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Herbs & Plants

Artemisia tilesii

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Botanical  Name : Artemisia tilesii

Family : Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus : Artemisia L. – sagebrush
Species : Artemisia tilesii Ledeb. – Tilesius’ wormwood
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass : Asteridae
Order : Asterales

Synonyms :Artemisia unalaskensis. Rydb.

Common Names :Tilesius’ wormwood, Aleutian mugwort.

Habitat : Native to E. Asia to North-western N. America. Grows in Open rocky or gravelly wet or dry sites, mostly at rather high elevations in the mountains, but descending at times to sea level, N. Montana to Alaska.

Description:
Artemisia tilesii is a perennial herb  growing to 1.5 m (5ft). It has  aromatic leaves, variable foliage. The genus, Artemisia, named after the Greek goddess of female energies. Artemisia includes wormwoods, absinth, sagebrush, mugwort, and tarragon. They are all aromatic and bitter herbs and shrubs.

click to see the pictures..
Stem is erect, a tall plant from 2′ to 4′, branched, from slender rhizome.The flowers are  yellowish-brown or yellowish-green, very small on many branched flower spikes that look like the center of a daisy, nodding, bracts have broad, dark margins.and the leaves are  large, dark green and shiny above, whitish gray, woolly beneath, deeply cut into 3 to 5 lobes, with slender sharp tips.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. 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 warm sunny dry position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making sure that the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about10 – 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Condiment.

The leaves are used for flavouring rice dumplings. The raw shoots are peeled and eaten, usually with oil.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic;  Antirheumatic;  Antitumor;  Disinfectant;  Haemostatic;  Laxative;  Poultice;  Skin;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

The plant is antirheumatic, antitumor, disinfectant, febrifuge, haemostatic, laxative and tonic. It is used in the treatment of cancer and to prevent infections in wounds etc. An infusion of the leaves and flowering tops is used as a laxative and to treat stomach aches. An infusion is used internally to treat rheumatism and is also applied externally to swollen joints. A poultice of the leaves is applied to skin infections and to cuts to stop the bleeding. A decoction is used as an eyewash. The plant has properties similar to codeine. The report does not specify which part of the plant is used. Codeine is used as a painkiller.

Healing and soothing ointment can be made from flower heads. Used in a steam bath for its fragrance and medicinal qualities. It is used to clear stuffed noses, for upset stomachs and to cure colds. It is a highly valued medicinal plant to the Dena’ina. They used them to rub on the bodies of pregnant women and make medicine switches to relieve arthritic and other aches. Made into a tea it is used to wash any kind of infection. Wrapped in a cloth it is used for toothache, earache and snow blindness. Athlete’s foot is washed in a tea and plants worn in the shoes fresh. It can be used for mosquito repellent. Try burning it in your campfire. It is used by Eskimo people against tumors and to reduce fevers. Used in Scandinavia, Germany, France, Switzerland, England, Bosnia, Russia, China, Tibet, India, Bali, Bolivia, Argentina and the US. Wormwood has a long history of use. It is mentioned in the Bible as a bitter herb used during Passover. It freshened the air and was used to repel fleas during the 16th century. It derives its common name from use as a human and animal de-wormer. Since medieval times it has been associated with magic and medicine. Snakes and evil of all kinds are supposed to be repelled by wormwood.

Caution: Wormwoods should be carefully used internally. The oil absinthol is present in the foliage of many Artemisias. Taken repeatedly in large doses it could cause coma and convulsions. Taken in small doses or used externally it should pose no problem.

Other Uses:
Disinfectant;  Incense.

The freshly crushed leaves can be rubbed on the hands to remove odours. The plant is used as an incense and deodorant in the home

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, 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 supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+tilesii
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARTI
http://www.cdhs.us/Flower%20Project/Family%20Index/Compositae%20Index/A.%20tilesii/A.%20tilesii%20Fset.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Artemisia frigida

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

Common Names : Fringed Wormwood,  Fringed sagebrush, Prairie sagewort, and Pasture sage

Habitat ; Artemisia frigida is native to Europe, Asia, and much of North America, in Canada and the western United States. In parts of the north-central eastern United States it is an introduced species. It grows on dry prairies, plains and rocks to 3300 metres in N. America.

