Malaria treatment with natural herbs, supplements, plants
January 6 2016 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.


Malaria caused by Plasmodium parasites kills approximately 1.3 million people and causes disease in 300-500 million people annually throughout the world. The parasite is spread to people by the female Anopheles mosquito, which feeds on human blood. Malaria kills over 5,000 people a day, 90 percent of whom are children under the age of five and living in Africa. This infection is present in 107 countries and affects 10 percent of the world's population, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Malaria may have jumped to humans from chimpanzees much as AIDS did.

Human infection with Plasmodium species leading to malaria probably began very early in the history of humankind and has persistently inflicted disease among human populations. Malaria is currently considered the world's most important infection from a parasite. The global impact of malaria is incalculable and appears to be worsening over the past decades. It is believed that at no time in the history of the human race malaria has been absent. This disease, which is caused by protozoa of the genus Plasmodium, in all likelihood has been responsible for the death of about half of all people who ever lived.


How to reduce risk
Stay indoors at dawn and dusk, which are the most active times for mosquitoes.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to help protect skin from bites.
Apply insect repellant to skin, clothing, and shoes. There is no good evidence that applying spray to tents is helpful. Using insecticide sprays along with bed nets does not provide children with more protection against malaria than nets alone, The Lancet, news release, Dec. 8, 2014.


Malaria herb, natural treatment with plant extracts
Artemisinin -The effectiveness of an anti-malarial herbal medicine could be damaged by overplanting of the Chinese shrub from which it is derived. The artemisia annua (sweet wormwood) shrub must be more carefully farmed to meet a growing global demand and to keep fakes off the market. Chinese herbalists have used leaves from the shrub to treat malaria for centuries. It is now widely regarded as the best drug to treat the disease. Not all shrubs yield enough for the malaria-fighting compound artemisinin to be effective against malaria. The World Health Organisation warned in September 2009 that the parasite which causes malaria is increasingly resistant to artemisinin, the best drug around, and failure to contain this trend would bring serious consequences. "This (Asia Pacific) region has traditionally been the focus of resistance to antimalarial drugs and now we have artemisinin resistance primarily on the Thai-Cambodian border," said John Ehrenberg, WHO regional adviser on malaria and other vectorborne and parasitic diseases.
   Resistance to conventional anti-malarial drugs such as chloroquine or amodiaquine have triggered great demand for artemisinin therapy which the WHO has recommended since 2001 in combination with other drugs as a malaria cure. Counterfeit and sub-standard malaria drugs have become a problem in parts of Africa and Asia.
Clove herb may offer benefit.
Tongkat ali herb has compounds that have been tested. Does tongkat ali help with malaria treatment? What about LJ100? Tongkat ali has shown some benefit in the test tube in damaging the malaria bug, but adequate human studies are lacking.

Xanthones from mangosteen plant may have some potential.


Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2013. The effect of zinc and vitamin C supplementation on hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and immune response in patients with Plasmodium vivax malaria. Plasmodium vivax infection in humans can relapse and is associated with iron deficiency. The immune response plays an important role in preventing relapse. In this study we analyzed the effect of zinc and vitamin C supplementation on hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and immune response in patients with P. vivax malaria. We measured immune response by examining interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) levels. Subjects were divided into either treatment or control groups. The treatment group received daily zinc and vitamin C supplementation for 45 days. Compliance with supplement consumption was recorded weekly. After 45 days of supplementation, IFN-gamma and IL-1 levels were remeasured. All study subjects in both groups had normal hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. The hemoglobin levels increased only in the supplementation group, while hematocrit levels increased in both the supplementation and control groups. IFN-gamma decreased slightly in the supplementation group, but the change was not significant. IL-10 increased slightly in both the supplementation and the control groups, but the change were not significant, suggesting the elevated hemoglobin and hematocrit levels were unrelated to immune response.


PLoS One. 2014. Vitamin d insufficiency is common in ugandan children and is associated with severe malaria. These preliminary results suggest that vitamin D insufficiency may play a role in the development of severe malaria.


