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The invention relates to the treatment of kintoplastid infections by administering a pharmaceutical composition containing an extract from the plant Artemisia annua. The invention also relates to isolated, semi-synthetic and synthetic artemisinins that show improved efficacy in treating kinetoplastid infections. This invention also relates to a method of treating kintoplastid infections with artelinic acid and artemisinins and where Artelinic acid is administered orally.