Shistosomiasis is a tropical disease often overlooked by health authorities. It spreads among poor populations in Third World countries, with more than 200 million infected each year. Yet there are only a few drugs that can cure the disease.
Shistosomiasis is neglected by the patients themselves. The infection starts slowly and asymptomatically. The cause of the disease (flat worms) penetrates the skin of people who work, swim or have other contact with contaminated water. The infected person does not feel sick, he does not even suspect he is a disease agent.
Standard treatment is done with a medicine called Praziquantel .
But what if tea from a particular plant can replace medication?
Pam Weders, a biologist at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, spent a long time studying how artemisinin and other derivatives of the wormwood plant are targeting malaria agents, as well as parasites responsible for schistosomiasis.
Together with her colleagues conducted a survey in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which includes 800 people, all have schistosomiasis disease. Half of them were treated with medicine, the other half with wormwood tea.
In her last post, she shows the results of the survey. Wormwood tea can treat schistosomiasis faster and with fewer side effects than most conventional medications.
Patients should drink a sponge of wormwood daily for a week. After seven days, a faecal sample is taken to determine whether the treatment is successful. The results in both groups showed complete cure.
But the group that was treated with wormwood showed faster results and almost no side effects. Tea has a much better effect on patients than drugs.
Medicinal treatment with Praziquantel may cause headache, nausea and fatigue.
As a complaint to the patients, the bitter taste of wormwood is recorded. Some like it, but others hate it, and they can hardly handle it.Another advantage of wormwood is that it grows in many of the tropical countries where schistosomiasis is a widespread disease.