Artemisinin is a well-known botanical also referred to as Artemisia annua or qinghao. Artemisinin contains bitter molecules called sesquiterpene lactones which play an important role in protecting the herb under harsh conditions. These bitter molecules can protect the plant by disrupting the phospholipid membrane of the cells of pests and invaders, and interfering with their transport proteins and mitochondrial function.
Artemisinin also contains an unusual peroxide bridge that is unique among natural products. This is believed to be responsible for its mechanism of action, which when cleaved can generate abundant free radicals that support healthy microflora balance.*