Home Forums African Health & Wellness AFRICA HEALTH AND WELLNESS; ARTEMISIA AFRA.

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    Victory Amah
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      Africa is a continent with so many herbs and plants, while some are edible and serve the purpose of feeding, some others serve medicinal purposes and are even introduced into contemporary medicine.
      Artemisia Afra is the only species in its genus that is indigenous to the African continent. It has very high popularity and is used for diverse things in African traditional medicine. They have been used for coughs, colds, influenza, and malaria.
      There is scientific evidence proving its antimicrobial, anti-depressant, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. It was also tested in laboratory studies as a potential treatment for COVID-19, which made it gain global interest. The extracts had some degree of inhibitory activity against feline coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2, but this fact is still inconclusive.


      The traditional uses and increasing popularity of African wormwood have resulted in several commercial herbal products. But with insufficient clinical data, it’s not yet known whether African wormwood is a treasure chest of new drugs.

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

      It grows in clumps, with ridged, woody stems, reaching from 0.5 meters to 2 meters in height. The leaves are dark green, of soft texture, and similar in shape to fern leaves. The undersides of the leaves are a lighter green and are covered with white bristles. Artemisia afra blossoms in late summer, producing large bracts of butter-colored flowers, each approximately 3 to 5 millimeters in diameter. Artemisia afra exudes a pungent, sweet smell when any part of the plant is bruised.

      Artemisia afra grows across a wide geographic area, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. It grows primarily in damp regions, such as by the side of streams, and also in transitional areas between ecosystems.

      Artemisia afra is known by a variety of names, primarily due to the number of native dialects in regions where it grows. Langana represents a Sotho-derived name for Artemisia afra.

       

      It is also used in the alcoholic beverages absinthe and vermouth; it is known to be used for the reduction of swelling, treatment of digestive problems, intestinal worms, and skin infections.

       

      Wormwood can be grown from seeds or purchased as a supplement and a dried herb. Despite its possible benefits, pure untreated wormwood contains a chemical called thujone that can become toxic and cause hallucinations and seizures.

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