Javascript is not enabled! Please turn on Javascript to use this site.
The Artemisia Covid-19 Public Initiative

The Artemisia Covid-19 Public Initiative

Personal message

We are raising funds to scientifically investigate the potential to develop Artemisia into an effective treatment of COVID 19. All funds will be managed by North-West University.

The Artemisia-COVID 19 Public Initiative:
Many people might be surprised to know that a possible treatment of COVID 19 is growing right under their feet, or strictly speaking, next to their feet because it is a shrub called Artemisia afra. The older generation know this herb as “Wilde Als” (Afrikaans), “Lengana” (Tswana/Sotho), or “Wild wormwood” (English) and many still use it today as an herbal tea to stave off or treat flu during winter months.

Recently the President of Madagascar launched an Artemisia tonic in the fight against the pandemic. Although this was heavily criticized, the President might actually be onto something. The herb in question, Artemisia annua, and the South African herb, Artemisia afra, have both been tested in clinical trials before. Both herbs showed similar good activity/safety profiles. Although these trials on 1800 patients were conducted before the pandemic (therefore not on COVID 19 infected patients) it does provide us with valuable/critical information. In laboratory tests, both herbs have shown good activity against HIV, and many studies reported on the antiviral (incl. coronavirus) activity of compounds isolated from Artemisia.

The traditional use and scientific studies conducted to date compel an in-depth investigation into the potential of Artemisia to be developed as an effective/safe treatment of COVID 19.

So what needs to be done? There are four tenets to such a study:

1. Chemical analysis: Development of quality control protocols, stability studies, formulation studies, etc. Existing analytical facilities at North-West University (NWU) and techniques developed by myself over the past 10 years will be used.

2. Biological activity studies: We need to link specific (un)known molecules with activity against the COVID 19 virus. The chemistry will be conducted at NWU whereas the activity testing will be conducted in a number of EU laboratories.

3. Clinical trials: Specific formulations need to be tested for activity/safety in COVID 19 infected patients in a ‘randomized controlled trial’. The trial design will be developed in consultation with international experts in order to ensure an unbiased result. Both positve and negative results will be published.

4. Production of Artemisia: An existing technology and ‘proof of concept’ facility at NWU called ‘Food & Energy’ will be used which makes dual use of land by growing herbs underneath raised solar panels. Combining various technologies this concept will generate electricity, create much-needed employment, and produce the raw herbal material.  

What kind of investment will a project like this require? Many millions (in ZAR), and many millions/20 (in US dollars). And why not approach the traditional funding agencies for support? Unfortunately, the wheels at funding agencies turn exceptionally slow and when funding becomes available (if ever) the world will probably be battling a different pandemic. So in reality, the only way to make this happen reasonably quickly is to ask for public support.

This project is an opportunity to become part of a potential solution and join the fight against COVID 19.

Scientific literature regarding the biological activity and clinical trials of Artemisia can be found here.

A website which reports on the progress of this project and where the public can give comments/suggestions can be found here


  • Aug 23, 2020 - USD $ 23.77
  • " I hope, that you will have success good luck, kind regards " - Gisela Brunn-Schulte-Wissing

  • Jul 31, 2020 - USD $ 100.00
  • "Save us all! Hurry" - Keisha

  • Jul 22, 2020 - USD $ 19.94
  • "With the researcher having registered their awareness (even acrimoniously), am lifting my below cancel-call. In fact we want his work to succeed, but with efficient use of the donating public's funds." - Rick Sheridan

  • Jul 04, 2020 - USD $ 2.70
  • "-" - Rick Sheridan

  • Jun 30, 2020 - USD $ 1.74
  • "Here as EMSKE Phytochem in Kenya, we feel this effort should not see funding until Prof. van der Kooy can speak to the guidance that _cost-less_ in silico studies have to reduce cost of his assays." - Rick Sheridan

  • Jun 29, 2020 - USD $ 57.86
  • "Keep rockin'" - Allmän Bro

  • Jun 28, 2020 - USD $ 50.00
  • "Thanks for keeping clinical trials open and transparent. Good luck!" - Sunny Naik

  • Jun 27, 2020 - USD $ 50.00
  • "Very happy to support African research for Africans" - Annette

  • Jun 15, 2020 - USD $ 11.73
  • "Good Idea" - Dr. Markus Heinemann

  • Jun 13, 2020 - USD $ 22.61
  • "Hope the result will be positiv" - Antragon Blum

  • Jun 11, 2020 - USD $ 12.08
  • "All the best!" - Kai Busch

  • Jun 11, 2020 - USD $ 60.38
  • "my very best wishes for this project!" - Regina J.

  • Jun 11, 2020 - USD $ 60.38
  • "Good luck. Hope all the best. Go!" - Dieter Stips

  • Jun 10, 2020 - USD $ 22.59
  • "Go Africa! May your efforts lead mankind to success." - Karsten Bühl

  • May 30, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "I will invite my friends to also donate. " - Bakang Mabalane

  • May 26, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "

    All the best. Hope A. afra can be recognized for its potential.

    " - Heino Heyman

  • May 26, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "

    Alle sukses!

    " - Una Cilliers

  • May 24, 2020 - USD $ 25.00
  • "May God grant success to the effort and other selfless effort's" - Anonymous

  • May 24, 2020 - USD $ 100.00
  • "Hope Africa beats Big Pharma to the cure!" - Matthew

  • May 24, 2020 - R 100.00
  • "Let's get it done" - Kenneth Ngoy Kalolo

  • May 23, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "about time" - Anonymous

  • May 21, 2020 - USD $ 46.06
  • "Good luck!! :) " - Chené

  • May 21, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "-" - govert

  • May 21, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "Good Luck" - Anonymous

  • May 21, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "Go for it" - Anonymous

Donate to this charity


Donations to date

R 15 021.76

Fundraising target

R 500 000.00

Frank van der Kooy Research Cause

Frank van der Kooy Research Cause Logo

We are raising funds to scientifically investigate the potential to develop Artemisia into effective treatment of COVID 19. This project is an opportunity to become part of a potential solution and join the fight against COVID 19. Our main objective is to validate the effectiveness of Artemisia as a possible treatment of COVID 19. Positive results can possibly impact all who suffer from this pandemic. Funds will be used to conduct chemical and pharmaceutical analysis, testing of various formulations against COVID 19 (in vitro). Production of Artemisia in a controlled environment will also be performed.