The biological name of sweet wormwood is Artemisia Annua. In China it is known as Qing Hao. The herb is also called by many other names like annual wormwood, sweet Annie, and sweet sagewort etc. Sweet wormwood is a popular shrub that is found abundantly in china. In fact, in China, it grows naturally. Nowadays, it also grows in many other countries around the world including Australia, the USA, and in many European countries. Over the centuries, it is used in raw form by Chinese herbalists to treat fever. In early 1970s it was rediscovered by the western researchers for its anti-malarial properties and other medicinal uses. In China, sweet wormwood also used as a delicacy with salads and the oil extracted from the plant’s leaves is used as a flavoring agent.
Basic ingredients in sweet wormwood
The principal ingredient of this plant is artemisinin. This immensely beneficial herb contains some very useful compounds like sesquiterpenoids, triterpenoids, flavonoids, chromenes, and essential oil components. The constituents in the solution extracted from this plant depend on the solvent used during extraction. When, aqueous solvents are used, the solutions seem to contain less polymethoxylated flavonoids than alcohol extracts, Again, in aqueous solvent, the solution is found to contain higher quantities of mono-caffeoyl, mono-feruloyl-quinic acids, di-caffeoyl and di-feruloyl-quinic acids etc. It is proved that alcoholic extracts possess the highest antioxidant potential. Also, the important flavonoids casticin and artemetin that are very effective in curing malaria are less extracted in aqeous extracts.
Benefits of Artemisia Annua
Following are the most mention-worthy benefits of the plant –
- Artemisia Annua is mostly known for its malaria and fever curing capacity. A number of ingredients are found to be very effective in various fevers and malaria. The components of this plant used for treating malaria are also found to form active protection against malaria. Hence, travelers from Europe and North America often use medicines made with these compounds before travelling to malaria prone countries.
- It is also known for its anti-cancer properties. It is specially used to treat breast cancer. Artemisinin, the natural endoperoxide of this plant, and its semisynthetic derivatives, viz. artheether, arthemether, dihydroartemisinin, and artesunate are found to be the fundamental active ingredients for anti-malarial and anti-cancer activities. Other important constituents inform of polymethoxyflavonoids are also found to be effective compounds against cancer.
- Extract of this plant is also used to treat varieties of liver problems like jaundice and hepatitis. In China, raw extracts of sweet wormwood have been used to keep the liver in healthy condition.
- Various other uses of the plant include treatment for colds, diarrhea, dyspepsia, jaundice, psoriasis, scabies, tuberculosis, and gastritis etc.
- The plant is also used externally to treat swelling, muscle pains and nose bleeds etc.
In different diseases different dosages are applied. Numerous other factors like age and sex of the person, weight, and overall health condition are taken into consideration to determine dosages appropriately.
This is a wonderful and efficient product that provide solution for many types of diseases. The plant extract in capsule form is found in the market, so availing multifarious benefits out of this herb is not a tough matter these days.