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Artemisia annua
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. annua
Binomial name
Artemisia annua
L.

Artemisia annua, also known as Sweet Wormwood, Sweet Annie, Sweet Sagewort or Annual Wormwood (Chinese: 青蒿pinyin: qīnghāo), is a common type of wormwood that is native to temperate Asia, but naturalized throughout the world.

Contents

Characteristics

It has fern-like leaves, bright yellow flowers, and a camphor-like scent. Its height averages about 2 m tall, and the plant has a single stem, alternating branches, and alternating leaves which range 2.5–5 cm in length. It is cross-pollinated by wind or insects. It is a diploid plant with chromosome number, 2n=18.[1][2]

Medicinal uses

Sweet Wormwood was used by Chinese herbalists in ancient times to treat fever, but had fallen out of common use, but was rediscovered in 1970 when the Chinese Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergency Treatments (340 AD) was found. This pharmacopeia contained recipes for a tea from dried leaves, prescribed for fevers (not specifically malaria).

Extractions

In 1971, scientists demonstrated that the plant extracts had antimalarial activity in primate models, and in 1972 the active ingredient, artemisinin (formerly referred to as arteannuin), was isolated and its chemical structure described. Artemisinin may be extracted using a low boiling point solvent such as diethylether and is found in the glandular trichomes of the leaves, stems, and inflorescences, and it is concentrated in the upper portions of plant within new growth.[3]

Parasite treatment

It is commonly used in tropical nations which can afford it, preferentially as part of a combination-cocktail with other antimalarials in order to prevent the development of parasite resistance.

Malaria treatment

Qinghao (Artemisia annua) has been long used as antimalarial herb in China

Artemisinin itself is a sesquiterpene lactone with an endoperoxide bridge and has been produced semi-synthetically as an antimalarial drug. The efficacy of tea made from A. annua in the treatment of malaria is contentious. According to some authors, artemesinin is not soluble in water and the concentrations in these infusions are considered insufficient to treatment malaria.[4][5][6] Other researchers have claimed that Artemisia annua contains a cocktail of anti-malarial substances, and insist that clinical trials be conducted to demonstrate scientifically that artemisia tea is effective in treating malaria.[7] This simpler use may be a cheaper alternative to commercial pharmaceuticals, and may enable health dispensaries in the tropics to be more self-reliant in their malaria treatment.[8] In In 2004, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health changed Ethiopia’s first line anti-malaria drug from Fansidar, a Sulfadoxine agent which has an average 36% treatment failure rate, to CoArtem, an agent created from A. annua and which is 100% effective when used correctly, despite a worldwide shortage at the time of the needed derivative from A. annua.[9]

Cancer treatment

The plant has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties. It is said to have the ability to be selectively toxic to some breast cancer cells [Cancer Research 65:(23).Dec 1, 2005] and some form of prostate cancer, there have been exciting preclinical results against leukemia,[10] and other cancer cells.

Mechanism

The proposed mechanism of action of artemisinin involves cleavage of endoperoxide bridges by iron producing free radicals (hypervalent iron-oxo species, epoxides, aldehydes, and dicarbonyl compounds) which damage biological macromolecules causing oxidative stress in the cells of the parasite.[citation needed] Malaria is caused by the Apicomplexan, Plasmodium falciparum, which largely resides in red blood cells and itself contains iron-rich heme-groups (in the from of hemozoin).[11]

Other uses

In modern-day central China, specifically Hubei Province, the stems of this wormwood are used as food in a salad-like form. The final product, literally termed "cold-mixed wormwood", is a slightly bitter salad with strong acid overtones from the spiced rice vinegar used as a marinade. It is considered a delicacy and is typically more expensive to buy than meat.

References

  1. ^ Kreitschitz, A.; J. Vallès (September 2003). "New or rare data on chromosome numbers in several taxa of the genus Artemisia (Asteraceae) in Poland". Folia Geobotanica 38 (3): 333–343. doi:10.1007/BF02803203. 
  2. ^ Rotreklová, O.; P. Bure and V. Grulich (2004). "Chromosome numbers for some species of vascular plants from Europe". Biologia, Bratislava 59 (4): 425–433. http://biologia.savba.sk/59_4_04/Rotreklova_O.pdf. 
  3. ^ Duke SO, Paul RN (1993). "Development and Fine Structure of the Glandular Trichomes of Artemisia annua L.". Int. J Plant Sci. 154 (1): 107–18. doi:10.1086/297096. http://www.jstor.org/pss/2995610. 
    Ferreira JFS, Janick J (1995). "Floral Morphology of Artemisia annua with Special Reference to Trichomes". Int. J Plant Sci. 156 (6): 807. doi:10.1086/297304. http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/297304. 
  4. ^ Mueller MS, Runyambo, Wagner I, et al. (2004). "Randomized controlled trial of a traditional preparation of Artemisia annua L. (Annual Wormwood) in the treatment of malaria". Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 98 (5): 318–21. doi:10.1016/j.trstmh.2003.09.001. PMID 15109558. 
  5. ^ Räth K, Taxis K, Walz GH, et al. (1 February 2004). "Pharmacokinetic study of artemisinin after oral intake of a traditional preparation of Artemisia annua L. (annual wormwood)". Am J Trop Med Hyg 70 (2): 128–32. PMID 14993622. http://www.ajtmh.org/cgi/content/full/70/2/128. 
  6. ^ Jansen FH (2006). "The herbal tea approach for artemesinin as a therapy for malaria?". Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 100 (3): 285–6. doi:10.1016/j.trstmh.2005.08.004. PMID 16274712. 
  7. ^ "Anamed Artemisia programme", Anamed International website (accessed 12 March 2009)
  8. ^ Duke J, Benge M, et al. (May 2, 2005). "Letters". Chemical and Engineering News 83 (18): 4–5. http://pubs.acs.org/isubscribe/journals/cen/83/i18/html/8318lett.html. 
  9. ^ "Malaria Update", Focus on Ethiopia, April 2005, UN-OCHA website (accessed 12 March 2009)
  10. ^ Efferth T, Davey M, Olbrich A, Rücker G, Gebhart E, Davey R (2002). "Activity of drugs from traditional Chinese medicine toward sensitive and MDR1- or MRP1-overexpressing multidrug-resistant human CCRF-CEM leukemia cells". Blood Cells Mol. Dis. 28 (2): 160–8. doi:10.1006/bcmd.2002.0492. PMID 12064912. http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1079979602904924. 
  11. ^ Gary H. Posner & Paul M. O’Neil (2004). "Knowledge of the Proposed Chemical Mechanism of Action and Cytochrome P450 Metabolism of Antimalarial Trioxanes Like Artemisinin Allows Rational Design of New Antimalarial Peroxides". Acc. Chem. Res. 37: 397–404. doi:10.1021/ar020227u. 

External links

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Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids II
Ordo: Asterales
Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Asteroideae
Tribus:Anthemideae
Subtribus: Artemisiinae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: Artemisia annua

Name

Artemisia annua, L.

Vernacular names

References

USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database, 6 March 2006 (http://plants.usda.gov). Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.








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