Artemisia cina

Botanical Name : Artemisia cina
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. cina
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Sea Wormwood. Santonica. Semen Sanctum. Semen Cinae. Semen Contra. Semen Santonici. Artemesia Lercheana. Artemisia maritima, var. Stechmanniana. Artemisia maritima, var. pauciflora. Artemesia Chamaemelifolia.
(Italian) Semenzina

Common Names: Cina, Santonica (zahr el shieh el -khorasani), Levant wormseed, and wormseed.
Habitat: Artemisia cina is native to China, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Description:
Artemisia cina is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in flower from Aug to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is an Asian species of herbaceous perennial in the daisy family. Its dried flowerheads are the source of the vermifugic drug santonin since ancient times. Its common names arise from its known ability to expel worms. The powder is grayish-green in colour with an aromatic odour and a bitter taste.

The plant is characterised by its spherical pollen grains, which are typical in the Asteraceae family, a fibrous layer on anthers, lignified, elongated, hypodermal sclerids, and clusters of calcium oxalate crystals.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. Although this plant has woody stems, these tend to die back each winter giving the plant a herbaceous habit. It is cultivated as a medicinal plant in Russia and N. America. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

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Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.

Part Used:The Seeds.

Constituents: The chief constituent of Wormseed is a crystalline principle, Santonin, to which the anthelmintic property of the drug is due. Santonin attains its maximum 2.3 to 3.6 per cent in July and August; after the flowerheads have expanded, it rapidly diminishes in quantity. It is extracted from the flower-heads by treating them with Milk of Lime, the Santonin being converted into soluble calcium santonate. It occurs in colourless, shining, flat prisms, without odour and almost tasteless at first, but afterwards developing a bitter taste. It is sparingly soluble in water, but soluble in alcohol and ether.

Wormseed also contains a crystalline substance, Artemisin, and a yellow volatile oil consisting of Cineol, to which its odour is due.

Medicinal Uses:
Digestive; Febrifuge; Homeopathy; Vermifuge.

Artemisia cina is one of the safest and most reliable vermifuges, used especially on children. Because of its bitter flavour, it is usually mixed with liquorice or some other pleasantly flavoured herb. The unexpanded floral heads and the seed contain the vermicide ‘santonin’. This is an effective and rapid treatment for round worms, it is also effective for thread worms, though it does not affect tapeworms. The plant is also used as a febrifuge and as an aid to the digestion. Caution is advised in the use of this plant since it is poisonous in large doses. This plant should not be used by pregnant women. The dried flowers are used to make a homeopathic remedy. This is particularly useful for complaints of the nervous system and the digestive tract. A homeopathic remedy made from the plant is used to rid children of worms
Known Hazards: Poisonous. Skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_cina
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+cina
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/w/worlav36.html

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