Artemisia Annua (Artemisin, Sweet Wormwood) – NOBEL PRIZE WINNING top anti-malarial that also treats COVID-19. Papers retracted, herbal products recalled. Quietly under attack. WHY?

DR. WILLIAM MAKIS MD | 10 Nov 2023

Source: NOVARTIS – “In China, Novartis works with about 100,000 farmers who cultivate Artemisia Annua, a crucial plant in the production of our antimalarial treatment.”

Papers reviewed:

2023 Oct.11 – Baggieri et al – Antiviral, virucidal and antioxidant properties of Artemisia annua against SARS-CoV-2

  • Artemisia annua (A. annua) is a medicinal plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family and is widely distributed throughout temperate zones
  • traditionally used to treat fever and malaria
  • Its antimalarial properties were first demonstrated in the 1970 s during a Chinese military project, whose results led to the discovery that artemisinin, the active ingredient of the plant, kills the parasite that causes malaria.
  • Today, World Health Organization (WHO) recommends Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) as 1st-line treatment for multi-drug-resistant malaria
  • main bioactive compounds of A. annua are sesquiterpene lactonesmonoterpenestriterpenoids, steroids, and flavonoids.
  • The principal sesquiterpene of A. annua is artemisinin
  • In 2002-2003 when Chinese scientists screened 200 medicinal herbs for coronavirus – Artemisia was found 2nd most effective.
  • SARS-COV-2
  • entire plant extract more potent than single compounds like Artemisin
  • artemisinin is able to inhibit the binding of the spike protein to cell surface receptors, thus potentially preventing both the endocytosis of the virus and the activation of the NF-kB signaling pathway
  • antioxidant components of A. annua support the antiviral activity and counteract the inflammatory response in COVID-19
  • This study:
  • A. annua showed virucidal effects
  • A. annua showed antioxidant effects
  • Antiviral effects:
  • artemisinic acid and scopoletin “have a strong interaction with the viral protein Spike”
  • artemisinic acid and arteannuin B are able to effectively interact with 3CLpro (viral protease that controls coronavirus replication)
  • Conclusion: “our data confirm the antiviral, virucidal and antioxidant properties of the extract of Artemisia Annua against SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, for the first time, we demonstrate that artemisinic acid has a virucidal effect and a strong antiviral activity…attributable to the inhibition of both main protease (3CLpro) and spike protein

2023 Oct.30 – Agrawal et al – RETRACTED: Artemisia Extracts and Artemisinin-Based Antimalarials for COVID-19 Management: Could These Be Effective Antivirals for COVID-19 Treatment?

  • Published June 14, 2022, but RETRACTED Oct.30, 2023 (explanations seem bogus)
  • Artemisia annua (“sweet wormwood”, “qinghao”), a member of the Asteraceae family, has been traditionally used safely over the centuries to treat a variety of fevers and respiratory tract infections
  • Artemisia effectively inhibits CMV, EBV, HSV, Hep.B, Hep.C, HIV, Zika virus
  • Artemisia also contains a high concentration of zinc, which has been reported to have an immunomodulation effect on the host response
  • Artemisia reported to have lower toxicity profile than Hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, remdesivir (this one is obvious)
  • “Due to fears that artemisinin combination therapies against malaria may become ineffective if artemisinin-based treatments are used against COVID-19, the WHO recently called for investigations into the efficacy of plant-based traditional medicines” (very suspicious)
  • In a recent study, hot-water extracts of A. annua were found to be active against SARS-CoV-2 and its alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and kappa variants.
  • Zinc is as an essential micronutrient that is required to mount an effective antiviral response.
  • Artemisiaa possesses a high concentration of zinc
  • flavonoids and other phenolic compounds present in A. annua also act as potent zinc ionophores
  • Artemisia also has Quercetin
  • Artemisia inhibits infection by:
  • limiting expression of TMPRSS2 (which interacts with spike protein)
  • inhibiting expression of CD147 (which interacts with spike protein)
  • blocking spike protein – Artesunate, artemisinin, and dihydroartemisinin (artenimol) showed interactions with Lys353 and Lys31 of the spike protein
  • artemisin had the best binding affinity to spike protein
  • incidence of COVID-19 and related deaths has been very low in countries with regular use of artemisinin-based antimalaria drugs
  • Conclusion:
  • extensive in vitro and in vivo data have revealed that A. annua, artemisinin, arteannuin B, and/or its derived products “artemisinins” (dihydroartemisinin, artemether, artesunate, etc.) have a broad spectrum of biological abilities (including antiparastic, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory, anticancer, and antiasthmatic) and antiviral properties.
  • The anti-COVID-19 effects and mechanisms of Artemisia and its constituents include
  • (1) inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 invasion and replication by targeting the key proteins of Spike, ACE2, spike–ACE2 interaction, TMPRSS2, and NSPS, including Mpro, PLpro, and RdRp;
  • (2) regulating immune and inflammatory responses by targeting inflammatory cytokines and chemokines;
  • (3) protecting against ARDS and MODS by suppressing the crosstalk of viral toxicity, endothelial damage, and cytokine storm.
  • Artemisinin and its derivatives are already known for their powerful bioactivity, tolerability, and relative affordability

