Artemisia capillaris common names: capillaris, Chinese wormwood

Artemisia is largely misunderstood in the field of herbs for medicinal use. artemisia Several herb handbooks warn that it may have intoxicating effects similar to marijuana. Well frankly, (whether you want it to be or not) it is simply not true. A form of the herb, called absinthe was used as a drink in the nineteenth century as an intoxicating drink.

Other names that this plant is known by include sagebrush, wormwood and mugwort. As a result some of the sub-species are often described as sages (not to be confused with Salvia).

The active component, thujone, is similar to THC in marijuana, however the amounts are far far lower in the herb than what is needed to cause a "high". More often than not, any effect may be coming from the alcohol the herb is dissoved in. Usually the soft, top part of the plant is used in teas or tinctures.

This herb does have antimicrobial effects in the body and it is effective in stimulating production of bile in the GI system. Unfortunately many have a strong bitter taste and smell.

Perhaps one of the most commonly used is A. dracunculus used in French cooking. Other species, A. Absinthium is the one used to flavor beers, vermouth and in some countries, vodka.

Benefits of Artemisia

  • Bladder infections. Treats UTI's caused by Klebsiella infections. Is also effective in parasitic infections such as malaria.
  • Constipation and diarrhea. Soothes inflamed intestinal walls, aids digestion, treats abdominal cramping.
  • Hepatitis and janundice. Increases bile production into GI tract helping liver clear toxins. Used with Gardenia can promote liver cell regeneration.

Althought not one of the most popular herbs in alternative medicine, Artemesia does have it's place and is still used in many countries.

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