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From the Townsend Letter
July 2006


briefed by Jule Klotter

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Artemisia annua anamed
A German-based group of scientists and health care workers, called anamed (Action for Natural Medicine), has set up the anamed malaria program. The group is dedicated to helping communities and self-employed people in tropical nations cultivate and use botanicals to prevent and treat common health problems. Seminars given by anamed teach workers, missionaries, doctors, nurses, and others how to grow, harvest, dry, and use a plant medicinally. The malaria program encourages the cultivation and use of Artemisia annua anamed (A-3) as a tea to treat malaria, hemorrhoids, and other health conditions. Artemisia annua is the source for artemisinin, the newest drug to treat malaria. Local production of the herb provides income as well as inexpensive, effective malaria treatment. Over 620 communities in 70 countries have joined the program, according to anamed's 2006 report.

"The anti-malarial activity of artemisia tea is much stronger than the same quantity of isolated artemisinin, and this is clearly due to the other anti-malarial components within the tea," according to anamed's web site ( The whole leaf tea contains at least 36 flavonoids and 29 sesquiterpenes. These components are known to reduce fever and boost artemisinin's ability to inhibit the protozoa that cause malaria. Drinking the tea raises artemisinin blood levels high enough to inhibit the growth of Plasmodium falciparum, which causes the most severe form of the disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against using artemisinin drugs alone, instead of in combination with older malaria drugs, for fear that parasites will quickly develop resistance to the drug. The WHO discourages the use of artemisia tea for the same reason, but anamed points out that resistance has not appeared in 2000 years of Chinese medicinal use of the whole plant. Furthermore, tea from cinchona bark, the source of the malaria drug chloroquine, is still an effective malaria treatment even though the protozoa have developed resistance to the drug itself.

When artemisia tea alone is not effective, anamed suggests using the tea in combination with a cheap anti-malaria drug (i.e., Fansidar or Amodiaquine) or another herbal tea, such as one made from Euphorbia hirta (used in Kenya) or Cinchona succirubra (used in D.R. Congo). The group says, "According to our observations, the A-3CT (Artemisia annua anamed Combination Therapy) is as good as any ACT (Artemisinin Combination Therapy). We warmly invite independent researchers to conduct clinical studies on A-3CT."

Associated Press. WHO calls for halt on malaria treatment. January 20, 2006. Available at: Accessed on February 3, 2006.

Aim and Objectives of the anamed Malaria Programme – Circular letter. January 2005. Available at: 20Programme/Circular%20letter%20Jan%202005/circular%20letter%20jan%202005. html. Accessed on April 12, 2006.

Malaria circular letter – January 2006. Available at: 20letter%20- 20January%202006%20-%203.pdf. Accessed on April 12, 2006.

Arginine & Malaria
The amino acid arginine may be helpful in preventing and treating children with malaria, according to a 2003 research letter in The Lancet. The researchers identified an inverse correlation between plasma L-arginine concentrations and severity of malaria in Tanzanian children. The body uses arginine to produce nitric oxide (NO). In vitro experiments have shown that NO is anti-parasitic. It may also protect against malaria by decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines and by lessening endothelial cell surface adhesion, thereby preventing protozoa from adhering to cells. The most severe form of malaria – cerebral malaria – is characterized by the adherence of parasite-containing red blood cells to the lining of blood vessels, which obstructs blood flow to the brain. In the Tanzanian study, "…hypoargininemia was significantly associated with cerebral malaria case-fatality." In addition to limiting NO production, arginine deficiency causes the body to produce more superoxide, a highly reactive form of oxygen, increasing oxidative damage.

The researchers are unsure if hypoargininemia is the cause or the result of severe disease. They do not, however, believe that the arginine deficiency present in children with malaria is dietary, because no deficiencies of glutamine, glutamate, and the essential amino acid l-histidine accompany it. The researchers call for clinical trials that investigate prophylactic and therapeutic benefits from adjunctive use of L-arginine, taken in combination with anti-malaria drugs.

Arginine may help prevent malaria in children. DukeMed (no date available).

Lopansri BK, Anstey NM, Weinberg JB et al. Low plasma arginine concentrations in children with cerebral malaria and decreased nitric oxide production. The Lancet. 361 (February 22, 2003) 676-678. Available at: Accessed on April 12, 2006.

