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Herbal tea treats malaria in Africa

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New York, April 15 (IANS) Researchers have formulated an anti-malarial tea out of an herbal remedy traditionally used to alleviate symptoms of the disease in Africa.

Derived from the roots of a weed, the herbal remedy was combined with leaves and aerial portions from two other plants with antimalarial activity, and eventually licensed and sold as an antimalarial phytomedicine.

Zephirin Dakuyo, first posted as a pharmacist in Banfora Hospital in Burkina Faso, realised that malaria-infected people in the country preferred to treat themselves with herbal medicines, in particular the roots of N’Dribala (Cochlospermum planchonii) .

However, they did not have time to collect this medicinal plant themselves, so Dakuyo, with support from the hospital staff, started to harvest and package it for the patients.

Eventually, the medicine was sold at the hospital to patients with malaria and was also provided to community health workers to supply to patients.

The medication has other uses too such as in treating hepatitis, the study said.

In the new study, detailed in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the authors have discussed the antimalarial and pharmacological properties of the herbal medication derived from Cochlospermum planchonii, Phyllanthus amarus, and Cassia alata.

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