2022 Feb Farmanpour-Kalalagh et al – Artemisinins in Combating Viral Infections Like SARS-CoV-2, Inflammation and Cancers and Options to Meet Increased Global Demand

  • Artemisinin has shown anti-viral activity against HSV, EBV, CMV, Hep.B, Hep.C, HIV, Ebola, chikungunya viruses
  • Artemisinins in COVID-19 & Viral infections
  • Studies indicate that artesunate, dihydroartemisinin, and artemisinin may act at the cell surface by inhibition of the binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to cell surface receptors, thus potentially preventing both endocytosis of the virus and activation of the NF-κB signaling
  • artemisinins may also bind to coronavirus-host proteins such as E protein, helicase protein, N protein, 3CLPRO, S protein, nonstructural protein 3 (nsp3), nsp10, nsp14, nsp15, cathepsin-L
  • Artemisinins in Human inflammation
  • Many bacteria and viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2, activate the NF-κB (Nuclear Factor kappa B) signaling pathway
  • COVID-19, may cause misregulation of the NF-κB signaling, causing overproduction of IL-6 and other cytokines in a cytokine release syndrome (CRS)
  • In addition to IL-6, also other factors including interferon γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and Interleukin 1 (IL-1), etc., are over-produced during CRS and contribute to pathophysiological processes and multi-organ dysfunction (MOD)
  • The cytokine storm (CS) during CRS may be brought under control by artemisinin or artesunate treatment as these block NF-κB signaling
  • Artemisinin in Human Cancers
  • One of the most important mechanisms is preventing the activation of NF-κB signaling pathway involved in tumor induction, initiation, and progression of many cancerous cell lines.
  • The artemisinin related compound dihydroartemisinin induces autophagy via suppressing NF-κB pathway in myeloma, colorectal, and cervical cancer cell lines
  • In prostate cancer cells, resistance to androgen receptor antagonists is reduced by using artesunate.

2022 Jan – Iftekhar Ahmad et al – Artemisia annua L. and Its Derivatives: Their Antiviral Effects on COVID-19 and Possible Mechanisms

  • Artemisinin is a bioactive component that is extracted from A. annua L., has high efficiency and low toxicity, and is approved by the FDA and the WHO for the control of malaria
  • used in management of autoimmune diseases, diabetes, atherosclerosis, viral infections and cancer
  • A. annua can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 viral invasion and replication, and reduce oxidative stress, consequently reducing inflammation and lung injury during COVID-19 infection
  • artemisin inhibits expression of CD147 in human cells (CD147 can increase synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines)
  • artemisin inhibits viral replication by inhibiting 3CLpro enzyme
  • Protects against lung tissue and organ damage
  • A. annua can activate Nrf2 signaling that suppresses oxidative stress and inflammation
  • artesunate can prevent lung fibrosis by inhibiting activity of profibrotic molecules
  • artesunate can inhibit NF-κB signaling to attenuate cytokine storm, ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome)

2021 Sep – Fuzimoto – An overview of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 properties of Artemisia annua, its antiviral action, protein-associated mechanisms, and repurposing for COVID-19 treatment

  • Artemisia annua has more than 2000 years of history in the treatment of diseases
  • Traditionally, this herb was used for respiratory infections, wound healing, longevity, fevers
  • Today, it’s researched for treatment of malaria, Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus
  • all eleven artemisinin derivatives were able to block the SARS-CoV S protein receptor-binding domain (RBD)
  • Use of the whole plant was more effective than the isolated compound (artemisin)
  • whole plant extracts inhibit artemisinin-metabolizing enzymes (increase bioavailability by decreasing liver metabolism of artemisinin)
  • phytocompounds in the whole plant also increase intestinal absorption of artemisin and increase its bioavailability
  • conclusion: “A. annua whole-plant could be a valuable and inexpensive resource to assist with the coronavirus pandemic
  • collectively, the A. annua constituents may impede the SARS-CoV-2 attachment, membrane fusion, internalization into the host cell, and hinder the viral replication and transcription process

My Take…

A large review paper is retracted on Oct.30, 2023, 1.5 years after publication.

