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Pierre Lutgen's blog

Tannins in Artemisia: hidden treasure for prophylaxis

October 9, 2016 - 15:53 -- Pierre Lutgen


Proanthocyanidins (condensed tannins) are oligomeric and polymeric products of the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway. They are present in the fruits, bark, leaves and seeds of many plants, wine and teas, and are increasingly recognized as having beneficial effects on human health. They have attracted little interest in malaria research because in vitro they show no significant antimalarial activity.

Artemisia, allelopathy, tannins.

September 16, 2016 - 09:02 -- Pierre Lutgen

Allelopathy related to Artemisia plants has already been described 100 years ago (Bode, H. R. 1939. Über die Blattausscheidungen des Wermuts und ihre Wirkung auf andere Pflanzen. Planta 30:567-589). The work of H Bode was completed a few years later (GL Funke. Blumea - Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants, 1943 5, 281-293). Eighteen species of plants, most of which were chosen at random, were sown beside a hedge of Artemisia absinthium; they were severely injured and in one case even killed by the chemical excretions of the latter within a distance of ± 100 cm.

Bali, Tuberculosis, Diabetes and Artemisia

August 16, 2016 - 06:17 -- Pierre Lutgen

Most of us ignore that on Nov 3, 2015 a Convention was signed in Bali declaring the fight against the looming TB-Diabetes co-epidemic, one of the greatest global health challenges.

An estimated two billion people, or one third of all people worldwide, live with a tuberculosis (TB) infection, of whom 9.6 million people develop active TB disease annually. TB is the leading cause of death worldwide due to a single infectious pathogen, responsible for 1.5 million human deaths in 2014, and 95 percent of human TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Sun, shade or oven drying for Artemisia

August 4, 2016 - 08:41 -- Pierre Lutgen

It has traditionnally been accepted that drying of Artemisia annua should take place in the shade because drying in the sun would destroy many useful molecules. But recent papers have questionned this belief and have studied the effect of ultraviolet radiation on the accumulation or decrease of medicinal compounds in plants (WJ Zhang et al., Fitoterapia, 2009, 80, 207-18). A study in Turkey showed that UV-C radiation had remarkable promoting effects on the accumulation of secondary metabolites in the calli of a grape cultivar (E Cetin, Biological Research, 2014, 47 :37).

Plasmodium is killed by zinc chelators

July 9, 2016 - 07:43 -- Pierre Lutgen

Plasmodium is thriving on iron. One of the first mistakes of Western medicine in Africa was the iron supplementation to the Somali nomads in 1968. Blood analysis of these nomads had shown that according to European standards they were suffering from anemia (MJ Murray et al., Brit Med J. Oct 1978, 1113-1116). But iron administration was associated with a significant increase of the disease it was supposed to suppress and even to reactivation of pre-existing diseases. The conclusion of the authors was that iron deficiency eventually plays a part in suppressing certain infections

Artemisia, CYP3A4 and scopoletin.

June 28, 2016 - 16:11 -- Pierre Lutgen

In a pionneering study in 2010, the University of Louvain had studied the anti-inflammatory effect and modulation of cytochrome P450 activities by Artemisia annua tea infusions in human intestinal Caco-2 cells (Melillo de Magalhães P1, et al.,. Food Chem. 2012 Sep 15;134.:864-71). These assays were done on aqueous infusions (3.3/L) of Artemisia annua samples from 7 different origins.


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