Armoise Oil: Benefits, Uses, Properties, and Side Effects
Armoise oil benefits are abundant. Armoise is also known as white wormwood and is native to Australia. It is frequently used in the treatment for digestive spasms and other problems related to indigestion.
Though armoise oil has multiple health benefits, it should be under the guidance of a physician, as the active components in armoise are mostly used for preparing various life-threatening drugs.
Let’s understand this essential oil in detail.
What Is Armoise Oil?
Armoise essential oil is extracted from the dried herbs of Artemisia herba alba (or white wormwood). Artemisia herb has a tremendously bitter taste. You will be surprised to read the fact that it was one of the flavors used in absinthe, but now its use has been banned after discovering the addictive nature of thujone content. (1, 2)
It has a toxic nature, and the toxicity levels are even higher if you are using armoise oil with high proportions of thujone in it.
Hence, avoid buying armoise oil that contains thujone in it, as it can cause severe neuronal conditions like seizures.
About The Plant
Scientifically known as Artemisia herba alba, armoise is the member of family Asteraceae or Compositae. It is a chemophyte, which grows to a height of 20-40 cm (or 8-16 inches).
The leaves of armoise have an extremely high aromatic property and are covered with glandular hair. These hairs reflect sunlight, which in turn give out a silver tone.
The leaves are small but can survive even arid conditions. The flowers bloom from September to December. They are hermaphrodite with 2-5 naked receptacle. The flower heads are sessile, tapering at base, and oblong.
The other common names of armoise are:
Wermutkraut, Western Wormwood, Absinth, Absinthe, Absinthites, Absinthium, Armoise Vulgaire, Artesian Absinthium, Menu Alvine, Wermut, Wurmkrau, Common Wormwood, Armoise Absinthe, Armoise Amère, Herbe aux Vers, Absinthii Herba, Afsantin, Indhana, Lapsent, Madderwort, Herbe d’Absinthe, Ajenjo, Alvine, Armoise Commune, Vilayati Afsanteen, Absinthe Suisse, Armoise Absinthe, , Grande Absinthe, Green Fairy, Herba Artemisae, Herbe Sainte, Qing Hao, Armoise Amère, Green Ginger, Artemisia absinthium, Qing Hao, and Herbe Sainte.
Scientific Name Of Armoise Oil
The botanical name of armoise is Artemisia herba alba.
History Of Armoise Oil
Artemesia or armoise family is a massive family with around 1000 genera and 20,000 species. About 500 species are found in Europe, Asia, and North America.
It is a perennial herb that dominates a very vast community of Asia. It is an herb commonly used in dyes and medicines. It is primarily used in the flavoring industry.
There are about 300 species in the Artemisia genus. They are found growing in the wild, usually in South America, South Africa, and northern temperate regions.
The artemisias are well-known as ornamental plants. The Artemisias have been used in traditional medicines to treat intestinal conditions and diabetes. It works as an effective antiseptic.
Color, Consistency, and Smell Of Armoise Oil
- The color of armoise essential oil is pale yellow.
- The consistency of armoise oil is viscous.
- The smell of armoise essential oil is Thujoic (menthol odor).
Properties Of Armoise Essential Oil
The therapeutic properties of armoise oil include (3):
- Antidiabetic – Prevents diabetes
- Antioxidant – Scavenge free radicals
- Antispasmodic – Relaxes muscular spasms
- Antibacterial – Prevents bacterial growth
- Antihelminthic – Prevent helminthic infections
- Antileishmanial – Effective against Leishmania parasites.
- Diuretic – Increases urination
- Anti-inflammatory – Reduces swelling, pain, and redness
- Hepatoprotective – Protects liver cells
- Appetizer – Increases hunger
- Antipyretic – Fights pyrexia
- Analgesic – Prevents painful sensation
- Antidepressant – Reduces depression
- Renoprotective – Protects the kidneys
- Aphrodisiac – Increases sexual power
- Digestive – Improves digestion
- Diaphoretic – Enhances perspiration
- Abortifacient – Induces abortion
- Anti-arthritic – Reduces the discomfort caused from arthritis
- Emmenagogue – Stimulates menstrual flow
Chemical Compounds In Armoise Oil
The chemical composition of armoise essential oil include:
Compounds that are in abundance: Sabinyl acetate, Cis- chrysantenyl acetate, davana ether, chrysantenone and α-thujone (constituting 39.56% of the total oil).