Bedbugs Return
Bedbugs (Cimex spp.) are making a comeback, according to a January 2006, Associated Press article. Instead of receiving one or two bedbug complaints a year, US exterminators are getting one or two each week. The 5-7 mm long (about the size of an apple seed), nocturnal bugs feed on blood, usually an hour before dawn. The bites themselves are painless, but they produce itching and purpuric macules (red skin discolorations), often in linear groups of three. Responses are more severe in people who become sensitized (allergic) to the bites. According to an Ohio State University web site, bedbugs do not transmit disease-causing parasites. An article by Robert A. Schwartz, MD, MPH, (, however, says: "Bedbugs may be a vector for hepatitis B and, in endemic areas, for American trypanosoma (Chagas' disease)."

Once they gain a foothold, bedbugs are extremely difficult to eradicate – even with the help of a professional exterminator. The insects live in mattress seams and crevices in floors, walls, and furniture. They will even hide behind peeling wallpaper. Bits of dried blood (their fecal matter) on bed sheets and bites on the skin may be the only sign of their presence. Proficient travelers and great climbers, these bugs are known to cling to clothing and transfer to a new host when people brush against one another. Bedbugs are extremely hardy. They are able to live a year without food and reproduce quickly. Infestations have been found in US college dorms, hotels, movie theaters, health clubs, schools, and hospitals.

Cimex spp. (bedbugs) Available at: Accessed on April 13, 2006.

Kugler S. Bedbugs bite big apple in a problem growing from coast to coast. Spartanburg Herald-Journal. January 23, 2006: A8.

Schwartz RA. Bedbug bites (Last Updated October 18, 2005). Available at: Accessed on April 12, 2006.

Bioresonance Therapy for Parasites
Bioresonance therapy uses electromagnetic frequencies generated by the body to detect the presence of parasites, bacteria, toxins, and other health disruptors, and to help eliminate them. Every cell produces tiny electromagnetic vibrations. Cells that are in good health emit harmonious signals that freely resonate with each other. Toxins or microbes that infect a cell add their own frequencies and distort the cell's natural signal. This investigation of electromagnetic energy produced by living cells began with Russian engineer Georges Lakhovsky, who published The Secret of Life in 1925. Other researchers, including Harold Saxton Burr, Robert O. Becker, and Fritze A. Popp, have made similar observations.

Bioresonance therapy uses electrodes, which are attached to a device such as the BICOM 2000, to pick up various electromagnetic waves from the skin's surface. The device amplifies healthy signals and counteracts signals from pathogens by inverting their signals. The resulting therapeutic signal is then sent to the patient, creating an energetic environment that discourages parasites or other health disruptors. The therapeutic signal also seems to prod the unhealthy signals into greater harmony with the healthy ones.

In an article for Positive Health, Reinhold D. Will, a German naturopath who specializes in BICOM resonance therapy, explains the many ways in which parasites contribute to chronic illness. He uses an EAV test device, included in the BICOM 2000, to identify parasites and parasite eggs or larvae that are affecting a patient. The EAV shows an improvement in the patient's energy reading when the correct parasite test ampoule (containing the energy pattern of the offending parasite) is chosen. Bioresonance therapy is just one part of Will's seven-step treatment plan. He also works to strengthen the immune system, balance disturbed intestinal flora, and treat underlying causes of parasitic invasion (e.g., heavy metal stress, pharmaceutical toxins) through diet, supplements, herbs, and homeopathics.

Like other bioresonance therapists, Will has observed that pathogenic parasites can act as "symbiotic helpers and friends of their host." Parasites scavenge heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins available in the host's body. They also ingest fungi and viruses. Patients can experience severe reactions if parasites are destroyed before the patient's system can deal with the many toxins and pathogens released as the organisms die. The EAV with the help of special parasite test ampoules lets the bioresonance therapist identify and support a parasite's helper function. Will says, "After being treated for a while, the parasites' are treated as what they actually are: as pests. In the two last stages [of his treatment plan], any toxins such as heavy metals which may be incorporated in the parasites are also treated."

While bioresonance therapy is denigrated as quackery by some, research trials – conducted primarily in Russia, Germany, and Eastern Europe – indicate that electromagnetic waves do, indeed, affect biology. A 2002 Russian study, found on, measured "activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase, and content of nonprotein thiol groups (reduced glutathione) in blood lymphocytes from patients with rheumatoid arthritis before and during bioresonance therapy." Standard pharmacotherapy given to these patients tends to increase the activity of these antioxidant enzymes and to decrease thiol groups. In this study, bioresonance therapy increased the amount of thiol groups in blood lymphocytes and normalized superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity. Interestingly, bioresonance did not normalize catalase activity; "[it] remained above the control."

