Artemisia Herba-Alba

Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Absinthe du Désert, AHAE, AHE, Armoise Herbe Blanche, Artemisia, Common Wormwood, Common Wood Worm, Desert Wormwood, Herba Alba, Shih, Thym des Steppes.


Artemisia herba-alba is a short shrub usually found in Northern Africa and the Middle East. The parts that grow above the ground are used as medicine.

People take Artemisia herba-alba for cough, stomach and intestinal upset, the common cold, measles, diabetes, yellowed skin (jaundice), anxiety, irregular heartbeat, and muscle weakness. It is also used for parasitic infections such as roundworms, pinworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and flukes.

How does it work?

Some chemicals contained in Artemisia herba-alba seem to kill parasites and bacteria. Some other chemicals might lower blood sugar levels.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Diabetes. Developing research suggests that taking an Artemisia herba-alba water extract might lower blood sugar levels in some people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Parasitic infections such as roundworms, pinworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and flukes. There is some evidence that taking an Artemisia herba-alba water extract might reduce symptoms and cure pinworm infections in adults and children after 3 days of treatment.
  • Stomach upset.
  • Common cold.
  • Measles.
  • Jaundice.
  • Anxiety.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Artemisia herba-alba for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

There is not enough information to know if Artemisia herba-alba is safe.

Some people involved in a research project that studied Artemisia herba-alba experienced lowered blood pressure and lowered heart rate. The significance of these effects is unknown.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of Artemisia herba-alba during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: There is evidence that Artemisia herba-alba might lower blood sugar. Some experts worry that taking Artemisia herba-alba along with drugs used for controlling diabetes might lower blood sugar too much. If you take Artemisia herba-alba and have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely. The dose of medications you take for diabetes might need to be adjusted.

Surgery: Artemisia herba-alba might affect blood glucose levels. That has raised concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop taking Artemisia herba-alba at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Artemisia herba-alba might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking Artemisia herba-alba along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.


The appropriate dose of Artemisia herba-alba depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Artemisia herba-alba. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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al-Khazraji SM, al-Shamaony LA, Twaij HA. Hypoglycaemic effect of Artemisia herba alba. I. Effect of different parts and influence of the solvent on hypoglycaemic activity. J Ethnopharmacol 1993;40:163-6. View abstract.

al-Shamaony L, al-Khazraji SM, Twaij HA. Hypoglycaemic effect of Artemisia herba alba. II. Effect of a valuable extract on some blood parameters in diabetic animals. J Ethnopharmacol 1994;43:167-71. View abstract.

al-Waili NS. Artemisia herba-alba Asso. in diabetes mellitus. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 1988;15:497. View abstract.

al-Waili NS. Artemisia herba-alba extract for treating Enterobius vermicularis infection. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 1988;82:626. View abstract.

al-Waili NS. Treatment of diabetes mellitus by Artemisia herba-alba extract: preliminary study. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 1986;13:569-73. View abstract.

Marrif HI, Ali BH, Hassan KM. Some pharmacological studies on Artemisia herba-alba (Asso.) in rabbits and mice. J Ethnopharmacol 1995;49:51-5. View abstract.

Twaij HA, Al-Badr AA. Hypoglycemic activity of Artemisia herba alba. J Ethnopharmacol 1988;24:123-6. View abstract.

Yashphe J, Segal R, Breuer A, Erdreich-Naftali G. Antibacterial activity of Artemisia herba-alba. J Pharm Sci 1979;68:924-5. View abstract.