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Useful Temperate Plants

Artemisia macrocephala

Jacquem. ex Besser

Asteraceae

+ Synonyms

Artemisia akbaitalensis O.Fedtsch.

Artemisia griffithiana Boiss.

Artemisia sieversiana pygmaea Krylov

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Artemisia macrocephala is an annual plant that grows 6 - 30cm tall, exceptionally to 50cm. It produces one or more erect stems that are usually not branched, but can be branched from the base, this stem sometimes becomes more or less woody at the base[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
1081
Title
Medicinal Plants in Mongolia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.who.in
Publisher
World Health Organisation; Western Pacific Region
Year
2013
ISBN
987 92 9061 632 0
Description
Information on medicinal plants from Mongolia
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for use as a medicine. The plant is an ingredient of various traditional prescriptions in Mongolia[
1081
Title
Medicinal Plants in Mongolia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.who.in
Publisher
World Health Organisation; Western Pacific Region
Year
2013
ISBN
987 92 9061 632 0
Description
Information on medicinal plants from Mongolia
].

Known Hazards

The essential oil in this plant contains thujone. Thujone is a GABA receptor antagonist which allows neurons to fire more easily. In larger doses this can cause muscle spasms and convulsions, and can also be toxic to brain, kidney, and liver cells.
There has been a lot of negative press regarding thujone, particularly in the mid 19th century when thujone was reported to be more dangerous than alcohol - since shown to be exaggerated; and reports in the 1970’s that it might have a similar effect on the brain to THC (found in cannabis) – since found to be incorrect.
Thujone is probably best known for its use in the alcoholic drink ‘Absinthe’. It is also found in the essential oils of many other plants that are used in herbal medicines and foods, including Arborvitae (Thuja species), some Junipers (Juniperus species), Wormwoods (especially Artemisia absinthium) and Sage (Salvia officinalis). There are some legal restrictions in various countries on the quantity of thujone that can be added to foods and drinks and these vary between countries.
Side effects from consuming thujone can include sleeplessness and anxiety but, unless the pure essential oil is used, the quantity of thujone found in plants is well within safety levels. Pregnant women, however, may be advised to restrict their use of thujone-containing plants.
Although we have seen no specific reports for this species, many members of this genus contain potentially allergenic sesquiterpene lactones that can cause skin reactions[
407
Title
BoDD (Botanical Dermatology Database)
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://bodd.cf.ac.uk/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Brief notes on a very wide range of plants that have reports of causing harm to the skin.
].

Botanical References


Range

Central and eastern Asia - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, northern India, Siberia, Mongolia, northern and western China

Habitat

Mostly on rocks in dry beds of large and small rivers[
1081
Title
Medicinal Plants in Mongolia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.who.in
Publisher
World Health Organisation; Western Pacific Region
Year
2013
ISBN
987 92 9061 632 0
Description
Information on medicinal plants from Mongolia
]. Steppes, hills, waste areas, dry places, saline or gravelly soils; at elevations from 1,500 - 5,500 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.20 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Species in this genus are generally easily grown, succeeding in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. They tend to be longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].
Established plants are drought tolerant.
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The flowering stem has a bitter, hot and coarse taste. It is used in the treatment of inflammations of the throat; lung diseases; and fever from tumors.
It is an ingredient of various traditional prescriptions in Mongolia[
1081
Title
Medicinal Plants in Mongolia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.who.in
Publisher
World Health Organisation; Western Pacific Region
Year
2013
ISBN
987 92 9061 632 0
Description
Information on medicinal plants from Mongolia
].

The aerial part contains 0.15 - 2% essential oil - the main components are azulene, a-pinene, β-pinene, camphene, imonene, n-cymol, 1,8-cineole, camphor, borneol, hamazulene, thujone, n-cresol, sabinene, myrcene, a-terpinene, g-terpinene, isoborneol and other terpenoids[
1081
Title
Medicinal Plants in Mongolia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.who.in
Publisher
World Health Organisation; Western Pacific Region
Year
2013
ISBN
987 92 9061 632 0
Description
Information on medicinal plants from Mongolia
].
The flowers contain 0.42 - 0.61% essential oil, of which 7.43 - 10.5% is hamazulene[
1081
Title
Medicinal Plants in Mongolia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.who.in
Publisher
World Health Organisation; Western Pacific Region
Year
2013
ISBN
987 92 9061 632 0
Description
Information on medicinal plants from Mongolia
].
The essential oil, especially hamazulene shows anti-inflammatory and anaesthetic activities[
1081
Title
Medicinal Plants in Mongolia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.who.in
Publisher
World Health Organisation; Western Pacific Region
Year
2013
ISBN
987 92 9061 632 0
Description
Information on medicinal plants from Mongolia
].

Other Uses

The plant contains 0.4 - 0.5% of essential oil consisting of around 9% alpha-pinene; 12.1% cineole; 16.3% camphors; 6.5% azulene; and 28.3%, apparently, of tertiary alcohol (possibly borneol)[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed - surface sow spring in a greenhouse. Do not allow the compost to dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.
The seed can also be sown in situ during late spring.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-10-18. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Artemisia+macrocephala>

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