The other chemical compounds in armoise are transarbusculone, cis-arbusculone, spathulenol, β-thujone, 1,8-cineole and isopinocarveol.
It also has sesquiterpenes hydrocarbons, germacrene D (1.8%) and bicyclogermacrene (1.03%). It has monoterpenes as well – which are terpinen-4-ol, borneol, and camphor.
The alcoholic compounds are yomogi alcohol and santolina alcohol.
On the other hand, armoise plant collected from Egypt contains germacranolide, eudesmanolide, and active flavonoids (cirsiliol & hispidum).
Sesqueterpene lactones found in armoise oil are psilostachyin, psilostachyin C, and vulgarin. The flavonol glycosides found are isorhamnetin 3-O-glucoside, rutin, and quercitin 3-O-glucoside.
Caumarine found are aesculin, aesculetin, scopoletin, coumarin, umbelliferone, and 6-7,8- methylene-dioxycoumarin. Carotenoids, polyacetylenes, pentacyclic triterpenes such as stigmasterol and sitosterol. (4, 5, 6, 7)
Health Benefits Of Armoise Oil
Armoise is an alcoholic beverage. Absinthe and Vermouth are good examples of beverages prepared from armoise.
Thujone is a potential and active component of armoise but quite toxic and alcohol without thujone can still be entertained in the beverage industry. Armoise is also effective in maintaining uterine health. It prevents the effect of aging, ulcers, and several kinds of inflammation in the vagina, by regulating the hormones.
Though the armoise oil benefits are abundant, the most prominent ones include:
1. Fortified with antioxidants
Generally, the essential oils with sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes have greater antioxidative properties. A few studies also concluded that the presence of fewer phenolics has less antioxidant potential.
Armoise essential oil has high amounts of antioxidants in it, which are usually determined based on the oxidation of linoleic acid/β-carotene and the activity of free radicals that are stable (DPPH).
The extract of armoise has high scavenging capacity. The essential oil of armoise is rich in oxygenated terpenes, which act as an effective radical-scavenging agent.
2. Treats menstrual problems
Armoise essential oil has emmenoguage properties. It helps in treating several menstrual problems such as excessive bleeding, menstrual spasms, vomiting, and nausea.
It helps in regulating the menstrual cycle and ensures that there is proper flow of blood during menstruation. Armoise is also found effective in the prevention of early or untimely menopause. (10, 11)
3. Cures hysteria
Armoise essential oil is a potent antihysteric drug. Hysteria is a kind of mental disorder, which increases sexual urges and sexual thoughts in women. This can also affect men.
It is generally defined as uncontrollable or exaggerated emotions or excitement.
However, armoise oil has a sedative effect and can induce dreams. The roots are used as a tonic against psychoneuroses, depression, neurasthenia, restlessness, insomnia, autonomic neuroses, and anxiety.
4. Keeps the body warm
Armoise essential oil is found useful in keeping the body warm, especially in medical conditions where the body temperature falls considerably. However, armoise maintains body temperature and this is mainly due to the presence of sesquiterpenes in it.
A normal body temperature is crucial for body hormones. The hormones are effective only at the temperature of 37° F. When the temperature becomes less than 37° F, the hormones become inactive and if it rises from 37° F, the hormones start disintegrating.
To avoid such conditions, massaging your body with armoise oil can do great help.
5. Effective against hypertension
Armoise works as a potent antihypertensive drug. The therapy used for the treatment of hypertension usually inhibits the activity of ACE.
The compounds present in the market used as an antihypertensive drug can provoke undesirable side effects. However, armoise works as a safe drug against hypertension. Hypertension is always a disastrous condition. (14, 15)
It directly works on your angiotensin I.
*Angiotensin – a peptide hormone that causes vasoconstriction and elevated blood pressure levels.
Angiotensin also stimulates the release of the aldosterone from adrenal cortex to promote sodium retention by the kidneys.
It can increase the blood pressure by converting decapeptide angiotensin I to vasoconstrictor angiotensin II (octapeptide). This enzyme is found to be a vital enzyme that plays a crucial role in blood pressure control.
