Traditional medicine and scientific research: towards genuine north-south cooperation

The most deprived populations in developing countries often lack access to high-quality modern medicine. People often turn first to traditional remedies, which may also be their preferred choice. Clinical research has shown that some local traditional medicines can safely treat common diseases such as malaria, diabetes and hypertension.

We at Antenna Technologies use rigorous scientific methods to identify the traditional treatments with the best safety and effectiveness profiles. The choice of research subjects rests on the following criteria: studies should answer practical questions asked by local people; they should be socially beneficial; they should be innovative; and it should be possible for local students and researchers to carry them out.

Using the results of the studies that Antenna and its partners have conducted on local medicines, communities can make well-informed decisions for their health while developing a local economy of treatment resources.


Argemone Mexicana (Mexican Poppy, Mexican Thistle), a tropical plant that is very effective for treating malaria. During the latest survey, a 100% cure rate was reported for adults and children over five who had an uncomplicated episode of malaria and used the Argemone preparation.

Sublingual sugar for the treatment of hypoglycaemia. The World Health Organization has included sublingual sugar treatment in the WHO pocket book “Guidelines for the management of common childhood illnesses”.

Mental Health

Crisis Dialogue, a verbal tool to improve engagement with and support for people undergoing a psychotic episode. The handbook is available in several languages (English, French and Arabic).

Map memo download

Diabetes and high blood pressure

Many people in poor populations who suffer from non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension are treated with products that can be obtained locally, usually plants. Are these plants really effective? Are some of them better than others? This is what we are studying in Micronesia and Senegal, in collaboration with local researchers and students.