"It is the first study in which scientists are investigating the function of these plant substances in connection with COVID-19," the head of the study, Peter Seeberger, said in an interview with DW.
Studies found the Artemisia extract was effective in inhibiting the first SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that surfaced in Asia in 2002 causing a respiratory illness.
Wonder cure without evidence
At the end of April, Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina touted a potion containing an Artemisia extract and other herbs as a wonder cure for the coronavirus.
The director of Malagasy IMRA research institute, Charles Andrianjara, spoke vaguely of "tests on some people" when contacted by DW for details of any scientific studies on the potion, and referred to many years of experience with the concoction.
Peter Seeberger believes that Madagascar could benefit if the Artemesia extracts prove effective in the Max Planck study and subsequent clinical tests.