Artemisia Oil

Artemisia vulgaris in wild

  • Botanical Name:Artemisia vulagaris L.
  • Family:Compositae (Asteraceae)
  • Local Names:Titepati
  • English Name:Mugwort

Plant Description

Mugwort is native to temperate Europe, Asia, northern Africa and Alaska and is naturalized in North America, where some consider it an invasive weed. It is distributed throughout Nepal within the altitude of 300m to 2500m. It is a very common plant growing on nitrogenous soils, like weedy and uncultivated areas, such as waste places and roadsides.

It is a tall herbaceous perennial plant growing 1–2 mwith a woody root. The leaves are aromatic, 5-20 cm long, dark green, pinnate, alternate, with dense white tomentose hairs on the underside. The erect stem often has a red-purplish tinge. Inconspicuous flowers occur in clusters at the top of the plants. Individual heads are 2.5-3 mm wide and appears on short stalks. It flowers from July to September.


Artemisia oil is extracted from steam distillation of aerial parts, flower tops and leaves of Artemisia vulgaris. The oil yield percentage is very low.

Sources of Adulteration

Artemisia indica which is almost similar to the A. vulgaris and shares same habita.


The species has a number of recorded historic usesin food, herbal medicine, and as a smoking herb. It is traditionally used for anthelmintic, expectorant, stomachic, antiseptic, emmenagogue, hemorrhage etc. Roots are used as tonic.

Artemisia oil has wide range of therapeutic uses such as carminative, anthelmintic, antispasmodic, choleretic, diuretic, nervine, stimulant, stomachache, tonic etc. The oil is uses as disinfectant, room freshener, and used as a fragrance components in soaps and perfumes.

Mugwort contains Thujone, which is toxic for prolonged intake in large amounts. Pregnant women, in particular, should avoid consuming large amounts of Mugwort.

Organoleptic Properties

  • Appearance:A liquid fluid
  • Colour:Pale yellow
  • Aroma:Powerful, fresh camphoraceous, bitter herbaceous odour

Physico-Chemical Properties

  • Specific gravity:0.8786 to 0.9265 at 25° C
  • Optical rotation:[-] 13.25° to [-] 29.35° at 25° C
  • Refractive index:1.350 to 1.49 at 25° C
  • Acid number:2.49 to 6.5
  • Ester number:25.05 to 55
  • Ester number after acetylation:65 to 90
  • Solubility:Insoluble in alcohol

Active Constituents

The leaf oil contains α-thujone as major component; others are α-pinene, β-pinene, β-fenchene, α-fenchene, β-thujone, I,8-cineol, camphor, iso-borneol, β-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, davanone, ρ-cymene, germacrene D, δ-cadinene, limonene, camphene etc.

The flower oil contains sabinene, myrcene, alloaromadendrene, β-cubebene and δ-guaiene as major components.


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