The explanations are completely bogus. The topic?

A Nobel-Prize winning top global anti-malarial treatment that has some of the strongest known binding to the SARS-COV2 Spike protein (stronger than hydroxychloroquine) – Artemisia Annua

Considering the absolute garbage that’s published these days (unvaccinated people are crashing their cars because they didn’t get the COVID vaccine, COVID vaccines have saved millions of lives as calculated by bogus computer models), that is a huge red flag.

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Professor Youyou Tu for her key contributions to the discovery of Artemisinin (source)

“Artemisinin has saved millions of lives and represents one of the significant contributions of China to global health”

“Artemisinin represents a new class of antimalarial drugs, which leads to two paradigm shifts in antimalarial research and therapy. The first one is the change from quinoline-based antimalarial drugs to artemisinin-based therapies due to the emergence of parasites resistant to quinoline drugs.

“The second paradigm shift is the change of research direction in antimalarial drug developmentArtemisinin and its derivatives are in a new class of antimalarial agents with unique structure (1,2,4-trioxane peroxide pharmacophore), which has become a new direction for antimalarial drug development. For example, some of the most promising drugs under clinical trials, including OZ277 and OZ439, are synthetic peroxides with key structures similar to artemisinin”

“One billion antimalarial treatments delivered” – Novartis is celebrating the delivery of 1 billion antimalarial treatments since 1999 (June 2, 2021)

In China, Novartis works with about 100,000 farmers who cultivate Artemisia annua, that Novartis calls “a crucial plant in the production of our antimalarial treatment.

“Who would have thought that an ancient Chinese herbal remedy would one day become the panacea for malaria? Sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua) was indeed used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2 000 years to treat fevers. However, it was not until the 1970s that a team of Chinese scientists discovered that the artemisinin contained in its leaves cleared malaria parasites. Today, artemisinin is the cornerstone of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), which have become the standard of care in malaria treatment.”

Artemisia Annua:

  • Ancient herbal medicine used for 2000 years to treat fevers, respiratory infections
  • approved by FDA and WHO, 1st line treatment for drug-resistant MALARIA
  • many bioactive compounds (some enhance bioavailability)
  • whole plant more potent than individual components like artemisin
  • broad antiviral activity against viruses (Herpes, HIV, Hep B&C, EBV, CMV Zika)
  • binds Spike protein in SARS-COV2 more strongly than hydroxychloroquine (Artemisin has best binding to Spike protein of all the Artemisia compounds)
  • blocks many other proteins & enzymes in SARS-COV2, blocks viral replication
  • has immunoregulatory effects to decrease cytokines, cytokine storm, ARDS, organ damage and lung fibrosis in COVID-19 infection (blocks NF-κB signaling)
  • active against all SARS-COV2 variants
  • incidence of COVID-19 and related deaths has been very low in countries with regular use of artemisinin-based antimalaria drugs
  • anti-cancer affects (via blocking NF-κB) for prostate, cervical, colorectal cancers
  • safe, very low toxicity


In 2020, the President of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, was praised for articulating a pan-African form of resistance to Western pharma-capitalism by spearheading an “African COVID-19 cure,” COVID-19 Organics, a tonic drink made from artemisia, a medicinal plant used in traditional medicines in DRC. In response to WHO’s warnings about the untested treatment, Rajoelina said that criticism of the herbal tonic is another example of the West’s condescending attitude toward Africa. In an interview on French television, he stated: “If it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt? I don’t think so” (TV5 Citation2020)

In March 2021, Australian government recalled a dozen herbal products that contained Artemisia annua because it was “unsafe in pregnancy”, while claiming that mRNA was “safe for pregnant women”.

In 2023, USA had the “first reported cases of people actually catching malaria in the U.S. since 2003.”, although Forbes magazine insists that Bill Gates’ genetically modified mosquitoes project had nothing to do with it (source).

The largest review paper of Artemisia Annua was retracted on Oct.30, 2023.


Artemisia Annua is a readily available herbal supplement, that just happens to be a 2015 Nobel Prize winning top global anti-malarial drug that strongly binds the COVID-19 Spike protein, and has broad anti-viral activity against some of the most exotic viruses (FDA Approved, with Novartis selling over a billion Artemisia treatments globally for malaria)

My questions:

  • Does it help with COVID-19 vaccine injuries?
  • Does it help with Long COVID?
  • How good are its anti-cancer properties?
  • Why is it under attack now?

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be buying some Artemisia to have on hand.

Just in case.

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