Cooling the Heat - Traditional remedies for malaria and fever in Northern Peru

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2010
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Bussmann, Rainer W.
Glenn, Ashley
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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Malaria continues to be a major health challenge worldwide especially due to the increasingly fast development of resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to the drugs currently in use. A total of 17 plant species belonging to 17 genera and 13 families were documented and identified as anti-malarial herbal remedies in Northern Peru. Most species used were in Asteraceae, followed by Fabaceae and Solanaceae. The majority of anti-malarial herbal preparations were made from the leaves of plants, while the whole plant, flowers and stems were used less frequently. This suggests that the local healers count on a very well developed knowledge about the properties of different plant parts. In almost 70% of the cases fresh plant material was used to prepare remedies. Over half of all remedies were prepared as mixtures with multiple ingredients by boiling plant material either in water or in sugarcane spirit. The information gained on frequently used traditional remedies against malaria might give some leads towards future targets for further analysis in order to develop new anti-malaria drugs. However, more detailed scientific studies are desperately needed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the remedies employed traditionally.
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Bussmann R W, Glenn A. 2010. Cooling the heat - traditional remedies for malaria and fever in Northern Peru. Ethnobotany Res Appl 8:125-134.
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