Artemisia abrotanum


No documentation

Vernacular Names:


Ulam Mak Wan, Halau Nyamok


Lad’s Love, Oldman wormwood, Southernwood, European sage, Lover’s plant, Maid’s ruin


Citronelle Auronne






Stabwurz, Eberaute








Abröd [3][4]

General Information


Artemisia abrotanum is a member of the Asteraceae family. It is a perennial undershrub which can reach a height of up to 1m. The stems are covered with smooth brown bark. The leaves are alternate on a long footstalk, irregularly double pinnate; the pinnae is linear, concave on the upper surface and convex below. It is tomentose and of a pale green colour. The flowers are compound of a greenish yellow colour and produced on-flowered peduncles in axillary spikes at the extremities of the branches. The seeds are naked and solitary.[3]

Plant Part Used

Leaves [1]

Chemical Constituents

1,8-cineole; camphor; thujone; fenchene; sabinene; caryophyllene; humulene; isofraxidin; scopoletin; caffeic acid; chlorogenic acid; ferulic acid; sinapic acid; p-hydroxyphenylacetic acidl vanillic acid; salicylic acid; p-coumaric acid; rutin; linool; davanone; centauredin; casticin; quercetin dimethyl-ester [4][11]

Traditional Used:

A. abrotanum has been used to strengthen the digestion and is considered a tonic, stomachic and anthelmintic. It used to be prescribed for debilities of the stomach, chlorosis and jaundice. The leaves are eaten raw in Malaysia as had been considered an appetite stimulant and relieves peptic disorders. At one time it was used to treat jaundice because it is believed that it has the ability to open up blocked biliary passages in the liver. The anthelmintic property had been attributed to the presence of absinthol. [1][2][3][4]

One ounce of the dried herb steeped in one pint of boiling water for twenty minutes can provide relieve for colds and nervous excitations. The young tops and yellow flowers and buds fomented in water, wine or good beer, when taken can provide relieve to breathing difficulty. For blocked nose or rhinitis, inhaling the smoke from the leaves over charcoal fire can clear this malady. [1][8]

A. abrotanum is considered a diuretic. It has been used to treat various urinary symptoms including dysuria. It has also been advocated for use in urinary stones. It also has the reputation as being an aphrodisiac. It is thought to stimulated not only men’s passion but also the growth of beards, thus the name lover’s plant, lad’s love and maid’s ruin. [2][6][8]

The decoction of the leaves is used as a bath preparation, hair rinse for the scalp and a compress to treat frosbites, cuts and grazes. The herb is taken to encourage menstruation. The antiseptic fomentation of the plant is used for cutaneous eruption and for preventing loss of hair. At one time it was in great repute as a cordial against hysterics. It has the capacity to dissolve and dissipated poisons and is used to heal poison bites of scorpions and spiders. [2][5][6][7][8][9]

Pre-Clinical Data


Spasmolytic activity

Four flavonols isolated from the methanol extract of A. abrotanum reported smooth muscle relaxing activity in guinea-pig trachea.[10]

Arthropod repellency activity

The toluene extract of A. abrotanum reported pronounced repellent effects against nymphs of Ixodes ricinus and the larva of Aedes aegypti. The most potent repellent being coumarin and thyjyl alcohol.[12]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

A clinical trial of the efficacy of nasal spray containing a mixture of essential oils (1,8-cineole, linalool and davone) and flavonol (centauredin, casticin and quercetin dimethyl-esters) were test on 12 patients with allergic rhinitis with nasal congestion, sneezing and rhinorrhea. Upon administration of the nasal spray, all patients experienced a rapid and significant symptom relieve within 5 minutes and the effects lasted for several hours. The spray was found to relieve allergic conjunctivitis and bronchial obstruction. It was concluded that is nasal spry is clinically useful and suitable for prophylactic and therapeutic management of patients with allergic rhinitis and adjuvant symptoms.[11]

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

It is not advisable to use this herb during pregnancy because of its emmenagogue action which could induce abortion in susceptible persons.

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


    1. Raymond Stark, The Book of Aphrodisiacs, Methuen Publication, Canada, 1980. pg 89
    2. H. Panda, Handbook On Medicinal Herbs With Uses, Asia Pacific Business Press Inc.q, India, 2004. pg 147
    3. Anthony Todd Thomson, The London dispensatory: containing I. The elements of pharmacy II. Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, London, 1826. pg 198-199
    4. Committee for veterinary medicinal products [Accessed on 26/11/2010]
    5. Robert JohnThornton, A new family herbal,  Printed For B. and R. Crosby And Co. Stationers Court, Ludgate Street, London, 1814. pg 686
    6. Claire Kowalchik, William H. Hylton, Anna Carr, Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Rodale Press, Inc., Emmaus, 1998. pg 470
    7. William Thomas Fernie, Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure, BiblioBazaar, Charleston, 2008. pg552
    8. William Woys Weaver, Sauer's herbal cures: America's first book of botanic healing, 1762-1778, Routledge, New York, 2001. pg299
    9. Jeanne Rose, Herbal Body Book: The Herbal Way to Natural Beauty and Health for Men and Women, Frog Ltd.,  California, 2000. pg124-125
    10. Bergendorff O, Sterner O. Spasmolytic flavonols from Artemisia abrotanum. Planta Med. 1995 Aug;61(4):370-1.
    11. Remberg P, Björk L, Hedner T, Sterner O. Characteristics, clinical effect profile and tolerability of a nasal spray preparation of Artemisia abrotanum L. for allergic rhinitis. Phytomedicine. 2004 Jan;11(1):36-42.
    12. Tunón H, Thorsell W, Mikiver A, Malander I. Arthropod repellency, especially tick (Ixodes ricinus), exerted by extract from Artemisia abrotanum and essential oil from flowers of Dianthus caryophyllum. Fitoterapia. 2006 Jun;77(4):257-61.