Southernwood is also known as Lad’s love , Southern wormwood, slovenwood,Eberreis( German),Aurone(Frence),abrótano macho (Spanish),ábrodd(Swedish).Its scientific name is Artemisia abrotanum. It is one of the species of Sunflower family.It is native to Eurasia and Africa.Southernwood prefers full sun in dry,nutritious and porous soil.
It leaves are finely-divided, grey green ,narrow and feathery. Its flowers are yellow. It was used as an air freshener or strewing herb. Southernwood fruit is a small and inconspicuous brown nut.The pungent, scented leaves and flowers are used in herbal teas.
Uses of Southernwood
Southernwood mainly used in herbal medicine. It leaves (fresh and dried) are used but leaves should be collected before the flowering. Southernwood was used traditionally for cramps, urinary disorders,menstrual pain and cough as well as antidote against snake bites or other poisonous animals. It also used in diarrhoea, bronchitis and other upper respiratory infections. Externally, Southernwood can be used in the form of a decoction ,swellings,abrasions and to stop bleeding and promote healing. It is a good stimulant tonic and possess some nervine principal.
Southernwood is also used to flavour cakes in Italy. It is a good choice to flavour aromatic and rather fat meat, the bitter constituents improving digestibility and stimulating the appetite. According to Modern Herbal,Culpepper says:” Discorides saith that the seed bruised,heated in swarm water and drunk helpeth those that are troubled in the cramps or convulsions of the sinews or the sciatica. The same taken in wine is an antidote and driveth away serpents and other venomous creatures, as also the smell of the herb being burnt doth the same. The oil thereof anointed on the backbone before the fits of agues come,preventeth them: it taketh away inflammation of the eyes, if it be put with some part of a wasted quince or boiled in a few crumbs of bread, and applied. Boiled in barley meal it taketh away pimples… that rise in the face or other parts of the body. The seed as well as the dried herb is often given to kill worms in children. “
Kingdom : Plantae
Phylum : Angiosperms
Order : Asterales
Family : Asteraceae
Genus : Artemisia
Species : A.abrotanum
Royal Horticulture Society
Modern Herbal by Botanical. com