A 2004 Polish study looked at the effect of bioresonance therapy using BICOM B15 on female Buffalo rats implanted with Morris tumors. After 14 consecutive in vivo treatments (begun the third day after inoculation), 31 of the 45 rats (69%) in the experimental group experienced total tumor regression. None of the controls showed tumor regression. In addition, none of the rats in the bioresonance group had lung metastases, usually observed in those with tumors. Also, the researchers found signs of a high, cell-mediated immune response at the site of tumor implantation. The authors conclude, "We cannot exclude the possibility that [low-frequency electromagnetic] signals transmitted via [bioresonance therapy] into the tumor bearers may stimulate two separate processes: effective immunological response and/or tumor-cell death."

Energy Medicine Review. About bio-resonance. Available at: Accessed on April 12, 2006.

Fedorowski A, Steciwko A, Rbczynski J. Low-frequency electromagnetic stimulation may lead to regression of Morris hepatoma in buffalo rats. (Abstract) J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Apr;10(2):251-60. Available at: Accessed on April 13, 2006.

Islamov BI, Balabanova RM, Funtikov VA, et al. Effect of bioresonance therapy on antioxidant system in lymphocytes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. (Abstract) Bull Exp Biol Med. 2002 Sep;134(3):248-50. Available at: Accessed on April 13.2006.

Will RD. Bioresonance therapy for parasites. Positive Health. November 1999. Available at: Accessed on April 12, 2006.

Climate Change & Disease
In October 2005, Paul R. Epstein, associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School (Boston, Massachusetts), wrote a perspective article for the New England Journal of Medicine that outlines the health effects of climate change. The extremes in temperature and severity of hurricanes and storms that are becoming commonplace are the direct result of global climate change, according to over 2000 world scientists who comprised the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Epstein says: "The pace of atmospheric warming and the accumulation of carbon dioxide are quickening; polar and alpine ice is melting at rates not thought possible several years ago; the deep ocean is heating up, and circumpolar winds are accelerating; and warming in the lower atmosphere is retarding the repair of the protective ‘ozone shield' in the stratosphere." The United Nations panel asserted, in 2001, that deforestation and burning fossil fuels greatly contribute to these changes.

Climate change is having subtle as well as obvious effects on health. Higher carbon dioxide levels encourage ragweed to grow taller and produce considerably more pollen. Some fungi also respond to carbon dioxide with more growth and spore production. The increase in pollen and fungal spores in combination with pollutants that carry the particles deep into the lungs may be one factor in the rise of allergic disease. Climate also affects the health of food crops. Hurricane Ivan is blamed for introducing soybean rust, a fungal disease that thrives in warmth and moisture, to the United States.

Global warming and extremes in weather also affect microbes and the vectors (e.g., birds, insects) that spread them, resulting in an increase in infectious disease. The incidence of malaria, for example, rose fivefold in Mozambique after six weeks of rain and cyclones in 2000. Epstein says: "Mosquitoes, which can carry many diseases, are very sensitive to temperature changes. Warming of their environment – within their viable range – boosts their rates of reproduction and the number of blood meals they take, prolongs their breeding season, and shortens the maturation period for the microbes they disperse." Mosquito populations and other illness-causing insects are also spreading into higher elevations and latitudes as permafrost thaws. Epstein says, "All in all, it would appear that we may be underestimating the breadth of biologic responses to changes in climate."

Epstein PR. Climate change and human health. New England Journal of Medicine. 2005;353:1433-1436. Available at: Accessed on May 4, 2006.

Disinfecting Water
Microbe-contaminated water causes three to five billion episodes of diarrhea each year. About three million deaths result from dehydration, attributed to diarrhea, during that time. To combat this problem, Population Services International (PSI), a non-profit organization, markets the use of affordable household water treatment products to people in over 20 countries. PSI promotes three water treatment products: Safe Water Solution, Safe Water Solution tablets, and PuR. Safe Water Solution, developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a chlorine solution. A bottle of the solution disinfects enough water for a family of six for a penny or less per day. Use of the solution has reduced diarrhea episodes by 44% to 85%. The tablet form of Safe Water Solution treats 20 liters of water (about five gallons) and costs $US 0.005.

