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View Diary: The destructive consequences of junk science (graphic images) (65 comments)

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  •  You're flat out wrong (0+ / 0-)

    Artemisia annua, known in Chinese as Qing Hao, has been used for at least several hundred years for what is called in Chinese medicine "shao yang" syndrome, which is consistent with what is called in modern English "malaria." It is also used for other infectious diseases, and does reduce fever. That traditional usage is why the Chinese used it to treat their troops in tropical environments for malaria. That's what led them to try to create a more concentrated form.

    You're making assumptions that the methods of preparation used by the ancients wouldn't render the active constituent assimilable.

    •  No, I'm not (1+ / 0-)
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      sorry, but as I said, I actually worked next door to the scientists who were doing the work - and yes, we were co-ordinating with the Chinese.  You could eat all the artemisinin in the world, and it wouldn't do squat against malaria - it isn't absorbed by the body through the intestinal tract.  The preparation method has nothing whatsoever to do with it.  

      I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

      by Norbrook on Sun May 10, 2009 at 10:48:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I practice Chinese medicine (0+ / 0-)

        and my professors (doctors from China) would strongly disagree with you. The source texts indicate Artemisia was used for malaria long before your "neighbors" worked with the drug. By the way, the Chinese were using the concentrated drug form in the 1960's. Were you located "next door" to the researchers 40 years ago?  

        It's well known in Chinese medicine (recorded in the literature that predates modern times) that the herb was long used for malaria. Now you rather arrogantly conclude that it is mere coincidence that despite the fact that the herb was used in ancient times for that purpose, that it was modern scientists and Westerners who discovered this? What hubris. While I accept that the modern extraction methods would create a stronger, more potent from of the artemisin, it does not mean that hot water extractions and/or other methods would make some of the active compound usable.

        Sesquipterpenes, from what I've read, can be extracted to some degree with high temperatures. You're making the extraction method a black and white issue. While solvents might be better, it doesn't mean that some amount would be extractable with other means. Again, you're assuming you know everything there is to know about the issue, when in fact, you don't.

        •  Furthermore... (1+ / 0-)
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          In the herb, there are at least 15 different chemical forms of artemisinin compounds. Using the whole herb may provide other forms of the compound which are extractable with hot water extractions. The bottom line is it is the traditional usage which led the Chinese in the 1960s (not the 1980s as you claimed) to try to develop a more potent form.

          •  And furthermore... (0+ / 0-)

            The WHO approved adult dose of co-artemether (artemether-lumefantrine) for malaria is 4 tablets at 0, 8, 24, 36, 48 and 60 hours (six doses).[17][18] This has been proven to be superior to regimens based on amodiaquine.[19] Artemesinin is not soluble in water and therefore Artemisia annua tea was postulated not to contain pharmacologically significant amounts of artemesinin.[20] However, this conclusion was rebuked by several experts who stated that hot water (85 oC), and not boiling water, should be used to prepare the tea. Although Artemisia tea is not recommended as a substitute for the ACT (artemisinin combination therapies) more clinical studies on artemisia tea preparation have been suggested.[21]

            From Wikipedia

            Herbal matria medica texts corroborate this conclusion. The ancient Chinese knew that the herb should not be overcooked.

            Be careful of that insidious Western intellectual arrogance. You.don't.know.everything. You.don't.have.all.the.answers.

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