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Encyclopedia > Chinese wormwood
?Artemisia annua

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. annua
Binomial name
Artemisia annua

Artemisia annua, also known as Sweet Wormwood, Sweet Annie, or Chinese wormwood (Chinese: 青蒿; pinyin: qīnghāo), is a common type of wormwood that grows throughout the world. It has fern-like leaves, bright yellow flowers, and a camphor-like scent. It averages about 2 m tall and has a single stem, alternating branches, and alternating leaves which range 2.5-5cm in length. It is cross-polinated by the wind or insects. It is a diploid organism with chromosome number, 2n=36. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (600x840, 120 KB) Name Artemisia annua Family  Asteraceae Credits : This image is not copyrighted and may be freely used for any purpose. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms (as opposed to folk taxonomy). ... Divisions Green algae Chlorophyta Charophyta Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta - liverworts Anthocerotophyta - hornworts Bryophyta - mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) Lycopodiophyta - clubmosses Equisetophyta - horsetails Pteridophyta - true ferns Psilotophyta - whisk ferns Ophioglossophyta - adderstongues Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta - seed ferns Pinophyta - conifers Cycadophyta - cycads Ginkgophyta - ginkgo Gnetophyta - gnetae Magnoliophyta - flowering plants... Classes Magnoliopsida - Dicots Liliopsida - Monocots The flowering plants (also called angiosperms) are a major group of land plants. ... Magnoliopsida is the botanical name for a class: this name is formed by replacing the termination -aceae in the name Magnoliaceae by the termination -opsida (Art 16 of the ICBN). ... Families Alseuosmiaceae Argophyllaceae Asteraceae - Daisies Calyceraceae Campanulaceae (incl. ... Diversity About 900 genera and 13,000 species Type Genus Aster L. Subfamilies Barnadesioideae Cichorioideae Tribe Arctotidae Tribe Cardueae Tribe Eremothamneae Tribe Lactuceae Tribe Liabeae Tribe Mutisieae Tribe Tarchonantheae Tribe Vernonieae Asteroideae Tribe Anthemideae Tribe Astereae Tribe Calenduleae Tribe Eupatorieae Tribe Gnaphalieae Tribe Helenieae Tribe Heliantheae Tribe Inuleae Tribe Plucheae... Species See text Artemisia abrotanum (Southernwood) Artemisia absinthum (Absinth Wormwood) Artemisia alba Artemisia californica (California Sagebrush) leaves Artemisia mauiensis (Maui Wormwood) Artemisia pontica (Roman Wormwood) Artemisia pycnocephala (Beach Sagewort) flowers Dried Artemisia absinthium (Absinth Wormwood) Artemisia absinthium (Absinth Wormwood) Artemisia cina (Levant Wormseed) Artemisia is a large, diverse genus of... In biology, binomial nomenclature is the formal method of naming species. ... Pinyin is a system of romanization (phonemic notation and transcription to Roman script) for Standard Mandarin, where pin means spell(ing) and yin means sound(s)). This article describes the most common variant called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: 汉语拼音; Traditional Chinese: 漢語拼音; pinyin: HànyÇ” PÄ«nyÄ«n), also known as scheme... Species See text Artemisia abrotanum (Southernwood) Artemisia absinthum (Absinth Wormwood) Artemisia alba Artemisia californica (California Sagebrush) leaves Artemisia mauiensis (Maui Wormwood) Artemisia pontica (Roman Wormwood) Artemisia pycnocephala (Beach Sagewort) flowers Dried Artemisia absinthium (Absinth Wormwood) Artemisia absinthium (Absinth Wormwood) Artemisia cina (Levant Wormseed) Artemisia is a large, diverse genus of... The leaves of a Beech tree A leaf with laminar structure and pinnate venation In botany, a leaf is an above-ground plant organ specialized for photosynthesis. ... Clivia miniata bears bright orange flowers. ...

Sweet Wormwood was used by Chinese herbalists in ancient times to treat fever, but had fallen out of common use, to be rediscovered in 1970 when the Chinese Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergency Treatments (340 AD) was found. This pharmacopeia contained recipes for a tea from dried leaves, prescribed for fevers (not specifically malaria). In 1971, scientists demonstrated that the plant extracts had antimalarial activity in primate models, and in 1972 the active ingredient, artemisinin (formerly referred to as arteannuin), was isolated and its chemical structure described. Artemisinin may be extracted using a low boiling point solvent such as diethyether and is found in the glandular trichomes of the leaves, stems, and inflorescences, and it's concentration is evenly distributed throughout the plant. Artemisinin itself is a sesquiterpene lactone with an endoperoxide bridge and has been produced semi-synthetically as an antimalarial that is commonly used in tropical nations which can afford it, preferentially as part of a combination-cocktail with other antimalarials in order to prevent the development of parasite resistance. Pharmacopeia (literally, the art of the drug compounder), in its modern technical sense, is a book containing directions for the identification of samples and the preparation of compound medicines, and published by the authority of a government or a medical or pharmaceutical society. ... Malaria (from Medieval Italian: mala aria — bad air; formerly called ague or marsh fever) is an infectious disease that is widespread in many tropical and subtropical regions. ... Artemisinin is a drug used to treat multi-drug resistant strains of falciparum malaria. ... A solvent is a fluid phase (liquid, gas, or plasma) that dissolves a solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution. ... Trichomes, from the Greek meaning growth of hair, are fine outgrowths or appendages on plants and protists. ... An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers on a branch of a plant. ... In chemistry, the condensation of an alcohol group and a carboxylic acid group which are atached to the same molecule, leads to a cyclic ester. ...

Tea made from A. annua can be used to treat malaria, but the effect is inferior to those of modern artemesinin preparations, possibly because the concentrations achieved are lower and extraction of the active component is unpredictable.[1][2]

The plant has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties. It is said to have the ability to be selectively toxic to breast cancer cells [citation needed] and some form of prostate cancer, there have been exciting preclinical results against leukemia [1], and other cancer cells.

The method of action of the active compound is that it reacts with iron, producing harmful free radicals which damage biological macromolecules including the cell membrane. Malaria is caused by the Apicomplexan, Plasmodium falciparum, which largely resides in red blood cells where there is plenty of iron and cancer cells tend to have higher iron concentrations than normal cells associated with their rapid growth rate. In chemistry free radicals are uncharged atomic or molecular species with unpaired electrons or an otherwise open shell configuration. ... Binomial name Plasmodium falciparum Welch, 1897 Plasmodium falciparum is a protozoan parasite, one of the species of Plasmodium that cause malaria in humans. ... Human red blood cells Red blood cells are the most common type of blood cell and are the vertebrate bodys principal means of delivering oxygen to body tissues via the blood. ...


  1. ^ Mueller MS, Runyambo, Wagner I, et al. (2004). "Randomized controlled trial of a traditional preparation of Artemisia annua L. (Annual Wormwood) in the treatment of malaria". Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 98: 318–21.
  2. ^ Räth K, Taxis K, Walz GH, et al. (2004). "Pharmacokinetic study of artemisinin after oral intake of a traditional preparation of Artemisia annua L. (annual wormwood)". Am J Trop Med Hyg 70: 128–32.

External links

  • Scientific information about the plant
  • General information about the plant
  • The Economist article (11/18/04)
  • University of Washington article regarding anti-cancer properties
  • http://www.anamed.net Charity that trains people in the Tropics to cultivate Artemisia annua and to use their harvest in the form of tea to treat malaria and other diseases, as practiced in China for centuries.
  • Distribution of Artemisinin in Artemisia annua
  • Artemisinin induces apoptosis in human cancer cells



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