Armoise Mugwort Essential Oils (Artemisia alba)

Armoise Mugwort Essential Oils
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Botanical name  Artemisia alba

Origin  India

Family  Asteraceae

Source Leaves and Flowers

Method of extraction steam distilled

Description / Color / Consistency: A thin, pale to dark yellow liquid.

Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma: This has a powerful, fresh-camphoraceous, somewhat green and bittersweet scent that offers a strong middle note.

Blends With: Patchouli, Lavender, Rosemary, Pine, Clary Sage and Cedarwood

Product Abstract: Also known as White Wormwood, this aromatic perennial herb has red-purple stems and deeply cut, dark green leaves with white undersides. Panicles of tiny red-brown flowers appear in summer. It is a tall-growing plant, the stems, which are angular and often of a purplish hue, frequently rises to 3 feet or more in height.


The name "artemisia" ultimately derives from the Greek goddess Artemis (Roman Diana), the namesake of Greek Queens Artemisia I and II A more specific reference may be to Artemisia II of Caria a botanist and medical researcher who died in 350 BC.

Harvesting/Extraction Information

A few species are grown as ornamental plants the fine-textured ones used for clipped bordering. All grow best in free-draining sandy soil, unfertilized, and in full sun. Artemisia alba is known as Dusty Miller, but several other species bear that name, including Jacobaea maritima (syn. Senecio cineraria), Silene coronaria (syn. Lychnis coronaria), and Centaurea cineraria.

Mugwort Essential Oil is extracted by steam distillation of leaves, buds, and flowering tops of the Mugwort tree, which has the scientific name Artemisia Vulgaris. The various components of this essential oil obtained from the plant are alpha thujone, beta thujone, cineole, camphene, and camphone.

Common usage

  • Anti-epileptic and Anti-hysteric
  • Emmenagogue
  • Cordial
  • Digestive
  • Diuretic
  • Nervine
  • Stimulant
  • Uterine
  • Vermifuge
  • Cautions 
  • Vermifuge


This oil is toxic, irritant, neurotoxic, and abortifacient. That means, in common words, that it is poisonous, causes irritations, has toxic and narcotic effects on the brain and the nervous system and can cause abortions. It should never be used during pregnancy.

Key constituents

a-Thujone / camphor CT

Camphor 34.0–55.0%

a-Thujone 25.7–36.8%

b-Thujone 2.0–9.0%

Camphene 0.5–9.0%

1,8-Cineole 1.5–8.0%

Pinocarvone 0.5–1.7%

Santolinyl acetate 0.4–1.4%

Artemisia alcohol 0.3–1.2%

Yomogi alcohol 0.6–1.1%

p-Cymene 0.1–1.1%

Borneol 0.5–1.0%

Bornyl acetate 0.3–1.0%

Safety summary
Hazards  Expected to be neurotoxic, based on camphor and thujone content.
Contraindications  Should not be taken in oral doses.
Contraindications (all routes)  Pregnancy, breastfeeding.
Maximum dermal use level (oil or absolute)  0.25%

Our safety advice
Our dermal maximum is based on 95% total thujone content, and a thujone limit of 0.25%.

Organ-specific effects
Adverse skin reactions  Undiluted white wormwood oil was slightly irritating to the skin of rabbits and guinea pigs, but was not irritating to mice; tested at 12% on 25 volunteers it was neither irritating nor sensitizing. It is non-phototoxic.

Neurotoxicity  No information found. There is a risk of convulsions with moderately high doses of thujone. The thujone NOAEL for convulsions was reported to be 10 mg/kg in male rats and 5 mg/kg in females.

Systemic effects
Acute toxicity  White wormwood acute oral LD50 in mice 370 mg/kg; acute dermal LD50 in guinea pigs >5 g/kg.

Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential  White wormwood oil is reported to be non-genotoxic and antigenotoxic. The oil contains no known carcinogens.

Comments The low LD50 of white wormwood oil is likely to be a reflection of its high thujone content. The source of white wormwood oil has previously been referred to as Artemisia vulgaris. The correct botanical origin is Artemisia herba-alba.

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