Artemisia annua

Sweet Wormwood

Artemisia annua

Sweet Wormwood

Sweet Annie, Sweet Wormwood, and Annual Wormwood are all common names for this summer annual herb native to Asia. Sweet Annie is now naturalized in many countries including the United States and is under cultivation for various commercial uses in many countries. She has a fern like leaf and is aromatically fragrant with sweet camphor notes especially strong on a warm summer day in the meadow. Cultivation and commercialization of this plant are largely due to the presence of an active chemical found in the plant called artemesinin. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the plant is referred to as Qing Hao and has been used for over 2,000 years to help with occasional digestive complaints. The whole herb in extracted or tea form is consumed in many countries for “digestive health”.

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Traditional Health Benefits of Sweet Wormwood

Digestive Support, Immune Support

What is Sweet Wormwood Used for?

There is scholarly discussion amongst herbalists and practitioners regarding the “silver bullet” approach of isolated Artemsinin versus the whole herb preparations used in traditional practice. For more information and wonderful insights on this topic see the works of Kevin Spelman, Ph.D.

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Active Constituents of Sweet Wormwood

Arteether, artemether, artemotil, artenimol, artesunate, and dihydroartemisinin, artemisin, deoxyartemisinin, artemisinic acid, arteannuin-B, stigmasterol, friedelin, friedelan-3 beta-ol, artemetin, and quercetagetin 6,7,3',4'-tetramethyl ether, The essential oil of Artemisia annua aerial parts contains camphor, germacrene D, trans-pinocarveol, beta-selinene, beta-caryophyllene, and artemisia ketone

Parts Used

Aerial Parts

Additional Resources

1.) Li, Y. and Wu, Y. L. How Chinese scientists discovered qinghaosu (artemisinin) and developed its derivatives? What are the future perspectives? Med Trop.(Mars.) 1998;58(3 Suppl):9-12.2.) Trevett, A. and Lalloo, D. A new look at an old drug: artemesinin and qinghaosu. P.N G Med J 1992;35(4):264-269.3.) Zheng GQ. Cytotoxic terpenoids and flavonoids from Artemisia annua. Planta Med 1994;60:54-7.4.) Juteau, F., Masotti, V., Bessiere, J. M., Dherbomez, M., and Viano, J. Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Artemisia annua essential oil. Fitoterapia 2002;73(6):532-535.5.) Ferreira, J.F.S., Simon, J.E., Janick, J., 1997. Artemisia annua: botany, horticulture, pharmacology (A Review). Horticultural Reviews 19:319-371. 6.) Rath K, Taxis K, Walz G, Gleiter CH, Li S-M, Heide L. Parmacokinetics study of artemsinin after oral intake of a traditional preparation of Artemisia annua L. (annual wormwood). Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2004;70(2):128-132.

Important Precautions

Not for use during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

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