Artemisia annua herb information and additional species
May 20 2016 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Artemisia annua, also known as Sweet Wormwood, Sweet Annie, or Sweet Sagewort is a type of wormwood that grows throughout the world. Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort or common wormwood) is one of several species in the genus Artemisia.

Artemisinin or Qinghaosu, is the active constituent of the herb Artemesia annua (sweet wormwood). Good quality herb contains 0.3-0.5% artemisinin.

Kidney disease treatment
Am J Kidney Dis. 2010
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) for poorly responsive early-stage IgA nephropathy: a pilot uncontrolled trial.
Inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system is a widely accepted approach to treat immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy, whereas the role of fish oils as a supplement is controversial. Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) is considered to be involved in the pathophysiologic process of this disorder. Recent in vitro and clinical observations that wormwood can decrease TNF-α levels has led us to investigate the effect of wormwood as a supplement in patients with IgA nephropathy. Pilot uncontrolled trial. 10 patients with biopsy-proven IgA nephropathy, normal kidney function, and a history of at least 3 months of proteinuria with protein excretion > 500 mg/d and < 3,500 mg/d despite ongoing dual renin-angiotensin system blockade. The selected patients were given supplements of 1.8 g/d of thujone-free wormwood preparation for 6 months without discontinuing their renin-angiotensin system blockade. Proteinuria and blood pressure after intervention compared with baseline values. Monthly assessment of urine protein-creatinine ratio and blood pressure during the observation period. Urine protein-creatinine ratio decreased significantly from 2,340 530 to 315 200 mg/g at the end of the supplementation period and was stable during the supplement-free follow-up of another 6 months. Estimated glomerular filtration rate and endogenous creatinine clearance were unchanged during the entire study period. There was a moderate, but significant, decrease in mean arterial blood pressure. Thujone-free wormwood with its favorable safety profile can be an alternative supplement to manage proteinuria in patients with IgA nephropathy.

Malaria treatment
Artemisinin is used in the treatment of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria. In China, Artemisia annua, is a plant that was traditionally used as an antipyretic. The activity of this wormwood can be explained by the presence of the active substance artemisinin. Soon, artemether, artemotil, artenimol, artesunate and sodium artesunate, derivatives of artemisinin, have been developed. Each has its own physical and pharmaceutical properties, dosage and dosage forms.

Novartis will ramp up cultivation of an antimalarial plant in Africa to meet spiraling demand for treatments of a disease that kills some one million people a year.

The Swiss drugmaker supplies Coartem, whose main ingredient artemisinin is derived from the artemisia annua plant, on a not-for-profit basis to developing countries stricken by chronic malaria. A shortfall of artemisinin combined with resistance to older treatments such as chloroquine has hampered a global drive to halve deaths from the mosquito-born disease by 2010, prompting Novartis to boost its cultivation of the plant. The artemisia annua plant is native to China, but Novartis said it has teamed up with Kenya's East African Botanicals group to boost cultivation to more than 1,000 hectares in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. This will bring total production to some 10,000 hectares, Novartis said, spreading the risk posed by adverse weather and enabling the Swiss firm to provide more than 100 million malaria treatments by the end of 2006. Artemisinin -based treatments, such as Coartem, fight falciparum malaria, the deadliest form of the disease that causes as many as 400 million infections and at least a million deaths a year. The WHO gauges demand for Artemisinin -based treatments at some 130 million treatments in 2006.  Novartis's Coartem drug would account for roughly two thirds of this quantity. Tight supplies of Artemisinin -based treatments prompted the aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) to criticize the WHO last month for relying too heavily on Coartem in its antimalaria program. Last November, Novartis said its traditional Chinese suppliers of artemisinin would only be able to deliver 30 million doses in 2005 -- half of the expected demand. French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA is working with a not-for-profit health group to develop its own artemisinin -based combination pill, which it hopes to launch in 2006.

Suppositories derived from sweet wormwood kill the deadliest malaria parasites quickly and offer a stop-gap treatment for people in remote areas until they can reach a hospital. A single dose of any artemisinin derivative given rectally is better at clearing parasites after 24 hours than a conventional injection of the older drug quinine for people with severe malaria.

Malaria treatment by using artemisinin in Indonesia. Acta Med Indonesia. 2010

Kansenshogaku Zasshi. 2014 May;. Artemisinin-based combination therapies and their introduction in Japan. Artemisinin was discovered in 1971 from a herb, Artemisia annua, which had been used for more than 2,000 years in China against intermittent fever. Now, the artemisinin and its derivatives have become essential components of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). The ACTs are the recommended first-line treatments of malaria because they are effective against all four human malarias, produce rapid parasite/fever clearance, and show fewer adverse effects. Some ACTs are particularly important in cases of severe and complicated falciparum malaria, including cerebral malaria.

Have you investigated the effects, side effects and interactions with conventional medications of Paw Paw Annonaceous acetogenins and of Artemisin derivates (artemisinin, artemether and artesunate) as I came through a lot of papers claiming for great efficiency against cancer ?
   We only have the research as listed above.

What would be a reasonable number of drops to start artemesia drops. I heard about them on The Natural Nurse on Gary Null's Network.
   This is a plant that I have not studied much.

Other species
Extracts of the whole herb of Artemisia asiatica Nakai are used in traditional oriental medicine to treat inflammation. Eupatilin (5,7-dihydroxy-3',4',6-trimethoxyflavone) is one of the pharmacologically active components found in A. asiatica, and has been shown to possess anti-tumoral effects in some malignancies, including gastric cancer. Tumour Biol. 2013.
J Ethnopharmacol. Feb 3 2014. Anti-inflammatory activities and mechanisms of Artemisia asiatica ethanol extract.

The essential oils isolated from the aerial parts of two different populations of Artemisia gmelinii growing in Uttarakhand Himalaya region were analysed . Artemisia ketone was detected as a major constituent in both the populations i.e., Niti valley and Jhelum samples. Niti oil was found to have considerably greater amounts of artemesia ketone (53%) followed by α-thujone (9.9%) and 1,8-cineole (6%), Similarly, the first major compound in Jhelum oil was artemesia ketone (40%), whereas ar-curcumene (8%) was identified as a second major compound followed by α-thujone (4%). Artemisia ketone can be useful for perfumery and fragrance to introduce new and interesting herbaceous notes. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2012.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012. Jaceosidin Induces Apoptosis in U87 Glioblastoma Cells through G2/M Phase Arrest. Membrane Channel Research Laboratory, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China. Artemisia argyi is a widely used medicinal plant in China. The present study was designed to identify the bioactive constituents with antiglioma activity from leaves of Artemesia argyi.