Malaria and travel
Although most of this burden of malaria disease is carried by developing tropical countries, cases of imported malaria acquired by international travel are increasingly reported. These numbers are growing because of increased travel to malaria -endemic areas and also due to increased risk of transmission in these areas. Travel has contributed to the global spread of malaria during the history of humankind. Travelers visiting malaria risk areas should use both personal protective measures and prevention by taking anti malaria drugs. It is possible that some countries may begin spraying again with ddt.


Testing for Malaria resistant to chloroquine
If travelers become sick after returning from areas in which chloroquine-resistant malaria is endemic, they need to be quickly checked for the disease. A new assay can do just that. Improved diagnostics are urgently needed to help control the global spread of drug-resistant malaria. Currently, the detection of malaria depends upon microscopic techniques from the 1800s. Imported drug-resistant malaria is a growing problem in industrialized countries. For the elderly or those who develop severe malaria, the mortality rate can exceed 20 percent. Researchers have now developed a real-time assay based on detecting DNA from the malaria parasite known as Plasmodium falciparum, along with the genetic variations that render it resistant to the standard drug, chloroquine. When the researchers used the test to screen 200 returning travelers with suspected malaria, they found that 77 patients had chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum infection and 48 had a chloroquine-susceptible strain. Another 35 had other types of malarial infection, while the remaining 40 patients had other causes of fever. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2006.


Symptoms and signs of malaria
Fever, headache, fatigue, malaise, and musculoskeletal pain are the most frequent clinical features. In endemic areas, the presence of liver enlargement, thrombocytopenia and anemia is clearly associated with malaria, particularly in children.  Following single exposure to Plasmodium falciparum infection, the patient will either die in the acute attack or survive with the development of some immunity. Elderly individuals are prone to a more severe course of disease. The non-fatal P. vivax and P. ovale cause similar initial illnesses, with bouts of fever relapsing periodically, but irregularly over a period of up to 5 years. Kidney involvement of a moderate degree is more common in mild falciparum malaria than initially suspected. The liver is also afflicted in mild disease, but organ damage is limited and fully reversible after parasitological cure. Co-infection can aggravate malaria. There is a growing body of evidence that there is significant interaction in terms of mutual aggravation of the course of disease between HIV and malaria, particularly in pregnant women.


Malaria Treatment
Widespread resistance to the best and least expensive antimalarials, chloroquine and S/P (i.e., a combination of sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine), combined with an increasing tolerance to insecticides in the mosquito vector, threaten a global malaria tragedy unless new countermeasures are developed. For malaria therapy, the great panacea would be the development of a long-lasting vaccine, but until this becomes a reality, people living in and traveling to endemic regions must rely on a limited number of more expensive drugs.
   A cheap and widely available malaria drug is an effective treatment for pregnant women. Amodiaquine is an older malaria treatment that has been found safe during pregnancy. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine treated 900 pregnant women in Ghana with the malaria drug and found it eliminated the malaria parasite without causing any serious side effects. "Previous studies had already found amodiaquine alone or in combination with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) to be an effective treatment of malaria in children in west Africa, but our research confirms that this is also true for pregnant women," said Professor Brian Greenwood who reported the findings in The Lancet medical journal.


Risk of Serious and Life-Threatening hematologic reactions, including thrombocytopenia, hemolytic uremic syndrome/thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura with Qualaquin (quinine sulfate) Capsules, 324 mg. Dear Healthcare Provider: AR Scientific, Inc. would like to inform you of important safety information regarding the use of Qualaquin (quinine sulfate) capsules, 324 mg. Qualaquin Capsules are approved only for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Qualaquin capsules are not approved for treatment or prevention of nocturnal leg cramps.


Mefloquine side effects are serious
Multiple-drug-resistant malaria is widespread, and in South-East Asia resistance is high against nearly all single therapy antimalarial drugs. Here, and in other areas with low malaria transmission, the combination of artesunate and mefloquine may provide an effective alternative. Artesunate plus mefloquine performs better than mefloquine alone for treating uncomplicated falciparum malaria in areas with low malaria transmission. A total dose of 25 mg/kg mefloquine and at least 10 mg artesunate leads to higher cure rates.


