Artemisia annua L

Plant Name   Artemisia annua L  (Sweet wormwood)

Botanical Info   Aster family (Compositae) – Asteraceae Dumort. Sweet wormwood – (Artemisia annua L.)- herbal plant, up to 1m heigh. The stem is glabrous (bare), straight, furrowed; at the beginning of vegetation is green, in the end is dark purple. The lower leaves are in petioles, threefold pinnately- dissected, 3-5 cm in length, the upper leaves are sessile, softer. The globular baskets are collected in the pyramidal, paniculate inflorescence. The flowers in anthodium are numerous and yellow.  It blooms in August and September.

Geography   Widespread in the European part of Russia, in eastern Siberia (from the Altai to Transbaikalia), in the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, the Caucasus, Central Asia.  Grows in the wild form in North America, Japan and Central Europe. Mediterranean region, Iran and Mongolia.

Chemical Content   It has  essential [volatile] oil from 0.1% to 0.64%. The amount of essential oil is increased at the start of flowering to fruiting. The essential [volatile] oil is the colorless or yellowish thin fluid. The composition of the oil includes camphene, myrcene, pinene, cineol, artemiziaketon, camphor and boras camphor, acetic and butyric acids.

Traditional Use and Activity   In Chinese medicine: the juice of wormwood young leaves treats scabies, skin and pustular (impetiginous) diseases. 100% ointment is prepared from the dried leaves for the treatment of some skin diseases (eczema).

The herb in its decoction form is used to stimulate appetite. In the Trans-Caucasus, the young leaves of wormwood are used as a seasoning for meat dishes. The broth made from goat meat is spicied with wormwood in Kyrgyzstan. The seeds are added to flour and grain foods as well as to tea.