Sweet Annie (Artemisia Annua) is a highly medicinal flowering herb with an intensive aromatic scent. It is an annual plant that grows tall with fern-like, dark green foliage with cream-colored flower heads. Sweet Annie is also known as sweet sage wort, sweet woodworm, and Chinese woodworm. It is used as foliage for wreaths or as filler for mixed bouquets or as medicine.

This very fragrant herb produces a high amount of phenolic compounds which result in high antioxidant activity. Recent studies show that Artemisia Annua is one of the four medical plants with the highest Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) level. It has been traditionally used for treating a variety of ailments including:

  • Fever
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Flatulence
  • Indigestion
  • Night sweats
  • Parasites
  • Malaria
  • Cancer

An extract of Sweet Annie called artemisinin has been researched and found to be significantly more effective at killing the malaria causing parasite than any pharmaceutical drug. The World Health Organization (WHO) is now promoting the manufacture and use of these extracts as a new, more effective and lower cost treatment. The Artemisia extracts are not just cheap and safe, it apparently the malaria bugs don’t become resistant to the drug, a major drawback of the synthetic drugs currently in use. Another study in the 2001 issue of the journal Life Sciences describes how the extract killed virtually all human breast cancer cells exposed to it within 16 hours.

This impressive herb is easy to grow and actually does better in poor dry soil. This may be perfect for you if you do not have a green thumb! You can find the seeds at johnnysseeds.com or strictlymedicinalseeds.com. This fast-growing plant prefers full sun and is extremely vigorous, essentially disease and pest free. Even grazing deer will rarely disturb Sweet Annie!

By Brian Hetrich, Greenhouse Manager

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