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Artemisia vulgaris


Artemisia latifolia, Artimesia nilagirica, Artemisia chinensis, Artemisia igniaria, Artemisia indica, Artemisia integrifolia, Artemisia moxa, Artemisia lavandulaefolia, Crossostephium artemesioides [2][13][16]

Vernacular Names:


Hiya, Bunga Ayam Hutan Bateh, Baru Cina

English Mugwort; Indian wormwood, Fleabane, Dungwort, Wild Wormwood; Motherwort, Maidenworth, Felon Herb Mugwort, Worm Wood, Moxa, St. John’s Plant

Baru Cina, Sudamala (Sumatera), Beunghar Kucicing, Jukut Lokot Mala, Suket Gajahan, Brobos Kebo (Jawa), Daun Manis, Cam Cao (Jakarta), Kolo, Goro-goro (Maluku)


Ngai Curu, Nha Ngai


Arbaaka (Ilk.); Cintura de S. Jose, Cordon de S. Jose (Sp.); Damong-maria (Tag.); Gilbas (C. Bis.); Herbaaka (Bon.); Kamaria (Tag.); Maria (Tag.); Santa Maria (Sp.); Tinisas (Tag.)


Maasipattiri (Tamil)


Ngaai, Ai, Hia, Ai ye




Brede Chinois

Reunion Islands

Armoise, Marie Therese


Armoise Vulgaire, Herbe de Sain Jean


Beifuss, Echter Beifuss, Gemeiner Beifuss, Gewohnlicher Beifuss, Jung Fernkraut Wider, Mungwurz Wermut


Amarella, Artemisia, Artemisia Vulgare, Assenzio Selvatico, Erbe di San Giovammo










Bylica Pospolita


Armoise Vulgaire, Mungwort


Green Ginger, Motherwort, Mungweed, Mungwort, Sailor’s Tobacco’


Ajenjo [1][2][11][13][14]

General Information


Artemisia vulgaris is a member of the Asteraceae family It is a perennial herb with creeping underground stolons and fibrous roots. The stems usually measure about 30-60cm tall, tufted from the stolon and branched are often whitish and hairy. The leaves appearing stipulate at the base, lower to middle leaves with blade elliptic in outline, measure 5-11cm x 3-7.5cm, pinnately lobed or divided into 2-4 pairs of segments. These toothed or deeply incised or rarely entire, upper side deep green, underside silvery whitish hairy with upper leaves becoming smaller, usually 3-parted or lobed, and lobes entire. The inflorescence is a terminal panicle of crowded racemes, the heads ca. 0.25cm long and the florets are brownish. The fruits are minute achenes.[1]

Plant Part Used

Root, leaves, flowers, seeds [5][11][13]

Chemical Constituents

1-α-terpineol; β-caryophylene; 1-quebrachitol; inulin; oxytocin; yomogi alcohol; ridentin; artemose 1,8-cineole; 3-beta-hydroxyurs-12-en-27,28-dionic-acid; 5,3'-dihydroxy-3,7,4'trimethoxyflavone; 7,8-methylenedioxy-9-methoxycoumarin; adenine; alpha-amyrin; alpha-amyrin-acetate; alpha-cadinol; alpha-pinene; alpha-thujone; arsenic; artemisiketone; ascorbic-acid; barium; beta-cadinol; beta-carotene; beta-pinene; beta-sitosterol; borneol; bromine; cadinene; cadinenol; calcium; cineol; choline; chromium; cis-dehydromatricaria-ester; copper; dihydromatricaria ester; fernenol; gamma-cadinol; heptadeca-1,7,9-triene-11,13,15-triyne; inulin; iodine; iron; lead; linalool; linalyl-acetate; magnesium; manganese; molybdenum; muurolol; myrcene; nerol; neryl-acetate; niacin; nickel; paraffin; phellandrene; phosphorus; potassium; protein; quebrachitol; quercetin-3'-glucoside; quercetin-3-rhamnoglucoside; riboflavin; rubidium; spathulenol; stigmasterol; strontium; sulfur; tauremisin; tetracosanol; tetradec-6-en-8,10,12-triyne-1-one; tetradeca-4,6-diene-8,10,12-triyne-1-ol; tetradeca-6-ene-8,10,12-triyne-3-one; thiamin; titanium; thujone; trans-dehydromatricaria-ester; trideca-1,3,5-triene-7,9,11-triyne; vulgarin; vulgarol; vulgarole; [11][13]

