ARTEMISIA OIL

Botanical Name Artemisia vulagaris L.
Synonyms -
Family Compositae (Asteraceae)
Local Name Titepati
English Name Mugwort

Plant Description

Mugwort 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 m with a woody root. The leaves are aromatic,5-20 em 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.

Extraction

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

Uses

The species has a number of recorded historic uses in 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 fluid liquid
Colour: Pale Yellow
Aroma: Powerful, fresh camphoraceous,bitter herbaceous odour

Active Constituents

The leaf oil contains a-thujone as major component;others are a-pinene, -pinene,
1,8-cineol, camphor, iso-borneol, -caryophyllene,
caryophyllene oxide, davanone, p-cymene,germacrene D,
6-cadinene,limonene, camphene etc.

The flower oil contains sabinene, myrcene, allo­ aromadendrene, -cubebene and o-guaiene as major components.

Physico-Chemical Properties

Specific gravity 0.8786 to 0.9265 at 250 C?>
Optical rotation [-]13.25°to [-]29.350 at 25°C?>
Refractive index 1.350 to 1.49 at 25°C?>
Acid number 2.49to 6.5
Ester number 25.05to 55
Ester number 65 to 90 (after acetylation)
Solubility Insoluble in alcohol