6. Destroys the microbes
Armoise has rich antimicrobial properties too. This is due to the oxygenated components of monoterpenes, which constitute 50 % of the oil. (16)
The monoterpene hydrocarbons and oxygenated monoterpenes present in armoise essential oil destroys the cellular integrity of microorganisms and results in inhibition of respiration. They also affect the permeability alterations. Armoise has been found effective in destroying E coli, L pneumonia, S typhorium, B cereus, F saloni, E faecalis, A oxysporum, and F sp. (17)
7. Prevents intestinal worms
Armoise essential oil is even found effective in the prevention of intestinal worms like roundworms & tapeworms. The oil is toxic in nature and hence, needs a physician’s advice before administering it to children, even in the tiniest amounts. (18, 19)
Intestinal worms inhibit normal body growth and nutrient absorption in the body. However, armoise can reestablish a normal growth pattern and can kill these parasites naturally.
8. An effective stimulant
Armoise is a well-known stimulant. It can stimulate bodily functions like blood circulation, hormonal secretion, secretion of gastric juices, and pancreatic juices in the stomach.
Its effect on the endocrine system can regulate many body functions and responses.
9. Protects kidneys from damage
Armoise helps in protecting the kidneys from being damaged. It is found quite effective against alpha nephropathy.
The inflammation in nephrons is called nephritis and the associated disease is known as nephropathy.
However, armoise has the capacity to reduce TNF alpha. TNF alpha is an inflammatory factor, which can be controlled by armoise powder intake and can reduce the inflammation of nephrons.
It can also heal other kidney diseases. It is an effective diuretic agent and can be used to filter excess salt from the body through urine, maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
When there are no issues with blood pressure levels, there are no risks of renal damage. Moreover, the nephrons function properly. Thanks to the monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes in armoise.
10. Treats Crohn’s disease
Armoise essential oil is found very effective in the treatment of Crohn’s disease. It has been used by clinicians for a long time.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic bowel disease where the digestive tract’s lining becomes inflamed. This inflammation can affect any part – from mouth to anus. (24)
It can cause ulcers, colon cancer, and fistula in the affected body part. The patient suffers intense pain in the infected area, followed by fatigue, fever, and different digestive problems.
Sometimes, the inflammation blocks the food passage from the intestine and causes obstruction, causing severe vomiting – so much that even feces can be vomited out through the mouth. (25)
The condition becomes lethal if left untreated. A condition like this requires instant intervention. However, the powder of armoise is found effective in reducing this swelling and preventing it from being more harmful.
During a study (double-blind controlled) performed in 2007, the results were amazingly positive. All the patients with Crohn’s disease were treated. Armoise powder reduces TNF alpha, the inflammation factor.
What Blends With Armoise Oil?
Armoise essential oil blends the best with:
- Clary Sage oil
- Cedarwood oil
- Galbanum oil
- Juniper berry oil
- Lavandin oil
- Oakmoss oil
- Patchouli oil
- Rosemary oil
- Pine oil
- Sage oil
How To Use Armoise Oil?
Armoise essential oil or wormwood oil can cause seizures, and decreases the effectiveness of medicines. It hinders medicinal reaction. The appropriate dose of armoise essential depends on a few variables such as health age and other medical conditions. Its usage isn’t properly documented. Hence, it is better to take medical advice.
Side Effects Of Armoise Oil
Wormwood or armoise is considered to be a safe drug when taken orally (through food & beverages) in extremely tiny amounts and of course, diluted.
The taste remains extremely bitter until the products of armoise are thujone-free. It is also safe to use armoise essential oil (diluted with a carrier oil) topically on the skin.
However, armoise essential oil with thujone are excluded from the list of safe drugs, because it can cause:
- Muscle breakdown
- Kidney failure
- Retention of urine
- Altered heart rate
- Numbness of arms and feet
When armoise oil containing thujone is applied topically, it can cause burning and intensive itching.
It is quite unsafe to use this essential oil if you are pregnant or lactating. It can even cause abortion.
People suffering from porphyria must avoid the use of armoise essential oil with thujone, as it can cause increased production of porphyrin in the body.
Thujone can also cause kidney failure. It can cause an epileptic attack in the people prone to epilepsy.