Wormseed, Levant - The Herb

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Wormseed, Levant - Links to Uses, Benefits, Properties, Description, Effects and Details of Wormseed, Levant explanation and other information*

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Common Name/s: Other Name/s: Botanical  name/s:
Levant Wormseed, Wormseed Santonica, Cina, Artemisia Cina

General description and domicile:
Native to Russia, Mongolia and Eastern Europe.

Growing in the arid areas it is a small scrub-like plant that produces very small flower heads each containing no more than five very small yellow flowers.

Warning:
Santonin is very toxic in even small doses. Several fatalities of Santonin Poisoning have been recorded. Wormseed contains up to 5% Santonin so it is potentially fatally toxic as a herb. Do not administer unless supervised by your doctor. Symptoms of Santonin poisoning are: disturbed vision, headaches, nausea, vomiting and in extreme cases convulsions.

Part used and extraction:
The flower heads are harvested before the flowers have fully opened. Most of the harvest is used to produce Santonin, only a small percentage is sold dried. The dried flower heads are called Levant Wormseed as in the early days of exporting to Europe the Europeans incorrectly believed that the minute flower buds were in fact seeds.
 

Remedy preparation:
Concoctions or infusions are exceptionally bitter. The preferred administration has become powdered herb in honey to disguise the taste.
By far the greater use of this important herb is the extracted Santonin which is sold as a pharmacy only drug. Santonin is a popular vermifuge and is prescribed commonly for intestinal worms like roundworm.
 

History:
Artemisia Cina was named after Artemisia, Queen of Persia. The herb is mentioned in ancient Greek and Roman medicine and may even date back to well before that in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It was used by the Greeks for intestinal worms, fevers and digestive complaints.
 

Used for treatment of:

Intestinal worms. The constituent Santonin is effective against roundworm and threadworm.


Properties:
Anthelmintic
Vermifuge

Constituents:

Santonin: A Sesquiterpene Lactone. A bitter crystalline principle primarily obtained from Levant Wormseed, that is odorless and initially tasteless with an extremely bitter finish or aftertaste. Santonin is Anthelmintic and a Vermifuge.

Sesquiterpene lactones: There are thousands of sesquiterpene lactones known. They mostly occur as a combination of several sesquiterpene lactones and are more prevalent in leaves and flowers.

Commonly valued for the digestive bitter benefits sesquiterpene lactones are also anti-inflammatory, antiprotozoal, antibacterial and antimicrobial.

A large majority of sesquiterpene lactones irritate the skin on contact causing dermatitis and often acute inflammation.

Used in China as an infertility agent in men it should not be used in this context as it could cause permanent infertility in men. Sesquiterpenes have antifungal, antibacterial and anaesthetic properties.

It is also thought that they prevent migraines and can be used as antibiotics and to treat Malaria but there is very little in depth testing results available to support these claims.

Lactones: A lactone is an Ester that's functional group has become part of a ring structure with carbon atoms.

Lactones are widely present in the plant kingdom and many are expectorants and febrifuges.

 

 

Cineole: One of the two most important Monoterpene Oxides, the other is Ascaridole, Cineole is one of the most widely distributed constituents amongst plants as an oxidised product of monoterpenes. Cineole is often also called Eucalyptol, named so because it is the major component of Eucalyptus oil.

Cineole is a expectorant widely used in commercial cough lozenges. It has a reputation as a skin irritant amongst many practitioners but recent tests have failed to confirm this.

Artemisin: A Sesquiterpene Lactone with antiparisitic action used to treat malaria. It may also have antitumor activity.

Sesquiterpene lactones: There are thousands of sesquiterpene lactones known. They mostly occur as a combination of several sesquiterpene lactones and are more prevalent in leaves and flowers.

Commonly valued for the digestive bitter benefits sesquiterpene lactones are also anti-inflammatory, antiprotozoal, antibacterial and antimicrobial.

A large majority of sesquiterpene lactones irritate the skin on contact causing dermatitis and often acute inflammation.

Used in China as an infertility agent in men it should not be used in this context as it could cause permanent infertility in men. Sesquiterpenes have antifungal, antibacterial and anaesthetic properties.

It is also thought that they prevent migraines and can be used as antibiotics and to treat Malaria but there is very little in depth testing results available to support these claims.

Lactones: A lactone is an Ester that's functional group has become part of a ring structure with carbon atoms.

Lactones are widely present in the plant kingdom and many are expectorants and febrifuges.

 

 

 

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