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Keywords: Medicinal herbs, Artemisia

PAL Question:

Can you tell me about an herb called Estafiate (I think it's Spanish)? What would the English name be, and how is it used?

View Answer:

There isn't always a straightforward link between a common name and a specific scientific name, but it seems that Estafiate usually refers to Artemisia ludoviciana, possibly the subspecies mexicana, which goes by several different English common names, including white sagebrush, prairie sage, Louisiana sage, and Mexican wormwood. The USDA taxonomy website has information about this plant, as does their general plant database.

Duke's Handbook of Medicinal Plants of Latin America by James A. Duke (CRC Press, 2009) lists Estafiate as Artemisia ludoviciana and several other synonymous names. Its diverse uses include analgesic, antiseptic, and fungicidal but it also has dermatitigenic and carcinogenic properties and is elsewhere (FDA) classified as a poisonous plant. One should never attempt to use a medicinal plant without full medical knowledge and consultation with a health professional! The plant has been used by Native American (Blackfoot, Apache, Cheyenne and other tribes)as well as Mexican practitioners.

Another Spanish common name for the same or similar plant is Ajenjo, which may refer to Artemisia absinthium, which is the same plant from which Absinthe is historically derived. University of Texas at El Paso has a website with information about this other species of Artemisia.

Season All Season
Date 2012-04-28
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December 12 2014 11:33:49