Artemisia (Artemisia abrotanum L.)

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Family. Asteraceae

Also known as Mugwort

General knowledge 

It is a perennial, fragrant shrub. It grows in southwestern and central Europe and Asia Minor. Cultivated in Central and Eastern Europe. 

Botanical description 

The root is thick and woody. Stem 60-150 cm tall, erect, branched, glabrous, woody at the base. Lower leaves 2-3 pinnately pinnate, lobes are filiform, upper leaves trifid or filiform. The lower half of the leaves are covered with grey hairs. The petioles are very small, almost spherical, oblique, clustered in dense, long, and narrow panicles. The flowers are greenish-yellow. Fruits up to 1,2 mm long, flattened. 

Cultivation and preparation 

Propagated by dividing the bush or by green cuttings. Suitable for loose, fertile and non-wet soil. Older plants should be rejuvenated by pruning. 

The top branches are harvested for raw material, and when the plant is in flower, they are tied in cloths or spread in a thin layer. Dry in a ventilated place protected from direct sunlight. The dry raw material is stored in boxes in a well-ventilated place for up to two years. 

Active ingredients 

The twigs, leaves, and grapes of the dandelion contain 0,18-1,4 % essential oil consisting of cineole, thujone, isochrone, rutin, scopoletin, the alkaloid brothas, bitter tannins, tannins, minerals, vitamin C, succinic acid, tartaric acid.

Therapeutic effects 

The medicinal properties of the plant are indicated in its name but are rarely used in medical practice. 

In Chinese traditional medicine, artemisia is used to treat epilepsy, convulsions, chronic nephritis, urinary retention, amenorrhoea, and sexual coldness. In homeopathy, dandelion root is used for epilepsy and tuberculous meningitis. Artemisia leaves are effective against pleurisy, tuberculous peritonitis, abdominal distention, lymph node tuberculosis, chronic enteritis, and diarrhea in children. 

Artemisia has been used medicinally in Western Europe since the 19th century. Helps against telangiectasia. Homeopathy treats bronchial and pulmonary diseases. The plant is particularly recommended for people suffering from sore throats, pain in the respiratory tract in cold weather, shivering in cold wet weather, frequent colds with fever, frequent constipation, or constipation. 

In the Middle Ages, Artemisia was used to treat lung diseases, shortness of breath, coughing, cold chills, and reduced potency. 

Uses in spices 

The plant is aromatic, making the leaves and young twigs suitable for flavoring confectionery and liqueurs. In Samogitia, artemisia leaves are added to cottage cheese and cheeses. Germans use artemisia to flavor meat and fish dishes.

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