Traditional Used:

Gynaecological Diseases

Artemisia as the name implies is basically a plant for women. The leaves of A. vulgaris is used as a menstrual regulator and the Chinese stir fry them with eggs as a remedy for dysmenorrhoea. The leaves are also used to ally perimenopausal symptoms. In western herbal medicine a decoction of the fresh tops in a bath is believed to help correct female irregularities. The native Americans made use of the plant to relieve after-pains of childbirth. It’s emmenagogue actions is recognized both in the east and west making it an essential ingredient in pre and post partum period. In Norwegian folklore medicine a sprig of the plant is given to strengthen uterine contractions. Amongst the adverse effects of the plant includes violent uterine contractions; labor-like pains; prolapse and rupture of the uterus; miscarriage; metrorrhagia; and increase of lochial discharges. While the Americans attested to these adverse reactions, the Filipino while using the plant to induce abortions did not believe it to be strong in this effects. In Indonesia the leaves have a wider used in women to include disturbances in menstruation i.e. hypermenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, irregular uterine bleeding and amenorrhoea, early bleeding of pregnancy, to calm down hyperactive foetus, to ease delivery and for fertility. It is also used to treat leucorrhoea. [2-11][13]

Gastrointestinal Diseases

A. vulgaris is used in moxibustion treatments at acupuncture points and this is used in the gastrointestinal treatment like abdominal cramps, constipation, diarrhea and vomiting. The leaves have stomachic, carminative and tonic properties. In Indonesia, the flowering plant is used to improve appetite and to treat abdominal colic especially the griping pains of indigestion.[3] [11-14]

Central Nervous System Diseases

The leaves of A. vulgaris is considered a nervine and it used in several central nervous system disorders including psychiatric symptoms like a anxiety, depression, hysteria, hypochondriasis, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, neuroasthenia and neurosis. Organic brain disorders could also benefit from taking the leaves i.e epilepsy. The juice of the leaves is applied to the forehead of children in convulsion. A dharma of the powdered leaves taken four times a day is used to cure chronic hysterical fits.[2][3][5]

Other uses

In China, Buddhist monks burns the leaves onto the faces of 3-day old infants in the belief that this ensures their survival through infancy. The Chinese considered it a haemostatic and antiseptic, thus it is used to treat bleeding or infected wounds. In Annam the leaves are used in cases of haemorrhage, epistaxis, haematemesis and haematuria. The leaves are beneficial in a number of skin disorders including eczema, herpes, purulent scabies and measles. In these cases either poultice or the juice of the leaves are applied locally. For inflamed and infected wounds the pounded leaves mixed with ginger are wrapped in banana leaves and heated over fire and applied over the lesion. The leaf poultice is also used to treat headache and rheumatism.[4][11][12]

Pre-Clinical Data


Moxibustion activity

This is a form of acupuncture where A. vulgaris leaves in the form of a stick is ignited at acupuncture points to enhance circulation of the body. One of the uses of this method of acupuncture is to convert breech to cephalic position in pregnancy. There was a study attempted to test the efficacy of this method in non-Chinese population but met with inconclusive results because of treatment interruption. Their patients either were skeptical about the effectiveness or the ineffectiveness of the treatment. [17] Another study however, met with success in the treatment obtaining 40.8% spontaneous conversion in their 76 cases and additional 43.4% subsequent external cephalic version. They found that those who engaged help in performing moxibustion were more successful than those who self-treat. The success rate appears to be 16% more in multiparous than in nulliparous. 88% of successful conversions had vaginal delivery while the remaining 12% had caesarean sections [18]. Wheeler et al. [19] looked into the possible health hazard of using moxa treatment but could not find any danger of its use. Recent paper review [20] [21] on the use of moxibustion in the treatment of symptoms of cancer and in hypertension. They were not convinced of the efficacy of the treatment based on the paper review and suggested more studies to be done to add on to the evidence of it effectiveness.

