Qing Hao (Artemisia annua)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Qing Hao
Artemisia annua

The plant is used in China as a medium for growing Aspergillus which is used in brewing wine.

The substances mentioned above in the medicinal uses, used in the treatment of malaria, also show marked herbicidal activity[222].

The plant yields 0.3% essential oil[240]. This has an agreeable, refreshing and slightly balsamic odour and has been used in perfumery[240].

  • Medicinal Use

    Qing Ho, better known in the West as sweet wormwood, is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine. An aromatic anti-bacterial plant, recent research has shown that it destroys malarial parasites, lowers fevers and checks bleeding[238, 254, 279]. It is often used in the Tropics as an affordable and effective anti-malarial[254].

    The leaves are antiperiodic, antiseptic, digestive, febrifuge[176, 178]. An infusion of the leaves is used internally to treat fevers, colds, diarrhoea etc[222, 254]. Externally, the leaves are poulticed onto nose bleeds, boils and abscesses[222, 238]. The leaves are harvested in the summer, before the plant comes into flower, and are dried for later use[254].

    The plant contains artemisinin, this substance has proved to be a dramatically effective anti-malarial against multi-drug resistant Plasmodium spp[218, 238, 254, 269]. Clinical trials have shown it to be 90% effective and more successful than standard drugs[254]. In a trial of 2000 patients, all were cured of the disease[218].

    The seeds are used in the treatment of flatulence, indigestion and night sweats[222].

  • Edible Use

    An essential oil in the leaves is used as a flavouring in spirits such as vermouth[269].

  • Cautionary Notes

    Skin contact with the plant can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people[222]. The pollen is extremely allergenic[269].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and plant out in late spring or early summer. Alternatively, the seed can be sown late spring in situ.
An easily grown plant, succeeding in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position[1, 200]. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil[245]. A fast-growing annual plant, it is tall but neat in habit with a handsome fragrant foliage and is useful for filling gaps at the back of a border[238]. It has become a weed of waste places in many areas of the world[43]. The plant is extremely vigorous and essentially disease and pest free[269]. Qing Hao is a determinate short-day plant. Non-juvenile plants are very responsive to photoperiodic stimulus and flower about two weeks after induction. The critical photoperiod seems to be about 13.5 hours, but there are likely to be photoperiod x temperature interactions. In Lafayette Indiana, USA (40¡21’N) plants flower in early September with mature seeds produced in October. The plant is not adapted to the tropics because flowering will be induced when the plants are very small[269]. Most collections of artemisia derive from natural stands with highly variable artemisinin content, some as low of 0.01%. Selections from Chinese origin vary from 0.05 to 0.21%. Swiss researcher N. Delabays reports a clonal selection derived from Chinese material which produces 1.1% artemisin but is very late flowering; proprietary hybrids have been obtained with somewhat lower content but flower earlier[269]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
S. E. Europe to W. Asia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.