Alternative names: Sweet Wormwood, Chinese Wormwood.
Artemisia annua is found in many parts of the world. For a detailed use of several herbs in an parasite cleansing program, see the link between Parasite Infection and Black Walnut.
Wormwood has been used traditionally for treatment of fever in China for over two thousand years. It was not until the early 1970s that the potential for treating malaria was recognized and the active constituent artemisinin isolated by Chinese scientists.
Artemisia has become a popular alternative to conventional anti-malarial treatments, being effective but without the associated side-effects of anti-malarial drugs. Travelers abroad to malaria hot spots may prefer to take Artemisia as opposed to pharmaceutical anti-malaria treatments.
Wormwood has antiprotozoal activity and is especially effective against giardia, but caution is advised as it can cause a worsening of symptoms and mild intestinal irritation initially. It may be used with other herbs known for their antiparasitic activity.
Artemisia annua has primarily been used for treatment of protozoan infection. The most active ingredient, artemisinin, is a potent prooxidant whose activity is enhanced by polyunsaturated fats such as cod liver oil and antagonized by vitamin E. Artemisinin is used intravenously in Southeast Asia for the treatment of cerebral malaria; it has no known side-effects except for induction of abortion when used at high doses in pregnant animals.