Once again, an herbal remedy that’s been used for centuries comes to the aid of researchers that are looking for a way to more effectively treat a drug-resistant disease. Tuberculosis has increasingly become resistant to treatments over the years, making it even more difficult to treat. Researchers have now found that the ancient remedy artemisinin (aka Wormwood) offers new benefits in TB treatment.
“When TB bacteria are dormant, they become highly tolerant to antibiotics,” says Robert Abramovitch, a microbiologist and assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University. “Blocking dormancy makes the TB bacteria more sensitive to these drugs and could shorten treatment times.”
One-third of the world’s population is infected with TB and the disease killed 1.8 million people in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The bacteria can lie dormant in the body for many years, but once the immune system is weakened, it can spring into action again. This makes it extremely difficult to cure. Currently, treatment involves a regimen of medications given for at least six months.
By adding the wormwood remedy to the treatment, the success rate goes way up and the treatment time might be able to be reduced.
This is big news for TB sufferers and shows that medicinal herbs may just be the key to solving many of the world’s disease issues.