La Sagebrush annua It is one of the plants native to China, Korea, Russia, Vietnam and the Black and Caspian Sea that you can know more about due to its medicinal properties. Better known as sweet wormwood or absinthe, the plant has become world famous for being a remedy against malaria.
But what is the Sagebrush annua? What characteristics does it have? How is its cultivation? And the care? If you have been intrigued by the plant and would like to know more about it, do not hesitate to read everything we have prepared for you.
Table of Contents
What is mugwort
La sagebrush, whose scientific name is Artemis annua, is an annual plant that grows spontaneously in China, known there by the name of qinghao. It is a very appropriate plant to have in large pots and / or gardens, since it is very ornamental and very easy to care for and reproduce. It has a very fast growth, therefore in a very short time you will be able to start using it to make infusions because it has numerous medicinal properties.
La Sagebrush annua It is believed that it began to be used in China, in the year 200 BC, when the Han dynasty ruled in the country. And why is it known? Well, due to written documents that have been found where they refer to this plant.
It can grow to a height of approximately two meters, with a single stem. Its leaves are green, and its flowers which you can see in the photo above are yellow. As we said, it has a rapid growth, that is why it is recommended to plant it in a large pot - about 40-45cm in diameter - although we think it is too small to have in that pot.
It can be paid, and in fact it is recommended to do so, using natural products, such as: worm humus, horse manure, ... Being a plant for human consumption, Chemical fertilizers are discarded as they could be harmful to us.
What is it for
Among its many medicinal properties are the following: it is anticancer, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, strengthens the immune system, can relieve and cure the symptoms of gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, ... well, it is a plant that is undoubtedly very interesting, don't you think?
In fact, according to studies carried out by doctor and chemist Tu Youyou, the mugwort plant is one of the best for fight malaria because it has a component, artemisinin, which acts against this disease. These studies led the doctor to obtain, in 2015, the Nobel Prize in Medicine and the WHO itself recognizes it as effective against malaria (although it recommends combining it with more treatments). Now, many claim that not only malaria, but also hepatitis C, leishmaniasis, dengue or Covid can be diseases to treat with this plant.
As a result of this component, many began to investigate the composition and active principles of the Sagebrush annua. Actually, they have many, but some more notable are the following:
- Vitamin A.
- Essential oil.
- Sesquiterpene lactones (this is what artemisinin belongs to).
The concrete uses for which mugwort can be used, and that have been occurring for thousands of years, are:
- Soothe stomach and intestinal problems.
- Act against inflammations of the skin (for example in burns or scars).
- Against insomnia.
- Relieves symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Treat cramps.
- Relieves kidney problems.
- Regulates the amount of sugar in the blood.
- It helps to lose weight.
- Calms the pains of menstruation, as well as menopause.
- Promotes blood circulation.
- Strengthens the bones.
Now, what you may not know is that, another of the uses of the Sagebrush annua, has to do with psychic and hallucinogenic properties. It is said that if it is taken in a certain way, it is capable of making us hallucinate.
And it is also used in the formulas of some craft beers. What this mugwort plant does is give a more bitter taste to the drink when combined with other herbs.
Of course, you should know that, although they have many good properties, and the uses are more medicinal than "entertainment", the plant can also be toxic if consumed excessively. Among the symptoms that warn you that you have consumed too much are seizures, allergic reactions, dilation (and rupture) of blood vessels, and a greater probability of abortion if you are pregnant.
The cultivation of mugwort is very simple. We will proceed to sowing in spring, preferably putting one or two seeds in each pot or socket in order to be able to change them to a pot later, guaranteeing the survival of the seedling. This transplant will be carried out as soon as we see that the roots protrude through the drainage holes. It will be then when we can mix the substrate with a little organic compost. We will place the plants in full sun, and we will always maintain a certain degree of humidity so that they can grow and develop properly.
The most important care of the Artemis Annua
As you can see, growing the mugwort plant is not difficult at all, on the contrary, it is very easy and you can surely do it in your own home. However, there are some precautions that you should take more into account, especially to prevent the plant from getting sick or dying. If you want it to make mugwort tea, or to have it on hand if you ever suffer from an upset stomach, it is important that you take care of these needs.
As we have indicated before, the Sagebrush annua requires that placed in full sun. They love to receive the sun's rays, but be careful with high temperatures because it also requires humidity.
If the plant is in the sun for a long time and the environment is not humid, it will suffer and could even burn. So, if you live in an area of this type, it is best to place it in semi-shade, so that it receives a few hours of light, but can also be protected from high temperatures.
You must bear in mind that this plant is usually seen in river beds and banks, or in areas where humidity is very present. So irrigation has to be done in two ways:
- On the one hand, achieving high humidity for the plant. An example, you can put the pot on some pebbles that are submerged in water to create that effect.
- On the other hand, a moderate irrigation. In winter you won't need a lot of water (just keep it humid), but in summer, depending on where you are, you might need more regular watering, not in amount of water. It is better to water little and more times than to spend with the water (he does not like to be flooded).
As you know, in Greek mythology there is a goddess who has the same name as this plant: Artemis, the goddess of wild animals, virgin land, births, and young women. She was the twin sister of Apollo, the god of the Sun and Artemis's symbol was a bow (in some cases a double bow) and some arrows.
However, it could also be represented in other ways, such as a deer, a cypress or a crescent moon on the head. Hence, if you are looking for the symbol of Artemis, you will find a great variety of them (sometimes some even encompassing all those mentioned above.
Really mugwort itself is related to femininity, and it is a symbol that many consider feminist, although what it indicates is the worth of women and the power to get ahead with their strength.
As you see, the Sagebrush annua, perhaps better known as Chinese absinthe, is one of the most effective medicinal plants for multiple ailments, but, above all, because when it comes to cultivating it you will have a natural plant that offers you an appearance between rustic and elegant. Would you dare to grow it in your home? You already do it? Let us know.