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Indian Wormwood
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Indian Wormwood
P Native Unknown Photo: Angela Pangkam
Common name: Indian Wormwood, Mugwort • Garo: Khel-bijak • Hindi: majtari, mastaru, buer, charmar • Kannada: machi-patri, manchapatri, davana, manjipatri • Malayalam: tiru-nitripach-cha, appa, damanakam • Manipuri: ꯂꯩꯕꯥꯛꯉꯧ Leibakngou • Nepali: तिते पाति Titepati • Sanskrit: agnidamani, bahukantaka, damanaka • Tamil: machipatchai, machipattiri • Telugu: machi-patri, adavi-dhavanamu, davanamu • Urdu: arthamasia, baranjasif
Botanical name: Artemisia indica    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Artemisia indica var. nepalensis, Artemisia asiatica

Indian Wormwood is a perennial herb, or subshrubs, 80-150 cm tall, much branched, sparsely finely velvet-hairy or becoming hairless. Leaves are shortly stalked or stalkless; leaf blade below densely gray arachnoid woolly, above gray or yellowish woolly or becoming hairless. Lowermost leaves ovate or oblong-ovate, 6-12 × 3-8 cm, 1 or 2-pinnately cut; distal lobes larger; segments 3 or 4 pairs, winged at midvein. Middle stem leaves ovate, oblong-ovate, or elliptic, 5-8 × 3-5 cm, 1 or 2-pinnately parted; segments 3 or 4 pairs; distal lobe larger; lobes elliptic-lanceshaped, linear-lanceshaped, or linear, 10-20 × 3-5 mm; lobules deeply sawtoothed, pointed or tapering apically. Uppermost leaves pinnatipartite; leaflike bracts 3-lobed or entire. Flower-heads are stalkless or short-stalked, erect, borne in broadly conical, almost leafless panicle with obliquely spreading, up to 18 cm long branches. Involucre ovoid, oblong-ovoid, or broadly ovoid, 3-4 × about 2 mm; phyllaries finely velvet-hairy to hairless. Florets are 15-20, yellowish, all fertile. Marginal female florets 4-10; flower tubular, ± glandular, 2-toothed. Disk florets are 8-12, bisexual, basally glandular. Achenes are brown, oblong or obovoid, about 1.25 mm. Indian Wormwood is found in India and East Asia. It is found in the Himalayas at altitudes of 300-2400 m. Flowering: August-October.
Medicinal uses: An infusion of leaves is used in the treatment of nervous and spasmodic affections, in asthma and in diseases of the brain. This infusion is also considered to be helpful in improving the appetite. The juice of the plant is used in Nepal to treat diarrhoea, dysentery and abdominal pains. It is used as an eyewash where it is said to relieve the burning sensation in conjunctivitis. A paste of the plant is applied externally to treat wounds. The roots are antiseptic and are a tonic for the kidneys.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh

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