Qinghao (Artemisia annia L.) is a traditional Chiness herb which has been used in China for treating malaria for more than 1500 years.
In 1971Chiness scientists extracted a compound from qinghao named Qinghaosu (artemisinine) which is an antimalarial. The China Cooperative Research Group on Qinghaosu and its Derivatives as Antimalarials was subsequently established to conduct research on qinghaosu throughout China. The research group studied Qinghaosu and its derivatives – the chemical structure, the synthesis, pharmacology, toxicology and clinical studies.
The drug was found to be effective on P.vivax and the P.falciparum malaria, especially P.falciparum malaria which is resistant to the chloroquine drug. Thus, discovery of qinghaosu is of significance since it serves as a new drug for treatment of the P.falciparum malaria. Since its discovery, the qinghaosu has saved millions of malaria patients worldwide.