|Botanical: Artemisia absinthium
Family: Compositae (daisy)
Other common names: Absinthe, Wormwood, Green Ginger, Green Fairy, Absinthium, Old Woman, Southernwood, Wermutkraut, Southern Wood, Madderwort,
Long used by herbalists to eliminate worms and parasites and as an aid for improving gallbladder, liver, gastric and vascular disorders, as well as migraine headaches, Artemisia may be more commonly known in the preparation of alcholic beverages (absinthe) as a digestive that improves the appetite and relieves many digestive disturbances. As an herbal tranquilizer, Artemisia is also used to calm the nerves, and as a uterine stimulant, the herb helps to stimulate menstruation. Applied topically, Artemisia aids in healing wounds, skin ulcers, blemishes and insect bites.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Artemisia is a native of Eurasia (Europe and Siberia) and North Africa, and the plant has been naturalized in North America where it occurs as a casual weed. In England it grows in many places and appears to thrive near the sea. It is a perennial root, which arises to a height of two to four feet with leafy, flowering stems. The leaves and flowers are extremely bitter, with the characteristic odor of thujone, and the whitish plant is closely covered with fine, silky hairs. The plants are harvested in July and August, and only the leaves and tops are used. The medical use of Artemisia dates back to ancient Egypt and is mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus (c.1550 BC), and Artemisia extracts and wine-soaked leaves were used as remedies by the ancient Greeks. The botanical genus, Artemisia, is derived from Artemis, the Greek name for Diana, who is said to have found the plants and delivered their powers to Chiron, the centaur; and the ancient Greeks claimed that the plant counteracted the poisons of hemlock and toadstools. Its botanical specific, absinthium, is a Latin stylization of the Greek word, αψινθιον (apsinthion). Some claim that the word means "undrinkable" in Greek, because of its extreme bitterness. One of its common names, Wormwood, is a derivation from the Anglo Saxon wermode or wermut, meaning "preserver of the mind," since the herb was thought to enhance mental functions and which also accounts for its use in treating nervous temperament and melancholia. The common name, Wormwood, also refers to its ability to act as a wormer in children and animals and has long been used to eliminate pinworms and roundworms, etc. Furthermore, it was used in granaries to drive away weevils and insects and was also used as a strewing herb to repel fleas. In 1577, in July's Husbandry, Tusser advised people to lay its flowers among "stuffs and furs" to keep away moths and insects. Also long revered in traditional folk medicine for its ability to improve digestive disorders, Artemisia preparations were used internally for gastric insufficiency, intestinal atonia, gastritis and stomachache, and in 1772, it was recorded that Dr. John Hill made an infusion for treating indigestion. With the exception of Rue, Artemisia is the bitterest herb known, but it is wholesome and was very much in demand by brewers for use, instead of hops. The major constituent of Artemisia is a volatile oil, dark green or blue in color, with a strong odor and bitter taste. The essential oil in Artemisia was an ingredient in the alcoholic aperitif called absinthe, which was first created by Henri Pernod in 1797. Today's successors to absinthe - anisette and vermouth - do not contain thujone. Artemisia oil contains thujone (absinthol or tenacetone), thujyl alchohol (both free and combined with acetic, isovalerianic, succine and malic acids), cadinene, phellandrene and pinene. The herb also contains the bitter glucoside, absinthin, and other salts. Other phytochemical and nutrient contents include chamazulene, chlorogenic acid, isoquercitrin, p-coumaric acid, rutin, salicylic acid, tannins, vanillic acid, beta-carotene and vitamin C.
Artemisia has been used as a powerful tool to fight worm (notably eliminate roundworms and pinworms) and other parasitic infestations in humans and animals. It has long been used as an anthelmintic that expels intestinal worms. Research introduced at the University of York (UK) in 2008, indicated that because of increasing parasite resistance to anti-malarial drugs, there is now great reliance on a new drug, Artemisinin, to treat malaria, which is based upon the plant compounds found in Artemisia.
Used as a bitter, Artemisia aids in secretions of the gallbladder and liver and is an old and trusted remedy for biliousness and liver troubles, jaundice and gallbladder ailments.
Artemisia is considered a nervine tonic that nourishes the nervous system and, thus, eases stress and nervous disorders. Regarded as an herbal tranquilizer, Artemisia helps to calm and soothes the nerves and reduce tension and anxiety. The herb's absinthin content is a narcotic analgesic that affects the medullary portion of the brain concerned with anxiety and is said to induce a relaxed state.
Well known for its commercial use in the preparation of liquors, notably absinthe and vermouth, Artemisia has also been used medicinally as a mild sedative. This bitterest of herbs includes a narcotic analgesic that affects the portion of the brain dealing with pain. If not used habitually, the herb's absinthum has been known to stimulate the cerebral hemispheres and act as a direct stimulant on the cortex cerebri, aiding in the relief of migraine headaches, nervous diseases, in addition to soothing nervous temperament.
Traditional herbalists claim that Absinthe/Artemisia is a febrifuge that helps to lower intermittent fevers and fight infection.
Because Artemisia increases stomach acidity, it aids in the whole digestive process, particularly when there is a deficiency of gastric juice. It has been used to help alleviate gastritis, stomachache, bloating and flatulence. Moreover, as a bitter, aromatic herb, Artemisia is also said to improve a poor appetite.
Artemisia is a uterine stimulant, which may help control irregular menstrual cycles (and thus, should not be used by pregnant women).
Applied topically, the oil extracted from Artemisia acts as an anti-inflammatory that is used as a liniment to relieve pain and sore muscles. It has been useful for healing wounds, skin ulcers, blemishes and insect bites.
Artemisia may also be used as an organic insect repellent when sprayed on organic gardens or when prepared as a sachet to keep moths from clothing.
Artemisia Herbal Supplement is a uterine stimulant and should not be used during pregnancy, as it can cause spontaneous abortion. Nursing mothers should avoid Artemisia. Do not overuse; it may be habit forming with long-term use, and prolonged use may cause nausea, vertigo and insomnia. Do not exceed recommended dosage (many times the recommended amount). Artemisia should never be given to children. Do not use Artemisia if you are taking Phenobarbital. Those who suffer from allergies to members of the daisy (Compositae) family (ragweed, asters, sunflowers, etc.) should consult a doctor before using this product.