Traditional Medicinal Plants and Malaria


Merlin Willcox, Gerard Bodeker, Philippe Rasoanaivo, Jonathan Addae-Kyereme


Malaria is an increasing worldwide threat, with more than three hundred million infections and one million deaths every year. The world’s poorest are the worst affected, and many treat themselves with traditional herbal medicines. These are often more available and affordable, and sometimes are perceived as more effective than conventional antimalarial drugs.

The first book to be published on this subject, Traditional Medicinal Plants and Malaria explores the evidence for the safety and efficacy of some of these traditional medicines, and presents practical guidelines for designing studies on traditional plant-based antimalarial medicines, mosquito repellents, and insecticides. Systematic reviews of the literature and consensus guidelines form the main body of the book. Ethnomedical, ethnobotanical, pharmacological, phytochemical, toxicological, and clinical aspects of herbal antimalarials are also reviewed. These are supplemented by case studies of the most well-known traditional antimalarials.

Key features

  • Explores the evidence for the safety and efficacy of traditional herbal medicines to treat malaria
  • Presents systematic reviews of the literature and consensus guidelines
  • Includes detailed case studies


“This impressive volume is the result of a decade of work by its distinguished editors and over 50 highly-qualified contributing authors from around the world. … [It includes] excellent case studies that provide a detailed, often historical, assessment of the potential and limitations of a significant subject of important anti-malarial plant species from South America, Africa and Asia. … This is an important reference volume for all who realize the need for more effective strategies in the battle against malaria … .” — Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

This neatly packaged text … is being recommended for many categories of readers including medical, pharmaceutical, general and industrial drug scientists. Libraries of health care, teaching and research institutions and those who want a current book of facts … will find it useful. Relevant research students and established investigators in this field … can use the well-researched articles … . Traditional healers, who appreciate scientific investigations prior to the claim of efficacy, will love to use this book.” — Afr. J. Trad. CAM, 2005

“ … well edited. … of relevance not only in the area of ethnopharmacology and natural product biology, but also to anyone interested in public health and novel approaches to control infectious diseases. I very much hope that the book will stimulate research in this important area.” — Journal of Ethnopharmacology

”This interesting and informative book deals with the entire field of antimalarial and antivectoral natural products, with much disperse material collected into a single volume. …does good service to the continued development of natural product research. … Melding of these different approaches to the malaria problem is much needed, and is a unique characteristic of this book.
“…the book presents a new concept: that investigations should start, rather than end, with the clinical study of traditional treatment. The book is full of new visions for traditional medicine: this is what makes it such an enjoyable read for the interested observer and an extremely
useful reference work.” — Bill Watkins writing in Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


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