PuR, developed by Proctor and Gamble in collaboration with the CDC, is a powder that contains ferric sulfate and calcium hypochlorite, chemicals used by US municipal water treatment facilities. When used according to manufacturer's directions, one packet of PuR will decontaminate ten liters (2.5 gallons) of water in about 25 minutes. Not only does it kill microbes, PuR also removes organics (humic acid, DDT) and heavy metals. PuR has successfully reduced arsenic levels found in Bangladeshi well water.

Directions for effective use are somewhat involved. First, the powder must be stirred into the contaminated water for five minutes until waste material clumps together. After the waste sinks to the bottom of the container, the water is filtered through a clean cotton cloth into a second container. The clear water must then stand for an additional 20 minutes before it is safe to drink. PuR is more expensive than the chlorine products that only decontaminate microbes. One packet cost about $US 0.08.

PSI. PuR Purifier of Water. Available at: Accessed on April 12, 2006.

PSI. Saving children's lives through safe water, ORS. Available at: Accessed on April 12, 2006.

Teeple J. New product cleans dirty water in minutes. March 22, 2005. Available at: Accessed on April 12, 2006.

High-Density Lipoproteins & Microbe Protection
Researchers at MBL, an independent, nonprofit research institution, have identified high-density lipoproteins (HDL cholesterol) that give humans innate protection against Trypanosoma brucei brucei. T. brucei causes Nagana, a disease that kills three million African cattle each year. The parasite is related to two organisms, carried by the tsetse fly, that cause African sleeping sickness in humans: Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. The Nagana-causing parasite feeds on the lipids in HDL. MBL researchers have discovered that when the parasite digests HDL that carries apolipoprotein L-1 and haptoglobin-related protein (found in humans but not cattle), the bugs "literally [dissolve]."

April Shiflett, a scientist in MBL's Global Infectious Disease Program, says the findings may help develop successful Nagana treatments for cattle, as well as give researchers clues for treating human parasitic infections, such as sleeping sickness and malaria. The study appeared in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (September 30, 2005).

Good cholesterol (HDLs) provides human immunity to certain parasites. Available at: Accessed on April 12, 2006

Malaria Treatment Resistance & Transmission Rate
Two Ugandan clinical studies indicate that the transmission rate affects malaria treatment failure. A study by D. Francis and colleagues (J Infect Dis. 2006;193:978-986) found that people living in areas with high frequency of malaria transmission responded better to conventional drug treatment than those living in areas with less malaria. "Treatment failure decreased with increasing transmission intensity" – even in the group of patients infected with drug-resistant parasites. As transmission rates rose, treatment failure for chloroquine (CQ) and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) dropped from 73% to 19%. CQ/SP has been a first-line treatment, but parasite-resistance has decreased its effectiveness. The relationship between high transmission and drug failure also held true for the amodiaquine (AQ) and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine combination (38% to two percent). This study indicates that malaria transmission rate provides a better explanation of geographical differences in treatment response than antimalaria drug resistance. High transmission rates promote acquired immunity, and the researchers believe that acquired immunity may be a factor in treatment success.

While high transmission rates give inhabitants the opportunity to acquire and maintain immunity, these geographical areas also tend to harbor more strains of malaria infection. This increased complexity also affects treatment success, according to a second 2006 Ugandan study written by S.A. Lee (J Infect Dis. 2006; 193:1160-1163). Taking data from seven Ugandan sites, the researchers found that people living in high-transmission areas had lower parasite burden (attributed to acquired immunity) but more complex infections (i.e., parasites with diverse, drug-resistant mutations). Lee controlled for parasite burden and age and found that "patients infected with three strains had almost three times the odds of treatment failure…compared with those infected with one or two strains." Treatment failure was considerably higher at the sites in this second study than in the first: "…the rate of failure [ranged] from 57% to 84% for CQ/SP, from 20% to 47% for AQ/SP, and from nine percent to 56% for AQ/AS [artesunate]."

Smart T. Malaria transmission factors and immunity play major roles in treatment response according to two Ugandan studies. April 12, 2006. Available at: Accessed on April 12, 2006

Institute for OneWorld Health
Institute for OneWorld Health is a non-profit pharmaceutical company, dedicated to finding effective, inexpensive treatments and preventives for parasitic-borne diseases. Founder Victoria Hale, PhD, a pharmaceutical scientist who worked for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), became frustrated with the pharmaceutical industry's pursuit of products to cure baldness and impotence while ignoring infectious diseases that afflict and kill millions of the poor. The institute tracks down undervalued drugs and chemicals that are not being developed but have the potential to treat diseases in developing countries. It then oversees clinical trials and obtains regulatory approval so that the treatments can be distributed to those in need. The organization is focusing on four parasite-caused illnesses: diarrhea, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, and malaria.

