Madagascar’s controversial Covid-19 drink is being tested in Germany to explore its effectiveness against the novel coronavirus.

Scientists at Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam are among a group of researchers from Germany and Denmark collaborating with the US company ArtemiLife to explore the Artemisia plant.

The cell study will use test extracts from the Artemisia annua plant, also known as sweet wormwood, as well as derivatives isolated from the plant such as artemisinin.

A compound from the plant has long been used to treat Malaria.

“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, told DW.

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina touted a potion containing an Artemisia extract and other herbs as a “miracle cure” for the coronavirus.

Since then, media in Africa have plugged the drink’s potential, and several African countries have placed orders for the herbal tonic, sold under the name COVID Organics.

However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has cautioned countries from using the drink because it has not been tested.

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