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Southernwood Herb - Uses And Side Effects

Other Names : Appleringie, boy's love, God's tree, lad's love, maiden's ruin, and old man.


Southernwood has an obnoxious odor that fends off moths and insects. Some people apply it to their skin and clothes for this effect-a use that explains the plant's unofficial name, Garde Robe.

A perennial shrub, southernwood is native to southern Europe. Some people think its genus name, Artemisia, comes from Artemis, the Greek goddess of hunting and chastity. Artemis was identified with Diana, the goddess of nature, the forests, and the moon. The genus has more than 180 species, including A. absinthium (wormwood), A. vulgaris (mugwort), and A. abrotanum (southernwood).

Description of the herb Southernwood

The plant can grow to a height of three feet with a spread of two feet. The woody stem has many soft, branching shoots covered with strong, feathery, gray-green leaves. The tiny flowers, which appear in late summer, are golden yellow.

Southernwood's leaves, tops, shoots, and seeds are used medicinally. The branches and leaves produce a yellow dye sometimes used for coloring wool.

Common doses of Southernwood

Southernwood is available as tea, oil, and extract. Some experts reconunend the following doses:

  • As dried herb, 2 to 4 grams in hot water taken orally three times daily.
  • As an extract (1: 1 in 25% alcohol), 2 to 4 milliliters taken orally three times daily.

Uses of Southernwood herb

Specifically, southernwood may help to :-

  • As an antiseptic
  • Digestive problems,
  • Fever
  • Hair loss
  • Pinworms, tapeworms, and other worm infections
  • To promote menstruation
  • To stimulate the uterus
  • Wounds

Side effects of Southernwood

Call your health care practitioner if you experience unusual symptoms while using southernwood.

Are there any interactions?

Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking.

Important points to remember

  • Don't use southernwood if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Know that little information on this herb's benefits or dangers exists.

What the research shows

Clinical trials don't support southernwood's medicinal use. Also, related herbs used for the same purposes have gained popularity over southernwood. Although some herbalists still recommend this herb to stimulate menstruation, medical experts say you're better off avoiding it until researchers gather more information.

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