Mayweed,

Botanical Name : Anthemis cotula
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe:     Anthemideae
Genus:     Anthemis
Species: A. cotula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Asterales

Synonyms: Maroute. Maruta cotula. Cotula Maruta foetida. Manzanilla loca. Dog Chamomile. Wild Chamomile. Camomille puante. Foetid or Stinking Chamomile or Mayweed. Dog’s Fennel. Maithes. Maithen. Mathor.

Common Names: Mayweed, stinking chamomile, mather, dog- or hog’s-fennel, dog-finkle, dog-daisy, pig-sty-daisy, chigger-weed, maroute, Maruta cotula, Cotula Maruta foetida, Manzanilla loca, wild chamomile, Camomille puante. Foetid Chamomile or Mayweed, maithes, maithen, mathor  mayweed chamomile, camomille des chiens, camomille puante, stinkende Hundskamille, camomila-de-cachorro, macéla-fétida, and manzanilla hedionda.

Habitat;Mayweed is initially native to Europe and North Africa. It has successfully migrated to North America, Southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand  where it can be found growing on waste ground, alongside roads, and in fields. Anthemis cotula is considered a weed due to its propensity for invading cultivated areas.

Description:
Mayweed is an annual glandular plant with a harsh taste and an acrid smell. Its height varies from 12 inches (28 centimeters) to 24 inches (56 centimeters).

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Leaves:  The leaves of the plant sometimes have very fine and soft hairs on the upper surface, although the plant is mostly hairless. There is no leaf stalk; leaves grow immediately from the stems. The leaves are pinnate in shape, with many extremely thin lobes, and can be around 1 or 2 inches long (2.5 to 5 centimeters).

Flowers:  Each stem is topped by a single flower head which is usually around 1 inch (2.34 centimeters) in diameter. The flower head is encompassed by between 10 and 18 white ray florets, each with a three-toothed shape; the florets tend to curve downwards around the edges and may occasionally have pistils, although these do not produce fruit. Beneath the flower proper, oval bracts of the plant form an involucre, with soft hairs on each; further bracts are bristled and sit at right angles to the flowers.

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Fruits: The fruits are achenes (with no pappus). They are wrinkled, ribbed with ten ridges, and have small glandular bumps across the surface.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used: Flowers, leaves.

Constituents: The flowers have been found to contain volatile oil, oxalic, valeric and tannic acids, salts of magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium, colouring matter, a bitter extractive and fatty matter.

 Uses:
The flowers are preferred for internal use, being slightly less disagreeable than the leaves. In hysteria it is used in Europe as an antispasmodic and emmenagogue. Applied to the skin fresh and bruised it is a safe vesicant. A poultice helpful in piles can be made from the herb boiled until soft, or it can be used as a bath or fomentation.

It is administered to induce sleep in asthma. In sick headache or convalescence after fever the extract may be used.

A strong decoction can cause sweating and vomiting. It is said to be nearly as valuable as opium in dysentery. It has also been used in scrofula, dysmennorrhoea and flatulent gastritis.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/maywee26.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthemis_cotula

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