SWEET ANNIE (Artemisia annua), also known as Sweet Wormwood or Qing-hao, is an ancient Chinese medicinal herb which has been studied and found to effectively treat malaria, among other fevers. The fernlike foliage has a sweet fruity fragrance (it is used to flavor Vermouth) and grows 3'-6' high. Migrating to Europe and America centuries ago, it has now naturalized in some areas of America. Used since colonial days to makes wreaths and to deter deer from gardens. Blooms late summer into fall. Self-seeding annual. 100 seeds.
MEDICINAL: The Chinese call this Ching-hao or Qing-hao, which refers to the tops of the plant - the most potent medicinal portion. It is anti-bacterial, among other qualities. In ancient times, it was used primarily for skin disorders, fevers and as a parasiticide, but it was modern China that discovered the plant's specific anti-malarial compounds -- artemisinin -- the most effective treatment available today and 90% more effective than quinine. It is now being grown and used all over Africa to fight this terrible mosquito-transmitted parasitic infection, which kills one child every 30 seconds. And it is relatively free of side effects. It is a potentiator when combined with berberine-containing plants and can thus be used in fighting multi-drug resistant bacteria. It is also under serious study for use in treating breast cancer and prostate cancer.
GROWING TIPS: Easy to grow in neutral to slightly alkaline loamy soil. Direct seed in spring when the soil is warm in full sun. Artemisia is a light dependent germinator so plant on surface and walk lightly over the soil and keep moist but not wet. Plants succeed best when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Since it can be toxic to certain surrounding plants in your garden, either isolate it or grow in container.