Artemisia Afra, commonly known as African Wormwood, in English, Wilde Als in Afrikaans, Umhlonyane in Zulu, and Lengana in Sotho and Tswana, is a highly aromatic perennial herb that can grow up to 2 metres in height.
- Wilde Als is one of the most widely used traditional medicines in South Africa.
- Wilde Als is a tonic herb that is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antidepressant.
- Wilde Als can be used as a tea, body wash, poultice or vapour to treat respiratory ailments like colds, headaches, earache, bronchial complaints, croup, whooping cough, measles, fevers, malaria and sore throat. It is a common practice by those who know, to insert a rolled piece of fresh Wilde Als leaf into the nostrils to clear blocked nasal passages.
- Wilde Als relieves gastro and intestinal ailments like indigestion, dyspepsia, colic, loss of appetite and is supportive for diabetes.
- Wilde Als is anthelmintic – it expels intestinal worms.
- Wilde Als has pain relieving actions – a Wormwood dressing of warmed leaves can be wrapped around sprains, arthritic and rheumatic swellings, or layered and wrapped around the stomach to relieve a stomach ache. Place the leaves in a plastic bag and cover with boiling water. Once they have warmed up, remove and place between two pieces of lint / gauze and tie in place with a bandage. Remove after a few hours.
- Wilde Als is a blood purifier – and it will clear acne and boils.
- Wilde Als tea can be used as a wash to disinfect cuts and grazes.