Bulo or reality? Can mugwort infusions prevent the spread of the coronavirus?

Of all the hoaxes spreading about coronaviruses (from drinking water every quarter of an hour to gorging on vitamin C) and possible treatments to treat the symptoms of Covid-19, the most "natural" is that of mugwort infusions. But let's go by parts, are the infusions of some medicinal plant of anything against the coronavirus? Short answer, no. ¿The infusions of mugwort (artemisia annua) against Covid-19 are of some use? Neither. But why has this medicinal plant been the one that has caught the most attention of the creators of hoaxes? For various factors.

Mugwort has different active components that are interesting for medical research, but the best known is mugwort. The use of artemisinin against malaria Youyou Tu won the Nobel Prize in Medicine because he discovered that this compound is capable of reducing death rates in malaria patients. Artemisinin is currently used in all places where malaria is a common disease. When used as a combination therapy, it is estimated that it can reach reduce patient mortality by more than 20% (30% in children). In Africa alone, this means saving more than 100,000 lives each year.

In addition to its impact against malaria, artemisinin and some compounds obtained from it are currently being investigated in other types of diseases (such as cancer) and as a possible antiviral treatment against the viruses that cause hepatitis B and C. But no one is investigating its effect with the coronavirus family, and in fact, even the investigations launched against hepatitis are in an experimental phase.

Summarizing: no one has proven the effectiveness of artemisinin against the coronavirus (and even if it were effective, you would hardly be able to isolate this compound in the kitchen of your house making infusions) and, in fact, still has not been shown in any laboratory test to be effective against any virus (whatever type it is). Therefore, no, mugwort infusions do not serve as a treatment for the coronavirus.

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And in case you still have the doubt, mugwort infusions do not help prevent contagion or reinforce your defenses because are rich in vitamin C. We already told you that vitamin C only prevents constipation in some very specific people and that it is of little use to prevent infections. What does prevent you from getting the coronavirus are the measures recommended by the health authorities: stay home, wash your hands often with soap and water, do not touch your face and keep the social distance if you have to go to the street to buy or to the pharmacy. And if you take mugwort, it is because you like how it tastes.

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