Description:
Artemisia frigida is a low-spreading, semi-evergreen, perennial herb but with a woody base. The stems spread out, generally forming a mat or clump up to 40 centimetres (1.3 ft) tall. The stems are covered in lobed gray-green leaves which are coated in silvery hairs. The inflorescence contains many spherical flower heads each about half a centimeter wide and lined with woolly-haired, gray-green or brownish phyllaries. The flower heads contain several pistillate ray florets and many bisexual disc florets. The plant is aromatic, with a strong scent. The fruit are rather inconspicuous. This plant can make a great many seeds.It can also spread by layering; in some years it produces very few seeds.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

This plant is common and dominant or codominant in many areas, especially in dry and disturbed habitat types. It is common in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains in North America, where it occurs in grasslands, shrublands, and woodlands, among others. It has a tendency to increase in areas that have been heavily grazed by livestock. Overgrowth of the plant is sometimes an indicator of overgrazing on rangeland. It sometimes becomes an aggressive weed. Ranchers have considered the plant to be both an adequate forage species and a worthless nuisance species.
Cultivation:
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is not too rich. Requires a lime-free soil. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. A very ornamental plant. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but make sure that the compost does not dry out. The seed usually germinates within 1 – 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.

Edible Uses: The leaves are used by the Hopi Indians as a flavouring for sweet corn.

Medicinal Uses;
First introduced as a substitute for quinine.  Used to combat indigestion by chewing leaves.  The leaves are used in the treatment of women’s complaints. The plant contains camphor, which is stimulant and antispasmodic. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of biliousness, indigestion, coughs and colds while the leaves are chewed and the juice swallowed to treat heartburn. A poultice of the chewed leaves is used as a poultice to reduce swellings and the leaves are also placed in the nose to stop nosebleeds. A hot poultice of the leaves has been used to treat toothache. The leaves can be used as a sanitary towel to help reduce skin irritation. They are also drunk as a tea when the woman is menstruating or to treat irregular menstruation. The dried leaves are burnt in a room as a disinfectant. A decoction of the root is used as a stimulant and tonic.

Other Uses:
A number of wild animals consume the plant, including white-tailed jackrabbits and sage grouse.

This sagebrush had a variety of uses for Native American groups. It was used medicinally for coughs, colds, wounds, and heartburn by the Blackfoot. The Cree people used it for headache and fever and the Tewa people took it for gastritis and indigestion. It also had ceremonial and veterinary applications, including for the Blackfoot, who reportedly used the crushed leaves to “revive gophers after children clubbed them while playing a game”.

This plant is also used in landscaping and for erosion control and revegetation of rangeland. It is drought-resistant.

Both the growing and the dried plant can be used as an insect repellent. The leaves can be placed on a camp fire to repel mosquitoes. The aromatic leaves have been used in pillows etc as a deodorant. Bunches of the soft leaves have been used as towels, toilet paper etc. A green dye is obtained from the leaves.

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, 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 supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_frigida
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARFR4

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+frigida

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Herbs & Plants

Artemisia afra

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Botanical Name ; Artemisia afra
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: Artemisia afra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names:wild wormwood, African wormwood (Eng.); wilde-als (Afr.); umhlonyane (Xhosa); mhlonyane (Zulu); lengana (Tswana); zengana (Southern Sotho)

Habitat :Artemisia afra has a  wide distribution from South Africa, to areas reaching to the North and East, as far north as Ethiopia. Artemisia afra is the only indigenous species in this genus.

Description:
Artemisia afra grows in thick, bushy, slightly untidy clumps, usually with tall stems up to 2 m high, but sometimes as low as 0.6 m. The stems are thick and woody at the base, becoming thinner and softer towards the top. Many smaller side branches shoot from the main stems. The stems are ribbed with strong swollen lines that run all the way up. The soft leaves are finely divided, almost fern-like. The upper surface of the leaves is dark green whereas the undersides and the stems are covered with small white hairs, which give the shrub the characteristic overall grey colour. A. afra flowers in late summer, from March to May. The individual creamy yellow flowers are small (3-4 mm in diameter), nodding and crowded at the tips of the branches. Very typical of A. afra is the strong, sticky sweet smell that it exudes when touched or cut.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses;
Artemisia afra is a well-known medicinal plant in Africa, and is still used effectively by people of many cultures. Uses range from treating cough, fever, colic, headache, to intestinal parasites and malaria. In addition, Artemisia afra is frequently used as a moth repellent, and in organic insecticidal sprays.

The roots, stems and leaves are used as enemas, poultices, infusions, lotions, inhaled (e.g. smoked or snuffed), or as an essential oil.

Artemisia afra is used in many different ways and one of the most common practices is to insert fresh leaves into the nostrils to clear blocked nasal passages. Another maybe not so common use is to place leaves in socks for sweaty feet. The roots, stems and leaves are used in many different ways and taken as enemas, poultices, infusions, body washes, lotions, smoked, snuffed or drunk as a tea. A. afra has a very bitter taste and is usually sweetened with sugar or honey when drunk. Wilde-als brandy is a very popular medicine still made and sold today. Margaret Roberts lists many other interesting uses which includes the use in natural insecticidal sprays and as a moth repellent.

