African Wormwood – Artemisia afra

African Wormwood - Artemisia afra
African Wormwood – Artemisia afra

Common names: African wormwood, wild wormwood (Eng); umhlonyane (Xhosa); mhlonyane (Zulu); wildeals (Afr). 
Botanical name: Artemisia afra

Family: Asteraceae 

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Nature

Soft, feathery, aromatic leaves. Rich in essential oil (cineole, thujone, camphor, borneol). Highly attractive to and tolerant of black aphids, that then feed a growing population of ladybirds. Bitter taste. Thujone is a potential neurotoxin, causing hallucinations, don’t use long-term.

Perennial, will die back in winter in cold climates and re-sprout from base.

Family: Asteraceae

Plant type: Shrubs

Plant-animal relations: aphids, ladybirds

Flowering:

Soil type: 

Soil pH: 

Propagation methods:

Conservation status: Not threatened

Uses & Benefits

Important traditional remedy for a wide range of maladies. Leaves used as is gently inserted in the nostrils for blocked sinuses, as infusion, tincture (brandy), inhalations for coughs, colds, flu, fever; digestive upsets – loss of appetite; colic, intestinal worms; pain, headaches, earache.

Herbal tradition(s): Cape Herbal Medicine

Plant parts: leaves, roots

Herb actions: bitter, decongestant, vermifuge

Herb qualities: 

Phytochemical constituents: borneol, camphor, cineole, thujone

Plant preparations: dried, essential oil, infusion, steam, tincture

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