The authors, from Imperial College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: “This journey, mirroring that of artemisinin from the qinghao herb, may as yet reveal another source of potent anti-infective treatment.”
“Like the use of Qinghao, many traditional cultures prescribe a hot broth for treating fever, each having ascribed miraculous powers of healing, for example, Jewish grandmothers’ chicken soup. Indeed, there is some evidence that these broths do indeed contain antibiotic properties.”
The recipes of the vegetarian, chicken and beef-based broths varied, with no particular ingredient common to those who demonstrated the strongest antimalarial activity.
A red cabbage soup was among those to show success, demonstrating that chicken was not the only broth which appeared to have medical properties, researchers said.