Cassia alata.
Photo: © James Ho/Flickr.com

Herbal medicine to combat malaria

SAYE, a plant-based medicine, is used in Burkina Faso to treat malaria. As indepth scientific findings on the medicine are not available, a clinical trial of SAYE versus ACT is now to be implemented in uncomplicated malaria in adult patients.

Malaria patients in Burkina Faso are also being treated with a herbal medicine SAYE. An international team of scientists reported details of the production of the medicine, its ingredients and the scientific findings available to date in April 2015 in “The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine“.

SAYE consists of active ingredients from the medicinal plants C. planchonii, Phyllanthus amarus and Cassia alata. It is manufactured by mixing the three dried and coarsely chopped ingredients in specific proportions and sold as tea. It is also available as capsules of powdered SAYE. SAYE tea was officially licenced as an antimalarial phytomedicine in Burkina Faso in 2005.

Although SAYE is licensed and widely sold in Burkina Faso for the treatment of malaria, it has never been evaluated in a randomised, controlled clinical trial. The Ministry of Research of Burkina Faso has recently agreed to fund a clinical trial of SAYE versus ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapies) in uncomplicated malaria in adult patients. This will provide more evidence on the clinical safety and effectiveness of SAYE in the treatment of malaria.

Scientists stress the importance of obtaining more evidence on the clinical safety and effectiveness of SAYE in the treatment of malaria. Research is important, for example to find out whether the currently recommended preparations and dosages are suboptimal, optimal, or excessive.


Read the article:
SAYE: The Story of an Antimalarial Phytomedicine from Burkina Faso


(The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine/ile)

 

 

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