Thursday, 7 November 2013

Popular #Herbs - Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

Wormwood is a herbaceous, perennial plant in the genus Artemisia, belonging to The family Asteraceae, native to Europe and naturalized in northeastern North America. The herb has been used in traditional medicine as a sedative and anti-inflammatory agent and cardiac stimulation and to treat gastrointestinal disorders, fever, irregular menstruation, loss of appetite , improve memory and for the restoration of declining mental function, etc.

Health Benefits
1. Neuroprotective effect
In the identification of investigate the potential protective effects of Artemisia absinthium on cerebral oxidative stress and damage as well as behavioral disturbances induced by cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury in rats, found that The brain oxidative stress and damage, and behavioral deficits were significantly attenuated by pre-treatment with the methanol extract of Artemisia absinthium (100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg, p.o.) and concluded that Artemisia absinthium is neuroprotective and may prove to be useful adjunct in the treatment of stroke, according to "Neuroprotective effect of Artemisia absinthium L. on focal ischemia and reperfusion-induced cerebral injury" by Bora KS, Sharma A.(1)

2. Cognitive effects
In the determination of the effect of wornwood on TNF-alpha in Crohn's Disease (CD) patients found that Average serum TNF-alpha level fell from 24.5+/-3.5pg/ml at baseline to 8.0+/-2.5pg/ml after six weeks. The corresponding levels in the control group were 25.7+/-4.6 (week 0), and 21.1+/-3.2 (week 6). On the clinical side, Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) scores fell from 275+/-15 to below 175+/-12 in wormwood group with remission of symptoms in eight patients (CDAI score below 170 or reduction by 70 points), compared to only two in the placebo group (CDAI of placebo group 282+/-11 at baseline and 230+/-14 on week 6), according to "Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) suppresses tumour necrosis factor alpha and accelerates healing in patients with Crohn's disease - A controlled clinical trial" by Krebs S, Omer TN, Omer B.(2)

3. Antioxidants
In the evaluatiopn of the methanol extract of Artemisia absinthium Linn. (Asteraceae; MAB) for its in vitro free-radical scavenging effects using different classical assays, and in vivo antioxidant activity using global cerebral ischemia and reperfusion (I/R)-induced oxidative stress in mice, found that methanol extract of A. absinthium showed significant (p<0.05) superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl and nitric oxide radical scavenging activities, and significant reducing power. Furthermore, in the in vivo studies, oral administration of MAB (100 or 200 mg/kg) inhibited cerebral I/R-induced oxidative stress by decreasing TBARS, and restoring levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione (GSH), according to "Evaluation of antioxidant and free-radical scavenging potential of Artemisia absinthium" by Bora KS, Sharma A.(3)

4. Anti-diabetes
In the clarification of the use of thujone, a monoterpene ketone often present in sage (Salvia officinalis L.) or wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L.), for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, found that after oral treatment with thujone (5 mg/kg bodyweight (bw)/day for 28 days), the cholesterol and triglyceride levels were significantly adjusted to normal levels when compared to diabetic, untreated rats. While these results sound promising and worthy of further investigation, the well-defined profile of the adverse properties of thujone demands a cautious interpretation of these results. The therapeutic margin of thujone appears to be small, as a dose-related incidence of seizures was noted in 2-year National Toxicology Program studies in rats and mice. The dose level in the diabetic rat study is also considerably higher than a daily intake that is acceptable for humans (0.1 mg/kg bw/day), according to "The choice of thujone as drug for diabetes" by Lachenmeier DW, Walch SG.(4)

5. Cholesterol and triglycerides
In the examination of Thujone effects on lipid profile (cholesterol and triglycerides) in diabetic rats, found that Oral treatment with thujone (5 mg kg⁻¹ body weight dose) significantly adjusted cholesterol and triglyceride levels in diabetic rats (p ≤ 0.05) to normal levels compared to diabetic untreated rats, according to " Thujone corrects cholesterol and triglyceride profiles in diabetic rat model" by Baddar NW, Aburjai TA, Taha MO, Disi AM.(5)

6. Anti-malarial activity
In the evaluation of the anti-malarial activity of three medicinal plants, Picrorhiza kurroa, Caesalpinia bonducella and Artemisia absinthium of Pakistan, found that Artemisia absinthium, aqueous, cold alcoholic and hot alcoholic extract of Artemisia absinthium showed 35%, 55% and 21% inhibition in growth of Plasmodium falciparum, respectively at 2.00 mg/ml. In our study, extracts of Picrorhiza kurroa were found good for traditional therapy with highly significant results, according to "Antimalarial activity of three Pakistani medicinal plants" by
Irshad S, Mannan A, Mirza B.(6)

7. Antimicrobial activity
In the assessment of the antibacterial and antifungal potential of some Romanian medicinal plants, arnica--Arnica montana, wormwood--Artemisia absinthium and nettle--Urtica dioica,
indicated that in vitro, the studied plant extracts are a significant source of natural alternatives to antimicrobial therapy, thus avoiding antibiotic therapy, the use of which has become excessive in recent years, according to "In vitro antimicrobial activity of Romanian medicinal plants hydroalcoholic extracts on planktonic and adhered cells" by Stanciuc AM, Gaspar A, Moldovan L, Saviuc C, Popa M, Măruţescu L.(7)

8. Antiparasitic effects
In the determination of the efficiency of A. absinthium extract on cats naturally infected with Toxocara cati and the the extract on the embryonic development of T. cati eggs in vitro,
found that in the treatment period, the activities of ALT, AST, ALP, urea and creatinine were located within the physiological ranges in cats. In in vitro trials with A. absinthium extract, the embryonic development of T. cati eggs was identical in all groups (treatment and control). A. absinthium extract did not inhibit larval development in eggs in in vitro trials, according to "Antiparasitic efficiency of Artemisia absinthium on Toxocara cati in naturally infected cats" by Yıldız K, Başalan M, Duru O, Gökpınar S.(8)

9. Hepatoprotective activity
In the evaluation in vivo, the hepatoprotective activity of the aqueous extract of Artemisia absinthium L. (AEAA), found that pretreatment with AEAA significantly (P<0.001) and dose-dependently prevented chemically or immunologically induced increase in serum levels of hepatic enzymes. Furthermore, AEAA significantly (P<0.05) reduced the lipid peroxidation in the liver tissue and restored activities of defense antioxidant enzymes SOD and GPx towards normal levels. In the BCG/LPS model, increase of the levels of important pro-inflammatory mediators TNF-alpha and IL-1 was significantly (P<0.01) suppressed by AEAA pretreatment, according to " In vivo hepatoprotective activity of the aqueous extract of Artemisia absinthium L. against chemically and immunologically induced liver injuries in mice" by Amat N, Upur H, Blazeković B.(9)

10. Etc.

Side effects
1. Do not use the herb if you have experienced seizures and ulcers
2. Do not use Wormwood in newborn, children, or if you are pregnant or breasr feeding without approval from the related field specialist
3. Overdoses can be toxic and cause liver damage
4. It may cause allergic effect to people who are allergic to ragweed and daisies.
5. Etc.

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