OneWorld Health has gained support and cooperation from biopharmaceutical companies, universities, the World Health Organization, and US government agencies since its founding in 2000. The University of California, Santa Barbara has donated a patent for the use of calcium channel blockers to control schistosomiasis. Schistosomiasis, caused by a fluke (genus Schistosoma), is characterized by anemia and by pain, obstruction, and dysfunction in affected organs (e.g., bladder, rectum, liver, lungs, spleen, intestines, portal venous system). In addition, Celera Genomics gave OneWorld Health in-licensing of a possible treatment for Chagas disease. In 2004, OneWorld Health completed a Phase III trial in India using paromomycin to cure visceral leishmaniasis, a deadly parasitic disease transmitted by sandflies. The institute has received Orphan Drug Designation for paromomycin to treat visceral leishmaniasis from the US FDA and the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products. The institute is expected to request India's approval for the treatment in 2006.

OneWorld Health is also working with researchers to develop a malaria vaccine and an inexpensive way to make artemisinin, an effective treatment for the illness. Both projects have received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. OneWorld Health is collaborating with Sanaria, Inc., a company that is developing a malaria vaccine. Sanaria's research found that radiation-weakened sporozoites (malaria parasites) "protected more than 90% [of volunteers] against developing malaria for at least ten months." The company hopes to develop a non-replicating, metabolically active (attenuated) malaria sporozoite vaccine.

The production of a bio-engineered artemisinin is the result of a collaboration between OneWorld Health, researchers at the Center for Synthetic Biology (University of California's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), and Amyris Biotechnologies. The UC-Berkeley researchers bio-engineered a yeast that can produce artemisinic acid more quickly than the wormwood plant, artemisinic acid's natural source. Drug compounds with artemisinin (made from artemisinic acid) are considered "the most powerful tool in fighting malaria." The researchers hope to use yeast or another microorganism to produce artemisinin acid efficiently enough to reduce the price of these malaria drugs from $2.40 to just pennies. Amyris is developing a bioreactor that will convert the artemisinic acid, produced by the microbes, into artemisinin.

Hoffman I. Cheaper malaria drug in works. Available at: Accessed on April 13, 2006.

Institute for OneWorld Health. About us: history. Available at: Accessed on April 13, 2006.

Institute for OneWorld Health. Institute for OneWorld Health receives Gates foundation grant to fund development of malaria vaccine. Available at: Accessed on April 12, 2006.

A non-profit drug company: fact, not fantasy. Available at: Accessed on April 12, 2006.

Washing Produce
Susan S. Sumner, a food scientist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, Virginia), has found that misting fruits and vegetables with vinegar and three percent hydrogen peroxide (commonly sold in stores) kills attached microbes. Most people recognize that uncooked or undercooked meat can harbor disease-causing microbes, such as E. coli. Raw fruits and vegetables pose an equal and possibly greater threat than meat. Sumner says that vegetables are more likely than red meat to be contaminated by microbes (most of which are benign) and that the microbes adhere to vegetables more persistently. Elizabeth Ehrenfeld of IDEXX Labs (Westbrook, Maine) found that ten of 39 samples of fresh bean sprouts, bought from local groceries in 1998, harbored E. coli. The contamination probably occurred from contact with dirty hands during harvesting or distribution. Salmonella and Shigella have also been found on raw vegetables.

Studies performed in the 1990s showed that rinsing produce in water or even using a detergent does little to remove microbes. Sumner wanted to find a simple solution for restaurants and other establishments that provide raw salads. She used simple laundry spray bottles to mist produce with vinegar and then with hydrogen peroxide. The combination is highly effective and causes little effect on the food's taste. Which solution is applied first makes no difference, but using the two in combination is key. "If the acetic acid got rid of 100 organisms," Sumner told Science News Online, "the hydrogen peroxide would get rid of 10,000, and the two together would get rid of 100,000…every [microbe] that drips off is killed." The combination also effectively cleans cutting boards and kitchen counters.

Raloff J. How to disinfect your salad. Science News Online. September 28, 1996. Available at:

Raloff J. Wash-resistant bacteria taint foods. Science News Online. May 30, 1998. Available at: Accessed on April 12, 2006.


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