Tell me about...
Sweet annie (qing hao)
What is sweet annie? What is it
An inconspicuous, nondescript herb, sweet annie has a variety
of alternate names, including qing hao and sweet wormwood.
The herb originated in Europe and Asia and has seen made the
transfer to Northern America. The above-ground components
of the herb, such as the stems and leaves, are used in herbal
Medical texts that are more than 2,000 years old suggest
that sweet annie was used to treat hemorrhoids. Other writings
mention sweet annie as a treatment for fevers.
A compound found in sweet annie, artemisinin, is believed
to contain anti-malarial properties. Numerous randomized clinical
trials have shown that artemisinin injections can cure people
with malaria. Test tube studies suggest artemisinin can kill
other parasites and bacteria, lending credence to the belief
that it can fight gastrointestinal infections and parasites.
How much sweet annie should I take?
Many herbal practitioners recommend three grams of sweet
annie powder a day. However, sweet annie cannot be substituted
What forms of sweet annie are available?
Sweet annie is available as a powder, as well as in capsule
and tablet forms.
What can happen if I take too much
sweet annie? Are there any interactions I should be aware
of? What precautions should I take?
No adverse effects or serious drug interactions have been
reported in people taking sweet annie. However, patients who
take artemisinin as a prescription drug may experience a variety
of side-effects, including upset stomach, loose stools, abdominal
pain, and occasional fever.
Other Resources :
More You Know About Nutrition
- Bone K, Morgan M. Clinical Applications
of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs: Monographs for the Western
Herbal Practitioner. Warwick, Australia: Phytotherapy
Press, 1992, 712.
- Foster S, Yue CX. Herbal Emissaries:
Bringing Chinese Herbs to the West. Rochester, VT: Healing
Arts Press, 1992, 322.
- Hien TT, White NJ. Qinghaosu. Lancet
- Olliaro PL, Haynes RK, Meunier B, Yuthavong
Y. Possible modes of action of the artemisinin-type compounds.
Trends Parasitol Mar 2001;17(3):122-6.
- Tang W, Eisenbrand G. Chinese Drugs
of Plant Origin. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1992, 16074.