African wormwood is a native of South Africa and, although commonly found in that area, it is a relatively new species (and oil) to the United States. It’s one of the oldest plants used by South Africans and it is often found in the herb garden.
All parts of the plant are used for various purposes. The essential oil has a green-herbal aroma.
Common English Name: African wormwood, wild lanyana.
Botanical Name: Artemisia afra.
Plant Family: Asteraceae.
Method of Extraction: Steam distillation of the leaves.
Origin: South Africa, although it can grow as far north as Ethiopia.
Plant Description: A thick, bushy plant which tends to grow in clumps. It has thick, woody stems, with fern-like leaves, and creamy-yellow flowers in the summer. A sweet, sickly aroma is emitted by the plant if it is bruised or injured in any way.
Main Chemical Components: Monoterpenes.
Uses: Moisturize skin, to make skin glow.
Fun Fact: Known by the name wilde-als in Afrikaans.
Cautions for Use: Avoid in pregnancy. Avoid use with babies and young children. Toxic in large doses. Use with caution when applying to the skin, even when used in dilution.