Artemisia Taurica is known as 'Common Mugwort' or 'Common Wormwood' and can be called 'St John's Plant' (not to be confused with the more common St John's Wort'). Part of the Asteraceae (Compositae) family its leaves grow 10 cm in length, with the plant usually reaching between 1 and 2 metres tall.
Artemisia grows across Northern and Central Europe, Asia and Africa. It usually grows in uncultivated areas, often in nitrogenous soils, therefore is wild harvested typically from some unforgiving places like the roadside.
It is still used in aromatherapy despite it being classed as a toxin - dosages are very small and are said to be helpful as a digestive stimulant and to promote menstruation. It is also used to reduce the symptoms of depression and ease tension.
As a flavouring the leaves are used for its strong bitter taste, which is derived from its terpenoids and sesquiterpene lactones.
In 2017, unusually hot weather locally destroyed plantations with very little oil produced, just one third of a usual year. In 2018, the season is expected to begin in September. When it comes to its thujone content the material represents one of the best value oils on the market. It is much higher than other origins and usually available at more reasonable prices.
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