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When you look up "artesunate" you'll find a ton of information about malaria, and not so much about anything else…until you do a little digging! You’re in luck—we did the digging for you. It turns out artesunate is a derivative of artemisinin, an active ingredient in Artemisia annua, aka wormwood. Wormwood is thought to be anti-just-about-everything—antiparasitic, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial—you get the gist! While artesunate, given via IV, is a well-tolerated treatment for severe malaria, it might be effective in treating other health issues as well. The Chinese reportedly have used it for recurrent fevers, and it’s one of the therapies used for treating Lyme, usually in combination with other treatments, like antimicrobial protocols. If you’re pregnant (or trying) or breastfeeding, it’s probably best to take artesunate off your “try this” list. Wormwood essential oil can induce miscarriage, and though artesunate is a derivative, it’s better to be cautious. Artesunate also interacts with a number of medications. For example, its action makes SSRIs more powerful, which could destabilize your mood if you are on one of those antidepressants. And though rare, there have been reports of liver toxicity from long-term use of an artemisinin herbal supplement.

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