Used mainly as an aqueous decoction or infusion applied externally or taken orally, the extremely bitter taste being masked by the addition of sugar or honey. Fresh leaf may be added to boiling water and the vapors inhaled.  For the treatment of cough, croup, whooping cough, influenza, fever, diabetes, gastro-intestinal disorders and intestinal worms.  As an inhalation for the relief of headache and nasal congestion or a lotion to treat hemorrhoids. In traditional practice, fresh leaf is inserted into the nostrils to relieve nasal congestion or placed in boiling water as a steam bath for menstrual pain or after childbirth. Warmed leaves may be applied externally as a poultice to relieve inflammation and aqueous infusions administered per rectum or applied as a lotion to treat hemorrhoids.  African Artemisia afra foliage was smoked by many Indian tribes to induce visionary states during religious ceremonies. It is a strong narcotic, analgesic and antihistamine. It is an excellent smoke or smoke-mix, reputed for its hallucinogenic effects and psychoactive properties. In Central America and the Caribbean Islands, it is dried and smoked along with Cannabis sativa as an aphrodisiac.  Volatile oils from the plant resulted in significant activity against Aspergillus ochraceus, A. niger, A. parasiticus, Candida albicans, Alternaria alternata, Geotrichum candidum, and Penicillium citrium

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_afra
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantab/artemisafra.htm
http://www.herbgarden.co.za/mountainherb/article_wildeals.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Artemisia annua

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

Common Names :Sweet Wormwood,  Sweet Annie,  Sweet Sagewort or Annual Wormwood, Qing Hao

Habitat : Artemisia annua is native to temperate Asia, but naturalized throughout the world.
It occurs naturally as part of a steppe vegetation in the northern parts of Chahar and Suiyuan provinces in China, at 1000 to 1500 m above sea level.

Description:
Artemisia annua has fern-like leaves, bright yellow flowers, and a camphor-like scent. Its height averages about 2 m tall, and the plant has a single stem, alternating branches, and alternating leaves which range 2.5–5 cm in length. It is cross-pollinated by wind or insects. It is a diploid plant with chromosome number, 2n=18
CLICK & SEE   THE PICTURES...

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, succeeding in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. A fast-growing annual plant, it is tall but neat in habit with a handsome fragrant foliage and is useful for filling gaps at the back of a border. It has become a weed of waste places in many areas of the world. The plant is extremely vigorous and essentially disease and pest free. Qing Hao is a determinate short-day plant. Non-juvenile plants are very responsive to photoperiodic stimulus and flower about two weeks after induction. The critical photoperiod seems to be about 13.5 hours, but there are likely to be photoperiod x temperature interactions. In Lafayette Indiana, USA (40°21’N) plants flower in early September with mature seeds produced in October. The plant is not adapted to the tropics because flowering will be induced when the plants are very small. Most collections of artemisia derive from natural stands with highly variable artemisinin content, some as low of 0.01%. Selections from Chinese origin vary from 0.05 to 0.21%. Swiss researcher N. Delabays reports a clonal selection derived from Chinese material which produces 1.1% artemisin but is very late flowering; proprietary hybrids have been obtained with somewhat lower content but flower earlier. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and plant out in late spring or early summer. Alternatively, the seed can be sown late spring in situ

Edible Uses: An essential oil in the leaves is used as a flavouring in spirits such as vermouth.

Medicinal Uses:
Qing Ho, better known in the West as sweet wormwood, is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine. An aromatic anti-bacterial plant, recent research has shown that it destroys malarial parasites, lowers fevers and checks bleeding.  Also used for heat stroke. Used as an infusion.  Externally the leaves are poulticed for nose bleeds, bleeding rashes, and sores.  Research in Thailand and the US shows that A. annua, in the preparation Artesunate, is an effective antimalarial against drug-resistant strains of the disease. Clinical trials have shown it to be 90% effective and more successful than standard drugs. In a trial of 2000 patients, all were cured of the disease. The seeds are used in the treatment of flatulence, indigestion and night sweats.
TCM:
Indications: summer colds, sweatless fevers, malaria, nocturnal sweats, heat excess.  An excellent refrigerant remedy in ailments of “empty-hot” excess.

Sweet Wormwood was used by Chinese herbalists in ancient times to treat fever, but had fallen out of common use, but was rediscovered in 1970’s when the Chinese Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergency Treatments (340 AD) was found. This pharmacopeia contained recipes for a tea from dried leaves, prescribed for fevers (not specifically malaria).

Other Uses:
Essential; Herbicide; Miscellany.

