Herb: Qing Hao


Latin name: Artemisia annua


Family: Compositae



Medicinal use of Qing Hao:

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. It is often used in the Tropics as an affordable and effective anti-malarial. The leaves are antiperiodic, antiseptic, digestive, febrifuge. An infusion of the leaves is used internally to treat fevers, colds, diarrhoea etc. Externally, the leaves are poulticed onto nose bleeds, boils and abscesses. The leaves are harvested in the summer, before the plant comes into flower, and are dried for later use. The plant contains artemisinin, this substance has proved to be a dramatically effective anti-malarial against multi-drug resistant Plasmodium spp. Clinical trials have shown it to be 90% effective and more successful than standard drugs. In a trial of 2000 patients, all were cured of the disease. The seeds are used in the treatment of flatulence, indigestion and night sweats.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Annual


Height:
3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

Flovering:
August to
September


Scent:
Scented
Annual

Habitat of the herb:

Occurs naturally as part of a steppe vegetation in the northern parts of Chahar and Suiyuan provinces in China, at 1000 to 1500 m above sea level.

Edible parts of Qing Hao:

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

Other uses of the herb:

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

Propagation of Qing Hao:

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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Occurs naturally as part of a steppe vegetation in the northern parts of Chahar and Suiyuan provinces in China, at 1000 to 1500 m above sea level.

Known hazards of Artemisia annua:

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

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.