Antimicrobial activity

Antibacterial activity

There was study on the antimicrobial activities of ethanol, methanol and hexane extracts of three Artemisia species (Artemisia absinthium, Artemisia annua and A. vulgaris) against 5 Gram-positive bacteria, two Gram-negative bacteria and one fungal strain. They were found to have some effects against the tested microorganisms. [22]

Antiviral activity

The essential oil of A. vulgaris showed antiviral activity against Yellow Fever Virus by direct inactivation.[23]

Antispasmodic and bronchodilator activity

Antispasmodic and bronchodilator activities of crude extract of A. vulgaris was done in a study.[24] Analysis of the extract showed the presence of alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, saponins, sterols, tannins and terpenes. The extract could relax spontaneous jejunal contraction; inhibit carbachol induced contraction; produced rightward parallel shift in carbachol curves followed by non-parallel shift at higher doses with suppression of the maximum response; protective effects against carbachol induced bronchoconstriction; relaxed tracheal contractions induced by carbachol; protective effects against castor oil-induced contraction and shift Ca2+ concentration-response curve to the right. These results show that the extract exhibit a combination of anticholinergic and Ca2+ antagonist actions.

Antioxidant activity

Study on the antioxidant activities of several Japanese herbs and found that the essential oil of A. vulgaris exhibit the strongest antioxidant activity.[25] Another study obtained similar effects and attribute it to the presence of polyphenols especially flavonoids and flavonols.[26]

Hyperglycaemic activity

In their study to determine the hypoglycaemic activity of medicinal plants, reports [27] found that A. vulgaris instead of reducing the blood glucose level cause a significant rise in it after administration of the extract.

Antimalarial activity

Study [29] found that A. vulgaris did not have any antimalarial activity when he studied the use of this plants extract as chemoprophylaxis in travelers to West Africa.

Hepatoprotective activity

A crude extract of the aerial parts of A. vulgaris when give in mice prior to induction of liver damage was found to be able to reduce hepatic damaged enzyme markers. Histopathological examination showed improved architecture, absence of parenchyma congestion, decreased cellular swelling and apoptotic cells.[30]

Cytotoxic activity

Study by Hiramatsu et al. [31] found that the aqueous soluble component and essential oil of A. vulgaris had antimutagenicity against Trp-P-1 and Trp-P-2 with Salmonella typhimurium TA98 but weak antimutagenicity against B(a)P.

Xanthin-oxygenase inhibition activity

A. vulgaris extract was amongst those that exhibited strong Xanthine-oxygenase inhibitory activity.[32]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

Adverse reactions include significant uterine stimulant effects, contact dermatitis, allergic reactions, and anaphylaxis. A. vulgaris is contraindicated in pregnancy, lactation, coagulopathies, and gastroesophageal reflux. The pollen is an allergen that contributes to hay fever, with cross-sensitivity to hazelnut, tobacco, honey, or jelly.[3]

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

The use of A. vulgaris is contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation.