The plant is used in China as a medium for growing Aspergillus which is used in brewing wine. The substances mentioned above in the medicinal uses, used in the treatment of malaria, also show marked herbicidal activity. The plant yields 0.3% essential oi. This has an agreeable, refreshing and slightly balsamic odour and has been used in perfumery.
Known Hazards  : Skin contact with the plant can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people. The pollen is extremely allergenic.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_annua
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+annua

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Southernwood

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

Common Names :Southernwood is known by many other names including Old Man, Boy’s Love, Oldman Wormwood, Lover’s Plant, Appleringie, Garderobe, Our Lord’s Wood, Maid’s Ruin, Garden Sagebrush, European Sage, Lad’s Love, Southern Wormwood, Sitherwood and Lemon Plant

Habitat :   Southernwood is found in Europe, the genus Artemisia was named for the goddess Artemis.

Description :
Southernwood is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is a flowering plant.It forms a small bushy shrub, which is widely cultivated by gardeners. The grey-green leaves are small, narrow and feathery. The small flowers are yellow. It can easily be propagated by cuttings, or by division of the roots.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 11-Mar It is in flower from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.

Cultivation :
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a well-drained one that is not too rich. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.3 to 7.6. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants succeed in maritime gardens. Southernwood is often grown in the herb garden, the leaves are very aromatic. It is best to cut the plant back fairly hard every spring in order to keep it compact and encourage plenty of new growth. The plant rarely produces flowers in British gardens. A good companion plant for cabbages. It is also a good plant to grow in the orchard, where it can help to reduce insect pests. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 2 months at 15°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. Once the seedlings are more than 15cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or summer. Cuttings of young wood 8cm long, May in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame

Edible Uses:
The young shoots have a bitter, lemony flavour and are used in small quantities as a flavouring in cakes, salads and vinegars. A tea is made from the young bitter shoots

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic;  AntisepticCholagogue;  Deobstruent;  EmmenagogueStomachic;  Tonic.

Southernwood has a long history of domestic herbal use, though it is now used infrequently in herbal medicine. It is a strongly aromatic bitter herb that improves digestion and liver function by increasing secretions in the stomach and intestines, it stimulates the uterus and encourages menstrual flow, lowers fevers, relaxes spasms and destroys intestinal worms. The herb, and especially the young flowering shoots, is anthelmintic, antiseptic, cholagogue, deobstruent, emmenagogue, stomachic and tonic. The main use of this herb is as an emmenagogue, though it is also a good stimulant tonic and has some nervine principle[4]. It is sometimes given to young children in order to expel parasitic worms and externally it is applied to small wounds in order to stop them bleeding and help them to heal. The herb is also used externally in aromatic bathes and as a poultice to treat skin conditions. Southernwood should be used internally with caution, see the notes above on toxicity. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, since it can encourage menstrual flow

Southernwood is antiseptic and kills intestinal worms. It was used to treat liver, spleen and stomach problems and was believed by the 17th century herbalist Culpeper to encourage menstruation. It is seldom used medicinally today, except in Germany, where poultices are placed on wounds, splinters and skin conditions and it is employed occasionally to treat frostbite. Its constituents have been shown to stimulate the gallbladder and bile, which improves digestion and liver functions.  An infusion of the leaves is said to work as a natural insect repellent when applied to the skin or if used as a hair rinse is said to combat dandruff.

Southernwood encourages menstruation, is antiseptic and kills intestinal worms.  It was used to treat liver, spleen and stomach problems.    The leaves are mixed with other herbs in aromatic baths and is said to counter sleepiness.

Other Uses:
It can be very useful when grown in a chicken run as it helps to keep the chickens in tip top condition and helps to prevent them from ‘Feather-Picking’ (which can be lethal as they can very quickly become cannibalistic) as it helps to prevent infestation of mites and other insects that pester chickens.

A yellow dye can be extracted from the branches of the plant, for use with wool. Its dried leaves are used to keep moths away from wardrobes. Burned as an incense, southernwood guards against trouble of all kinds, and the smoke drives away snakes (Culpeper 1653). The volatile oil in the leaves is responsible for the strong, sharp, scent which repels moths and other insects. It was customary to lay sprays of the herb amongst clothes, or hang them in closets, and this is the origin of southernwood’s French name, “garderobe” (“clothes-preserver”). Judges carried posies of southernwood and rue to protect themselves from prisoners’ contagious diseases, and some church-goers relied on the herb’s sharp scent to keep them awake during long sermons.

The pungent, scented leaves and flowers are used in herbal teas. Young shoots were used to flavor pastries and puddings. In Italy, it is used as a culinary herb.

Known Hazards:
Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, 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 supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+abrotanum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southernwood
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm
http://www.sunnygardens.com/garden_plants/artemisia/artemisia_3021.php
http://hsb.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dataja:Artemisia_abrotanum_-_plants_(aka).jpg