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Plant Information

Scientific Name: Artemisia afra
Alternative Names: Umhlonyane (Zu), Lengana (Sotho)

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Artemisia afra
Artemisia afra


  • Perennial
  • Indigenous to South Africa.
  • Rigid stems, up to 1.8m, grows in clumps.
  • Leaves - soft, dark green, covered in whitish bristles.
  • Blossoms in late summer - bracts of inconspicuous, butter-colored flowers.
  • Deciduous. Full sun. Drought tolerant.
  • Prune at the end of winter to encourage new growth in spring.

Parts Used

  • Roots, stems, leaves.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Enemas, poultices, vapor, infusions, body washes, lotions, smoked, snuffed or drunk as a tea. Bitter taste.
  • Blood purifier - acne and boils.
  • Colds, headaches, coughs, fever, earache, malaria, diabetes meilitus, intestinal parasites, stomach disorders, loss of appetite, colic.
  • Insert fresh leaves into the nostrils to clear blocked nasal passages and place leaves in socks for sweaty feet.
  • Anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, pain-relieving - wormwood dressing of hot leaves bound over sprains, arthritic and rheumatic swellings.
  • Tea - disinfect cuts and grazes.

Other Uses

  • Moth, insect and flea repellent.
  • Dried powdered wormwood deters ants.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff

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