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1) Western Herb

  2) Native American Herbs


    1. George Staples, Michael S. Kristiansen, Ethnic culinary herbs: a guide to identification and cultivation in Hawaii, University of Hawaii Press, Hawai, 1999. pg 15
    2. C. P. Khare,  Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary, Springer, New York, 2007.  pg65
    3. Orrin Devinsky, Steven C. Schachter, Steven Pacia , Complementary and alternative therapies for epilepsy,  Demos Medical Publishing, New York, 2005. pg135
    4. Ernest Small, National Research Council Canada, Culinary herbs, NRC Research Press, Ontario,  2006.  pg197
    5. William Thomas Fernie, Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure, BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2009.  Pg375-376
    6. Gabrielle Hatfield, Encyclopedia of folk medicine: old world and new world traditions, ABC-CLIO, California,  2004.  pg247
    7. Gerina Dunwich, Herbal Magick: A Witch's Guide to Herbal Folklore and Enchantments, Career Press, New Jersey, 2002.  pg70
    8. Kathleen Stokker, Remedies and rituals: folk medicine in Norway and the New Land, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN, 2007.  pg126
    9. C. R. Bilardi, The Red Church Or the Art of Pennsylvania German Braucherei, Pendraig Publishing, California, 2009.  pg340
    10. Charles Frederick Millspaugh, American medicinal plants: an illustrated and descriptive guide to plants indigenous to and naturalized in the United States which are used in medicine, Courier Dover Publications, Ontario, 1974. Pg344-346
    11. Bureau of Plant Industry. [Accessed on 22/09/2010]
    12. Philippine Medicinal Plants. [Accessed on 22/09/2010]
    13. Setiawan Dalimartha, Atlas tumbuhan obat Indonesia, Niaga Swadaya, Jakarta, 2008. pg7-9(missing)
    14. Shizhen Li, Porter Smith, George Arthur Stuart, Chinese medicinal herbs: a modern edition of a classic sixteenth-century manual, Courier Dover Publications, San Francisco, 2003. pg53
    15. LeRoy G. Holm World Weeds: Natural Histories and Distribution John Wiley & Sons Inc. New York 1997pg. 79
    16. Merrill Loureiro’s “Flora Cochinchinensis”Transactions, American Philosophical Society vol 24, part 2 Philadelphia 1935 pg. 393
    17. Cardini F, Lombardo P, Regalia AL, Regaldo G, Zanini A, Negri MG, Panepuccia L, Todros T. A randomised controlled trial of moxibustion for breech presentation. BJOG. 2005 Jun;112(6):743-7.
    18. Manyande A, Grabowska C. Factors affecting the success of moxibustion in the management of a breech presentation as a preliminary treatment to external cephalic version. Midwifery. 2009 Dec;25(6):774-80. Epub 2009 Oct 22.
    19. Wheeler J, Coppock B, Chen C. Does the burning of moxa (Artemisia vulgaris) in traditional Chinese medicine constitute a health hazard? Acupunct Med. 2009 Mar;27(1):16-20.
    20. Lee MS, Choi TY, Park JE, Lee SS, Ernst E. Moxibustion for cancer care: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cancer. 2010 Apr 7;10:130.
    21. Kim JI, Choi JY, Lee H, Lee MS, Ernst E. Moxibustion for hypertension: a systematic review. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2010 Jul 5;10:33.
    22. Poiată A, Tuchiluş C, Ivănescu B, Ionescu A, Lazăr MI. Antibacterial activity of some Artemisia species extract. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2009 Jul-Sep;113(3):911-4.
    23. Meneses R, Ocazionez RE, Martínez JR, Stashenko EE. Inhibitory effect of essential oils obtained from plants grown in Colombia on yellow fever virus replication in vitro. Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 2009 Mar 6;8:8.
    24. Khan AU, Gilani AH. Antispasmodic and bronchodilator activities of Artemisia vulgaris are mediated through dual blockade of muscarinic receptors and calcium influx. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Dec 10;126(3):480-6. Epub 2009 Sep 12.
    25. Xiufen W, Hiramatsu N, Matsubara M. The antioxidative activity of traditional Japanese herbs. Biofactors. 2004;21(1-4):281-4.
    26. Temraz A, El-Tantawy WH. Characterization of antioxidant activity of extract from Artemisia vulgaris. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2008 Oct;21(4):321-6.
    27. Villaseñor IM, Lamadrid MR. Comparative anti-hyperglycemic potentials of medicinal plants. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Mar 8;104(1-2):129-31. Epub 2005 Oct 25.
    28. Cardini F, Weixin H. Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1580-4.
    29. Kurtzhals JA. [Ineffective change of antimalaria prophylaxis to Artemisia vulgaris in a group travelling to West Africa]. Ugeskr Laeger. 2005 Oct 24;167(43):4082-3.
    30. Gilani AH, Yaeesh S, Jamal Q, Ghayur MN. Hepatoprotective activity of aqueous-methanol extract of Artemisia vulgaris. Phytother Res. 2005 Feb;19(2):170-2.
    31. Hiramatsu N, Xiufen W, Takechi R, Itoh Y, Mamo J, Pal S. Antimutagenicity of Japanese traditional herbs, gennoshoko, yomogi, senburi and iwa-tobacco. Biofactors. 2004;22(1-4):123-5.
    32. Nguyen MT, Awale S, Tezuka Y, Tran QL, Watanabe H, Kadota S. Xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity of Vietnamese medicinal plants. Biol Pharm Bull. 2004 Sep;27(9):1414-21.

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