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Artemisia herba-alba

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Template:Use dmy dates Template:Taxobox Artemisia herba-alba (white wormwood) is a perennial shrub in the genus Artemisia that grows commonly on the dry steppes of the Mediterranean regions in Northern Africa (Saharan Maghreb), Western Asia (Arabian Peninsula) and Southwestern Europe.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> It is used as an antiseptic and antispasmodic in herbal medicine.

Contents

Names

Its specific epithet herba-alba means "white herb" in Latin, as its stems and leaves are white and woolly.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> Similarly, it is Template:Lang or Template:Lang in French.

In Arabic, it is Template:Transl (Template:Lang).<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> And it is Template:Transl (Template:Lang) in Old Testament Hebrew.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Ws</ref>

Botanical description

Artemisia herba-alba is a chamaeophyte that grows to Template:Convert. Leaves are strongly aromatic and covered with fine glandular hairs that reflect sunlight giving a grayish aspect to the shrub. The leaves of sterile shoots are grey, petiolate, ovate to orbicular in outline; whereas, the leaves of flowering stems, more abundant in winter, are much smaller.

The flowering heads are sessile, oblong and tapering at base. The plant flowers from September to December.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> The receptacle is naked with 2–5 yellowish hermaphrodite flowers per head.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>

Artemisia herba-alba, the 'white wormwood,' in garden

Phytochemistry

Essential oil of A. herba-alba, from the Sinai Desert, contains mainly 1,8-cineole and appreciable amounts of alpha and beta-thujone as well as other oxygenated monoterpenes including terpinen-4-ol, camphor and borneol.<ref name="Yasphe">Template:Cite journal</ref> Davanone, chrysanthenone and cis-chrysanthenol have been described as major constituents in some populations of A. herba-alba from Morocco<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> and Spain.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> Less common non-head-to-tail monoterpene alcohols have been identified in some populations from Negev desert, such as santolina alcohol and yomogi alcohol.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>

Eudesmanolide and germacranolide sesquiterpenes have been detected in the methanol extract of aerial parts, collected in Egypt.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>

Two bioactive flavonoids, assumed to be hispidulin and cirsiliol, were isolated by chromatography from aerial parts ethyl acetate-extract.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>

Uses

Artemisia herba-alba is good fodder for grazing animals, mainly sheep, and in the Algerian steppes cattle.<ref name="Yasphe"/><ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>

Herbal medicine

Template:Medref This species of sagebrush is widely used in herbal medicine for its antiseptic, vermifuge and antispasmodic properties.<ref name="Yasphe"/> Artemisia herba-alba was reported as a traditional remedy of enteritis, and various intestinal disturbances, among the Bedouins in the Negev desert.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> In fact, essential oil showed antibacterial activity,<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> as well as, antispasmodic activity on rabbits.<ref name="Yasphe"/>

Artemisia herba-alba based teas were used in Iraqi folk medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> An aqueous extract of aerial parts of the plant has shown a hypoglycemic effect in alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits and mice.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref><ref>Template:Cite journal</ref><ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>

Culture

Artemisia herba-alba is thought to be the plant translated as "wormwood" in English-language versions of the Bible (apsinthos in the Greek text). Wormwood is mentioned seven times in the Jewish Bible, always with the implication of bitterness. Wormwood is mentioned once in the New Testament, as the name of a star, also with implications of bitterness.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

References

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External links

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  • This page was last modified on 23 February 2016, at 10:53.
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