Biological Activities of Sweet Wormwood (Artemisia annua L.)

Minji Hong1   Minju Kim1   Songmun Kim1,*   

1강원대학교 농업생명과학대학 바이오자원환경학 전공


Artemisia annua L. (Sweet wormwood) belongs to the family of Asteraceae (Compositae). It is a weed that commonly grows along roadsides and vacant lots across the country. The Korean name of this weed is Gae-ddong-ssuk. Wormwood has been traditionally used to treat various diseases such as antipyretic, diarrhea, and malaise. The weed species has been extensively used as an ethnopharmaceutical drug for the treatment of malaria and it is recommended as one of the ethnopharmaceutical drug for COVID-19, which is reported firstly in Wuhan, China in 1999 and caused a global pandemic. Wormwood contains more than 600 compounds, including dihydroartemisinin, artesunate, deoxyartemisinin, artemether, and artemisinin, as well as various flavonoids, coumarins, triterpenoids, sterols, phenolics, purines, lipids, aliphatics, and sesquiterpenoids. Extracts and isolated compounds from wormwood are reported to have various biological activities such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-painful, insecticidal, nematicide, anti-obesity, antibacterial, central nervous system depressant, anti-allergic, and herbicidal properties. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the literature on the biological activities of sweet wormwood and expect their industrial applications.

Figures & Tables

Fig. 1. Gae-ddong-ssuk ( L.). (A) Leaves and (B) inflorescences.