Mefloquine malaria drug not be used if you have depression
Many people are not suitable candidates for the anti malaria drug mefloquine, also known by the trade name Lariam. Those unsuitable for mefloquine use are people with major depressive disorder and Parkinson's disease. Anticonvulsants are also another reason not to use it.


The Food and Drug Administration in 2013 strengthened warnings saying it can cause serious symptoms that include hallucinations amid a controversy that’s made it a drug of last resort for U.S. troops in the Middle East, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The drug is sold under brand names including Lariam, Mephaquin or Mefliam. “The neurologic side effects can include dizziness, loss of balance, or ringing in the ears. The psychiatric side effects can include feeling anxious, mistrustful, depressed, or having hallucinations.


The inexpensive drug chloroquine may again be effective in treating malaria because years of disuse have boosted its potency against the often fatal mosquito-borne disease. Chloroquine had been the mainstay of malaria therapy until the disease developed a resistance to it and health officials stopped using it widely more than a decade ago. Now a study, published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine shows the malaria drug is newly potent again, perhaps because the strains of the disease that were once immune to it have more trouble surviving. Researchers who tested children found that the drug packed a new punch, working 99 percent of the time. A replacement treatment, sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine, was effective in only 21 percent of the cases. Chloroquine is simple to administer, requires only a few doses, has few side effects and costs about 10 cents per treatment, far less than any other therapy.


Drugs used for malaria may help with lupus
Dr. Bernardo A. Pons-Estel, from Hospital Provincial de Rosario, Argentina recommends that doctors give the drugs to all patients with lupus. Doctors first realized decades ago that antimalarial drugs such as hydroxychloroquine could be used to treat the joint pain often seen in lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. Since then, research has suggested that antimalarial therapy can help prevent flare-ups of lupus and reduce overall damage from the disease, Dr. Bernardo A. Pons-Estel, and his team studied nearly 1,500 patients with lupus from 9 countries. They followed them for an average of about four and a half years. The study was not "blinded" - in other words, subjects, and their doctors, knew what treatments they were getting. About 12 percent of the patients who did not use the drugs died during the follow-up period, compared to about 4 percent of those who did. The difference was even higher for patients who used the drugs for more than two years. Arthritis and Rheumatism, online January 7, 2010.


Malaria and HIV
Combining anti-AIDS drugs, an antibiotic and bed nets treated with insecticide could cut the rate of malaria infections in people infected with HIV by up to 95 percent. Malaria and HIV are leading infections in sub-Saharan Africa. In adults and children with HIV, malaria is more common and can be more severe.


Malaria in India - 2006 - A new strain of malaria has killed 55 people and infected more than 18,000 others in India's eastern state of West Bengal since January, 2006. In the famous tea district of Darjeeling, almost 2,400 people have been infected with malaria since January, compared with just 700 in the same period last year. Officials at the School of Tropical Medicine in Kolkata say a new strain of Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest form of the malaria, is the likely cause of the infections. The new strain has been tracked to Myanmar, has mutated and has become drug resistant.


Malaria in Jamaica - 2006 - Jamaican health authorities are battling an outbreak of malaria that has infected 15 people in the Kingston area but has so far not spread to other parts of the Caribbean island. Jamaica has not recorded a case of the mosquito-borne illness in 50 years, said Dr. Marion Ducasse, the health ministry's senior medical officer. The health ministry announced late on Monday that it had confirmed 15 cases of malaria, 6 of them among children and all of them in the capital and the neighboring central parish of St. Catherine.


I wonder if the malaria my husband picked up while in Japan could be related to his non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I read on a web site the paragraph titled 'Non Hodgkin's lymphoma cause' that certain viruses contribute to certain lymphoma subtypes in Africa and Japan. do you have any further info about the viruses in Japan that would cause the lymphoma and if it were possible to tell whether or not my husbands was that type.
   Infection with a parasite from the genus Plasmodium causes malaria. Malaria is not caused by a virus.


My male friend took Lariam, mefloquine pills when we traveled to Africa, and I think it made him short tempered and almost crazy.


I think Thiamine, B1 vitamin in high doses will prevent mosquito bites, that was my experience on the Zambezi river in Zimbabwe. It has to be a high dose of vitamin B1, 100 mg dosage.