How is artemisinin extracted?

Aug 05, 2020

Artemisinin, also called qinghaosu, antimalarial drug derived from the sweet wormwood plant, Artemisia annua. Artemisinin is a sesquiterpene lactone (a compound made up of three isoprene units bound to cyclic organic esters) and is distilled from the dried leaves or flower clusters of A. annua. The antipyretic (fever-reducing) properties of the plant were first recognized in the 4th century CE by Chinese physicians, who called the plant qinghao and recommended a natural remedy in the form of qinghao tea. In the following centuries, this remedy was commonly prescribed for hemorrhoids and malaria. The active agent, called qinghaosu, was isolated from the plant in the 1970s; this compound became widely known as artemisinin. Today, there are several derivatives of artemisinin, including artesunate and artemether, that are used in the treatment of malaria.


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