An extract of artemisia annua (English: annual mugwort) forms the basis of the new malaria medication artemisinin. Used against multi-resistant strains of the malaria tropica pathogens, artemisinin contributes decisively to the reduction of malaria mortality in adults by 20% worldwide and by even 30% in children.
More than 3.4 billion people were exposed to the risk of contracting malaria. Approximately 214 people do contract malaria, every fifth of whom die of malaria every year.
With the proportionate award of the Nobel Prize for Medicine 2015 the research works on an efficient malaria therapy performed by Chinese researcher Youyou Tu have received the extraordinary academic recognition they deserve.
Ultimately she found her inspiration in respect of the artemisinin agent in a 1,700 years old compendium of Chinese naturopathy, following unsuccessful laboratory tests of more than 2,000 field plants.
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