibela with Abebe Wondater, the pharmacist. He was very interested in Artemisia Annua (A3) and he also cultivated plants of this species himself. Abebe has a “green thumb” and the plants thrive with him. He knows about the propagation, the application and dosage of the plant. Thus Abebe is the specialist for Artemisia.

In January, Abebe accompanied me on a journey to the south. That made sense because I brought some Artemisia seeds for several friends. With great expertise and experience, Abebe shared valuable explanations with those interested. He plans to guide the local people on how to take care of the seedlings, how to pimp the plants and set them in the field. He will personally show them how to make cuttings, i. E. how to multiply the plant in a way, so that the artemizing content remains constant. He will also harvest artemisia with the local people, show them how to properly dry the plants and which parts can be used as medicine and how to store them.

Very important is the expertise on the use of Artemisia Annua as a medicine. In addition to the best-known application of the medicinal Artemisia in malaria diseases, it is also used in medical problems such as hemorrhoids, colds, fever, chronic bowel problems, schistosomiasis, in support of AIDS patients, bronchitis, candida, tumors, arthritis, fibro-myelosis and epilepsy. External applications are used in cases of skin or athlete’s foot problems, hemorrhoids, eczema, scabies and eye infections.

Artemisia is also used in veterinary medicine for bacterial intestinal infections.

At his place of residence, Kombolcha, Abebe Wondater cultivates 160 plants which is the basis for his income.

The foundation will finance his travels to the south of Ethiopia to ensure the advancement of knowledge with this healing plant and make the Artemisia projekt successful.

Beatrice Gill