Artemisia annua or Annual Wormwood is a general wormwood plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. The average natural height of the plant is about 30-100 cm and is tagged as an annual short duration day plant. The most important phytochemical present in the plant leaves is Artemisinin, which constitutes about 1.5% in the dried parts. Artemisia annua is native to Asia and other scattered regions of North America.
How does it work as a medication?
Everyone is acquainted with the use of Artemisia annua seeds in folklore medicine as an immune system boosting weapon. The extract of the plant was traditionally used to treat fevers in Chinese history of aromatherapy, apart from acting as effective antifungal and antiviral agents. Artemisia annua was prevalent in the medical treatment of malaria affected patients and also widely used for curing frequent urinary bladder related infections.
Malaria is mosquito infected disease targeting humans caused by parasitic protozoans belonging to the Plasmodium genus. The deadly effects are mainly imposed by Plasmodium falciparum and milder form of malaria is caused by Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale. All of the parasites widely reside in the bloodstream, specifically targeting the red blood corpuscles by binding their hemozoins (iron rich Hemglobin containing groups) to the Heme groups of RBCs. The mode of action of Artemisinin as proposed by researchers suggest that there is an important step involved in the iron mediated cleavage of endoperoxide bridges, resulting in the generation of free radicals. Other by-products in the process include epoxides, overactive iron-oxo species, decarbonyl compounds and aldehydes which builds up oxidative stress in the parasitic cells. Artemisinin targets such cells and destroys the whole mechanism that disturbs the normal functioning of biological processes.
Benefits of Artemisia annua seeds:
There is a particular theory prevalent in Chinese medical therapy that goes by the concept of three meridians guarding the energy production pathway in life forms till death.
- The Liver meridian is noted as the yin meridian that regulates the energy production throughout the body and has a direct link with the Gall Bladder meridian.
- The Gall Bladder meridian is called the wood yang meridian that serves the primary energy source that is contained in all living tissues and organs.
- The Kidney meridian is tagged as the aqua energy yin organ that functions as the major tank storing the generated energy through the medium of water.
Artemisia annua seeds prove to maintain a balance between all these three meridian concepts as stated in the Chinese medicine history, and thereby promotes vitality and wellness of human body. The extract from the leaves of Artemisia annua can be used in the form of essential oils to give you a relaxation effect in times of acute anxiety or high fever. Hence, the supplement replaces the use of strong sedatives that are taken during fever as analgesics and also minimizes chances of side effects of drugs by aromatherapy.
If you are suffering from malarial fever or other parasitic infections, a planned dosage of 100-120 mg taken twice a day is recommended to soothe your excited nerve cells. Since the plant has been traditionally used to treat fevers, it is claimed as a completely safe supplement that can be taken as an alternative to soporific drugs.