Santa-Maria feverfew, (Parthenium hysterophorus)
Parthenium hysterophorus commonly known as Santa Maria, Broom, bitter broom, parthenium, carrot grass, white top or congress grass, is an annual, erect, herbaceous plant belonging to the family Asteracae (compositae).
The origin of parthenium is considered to be from Mexico, America, Trinidad and Argentina.
The Parthenium hysterophorus can grow up to 1.5–2 m tall and has a deep root. It has branching stems that become woody and hairy with age. The leaves are alternate, finely lobed, covered with fine, soft hair, 3–20 cm long and 2–10 cm wide.
Once stem elongation begins, smaller leaves are produced and the plant becomes multi-branched at its extremities. The entire plant has a bluish-green or grayish-green appearance. The flower heads are small (4 mm wide) and numerous in open panicles, creamy white, with 5 petals.
A single plant of Parthenium hysterophorus produces an average of 15,000 seeds and can generate up to 100,000 seeds, making it one of the most prolific plants. After 8-10 years, seeds buried deeper in the soil still have a better chance of germinating than seeds left on the top.
Medicinal uses for this species include treatment of stomach and bile problems, as well as intestinal fever, indigestion and parasitic infestations.
Aside from skin conditions including acne, hives, herpes, and scabies, it can also be used to treat other disorders like aljorra, leprosy, and baldness. In addition to being recommended as an emmenagogue and a menstrual corrective or flow, it has been shown to be effective in the treatment of fever, discomfort, inflammation, and convulsions. To treat rheumatism and wounds, or as an antitussive, or to treat type 2 diabetes.
Among its many uses, according to the National Institutes of Health, is as an analgesic, antidote, antirheumatic, antineuralgic, and treatment for alcoholic empineuritis. The Pharmaceutical Society of Mexico identifies its applications as analgesic, antidote, antineuralgic, antirheumatic, joint rheumatism, and muscle rheumatism.
Some people report that the decoction of the plant is abortifacient. It has been shown that pollen can cause allergies and cause the so-called “Santa Maria fever” and rhinitis. It can also cause contact dermatitis.
Both fresh and dried forms of this herb are available. It can be consumed as a tea, tincture, pill, or utilized in the preparation of natural insect repellant.
Brew one cup of boiling water, add around a quarter cup of fresh or dried leaves and blossoms, and allow to steep for five minutes before straining and cooling.
NOTE: We highly recommend that before using any herbal medications you should consult your health care provider or medical doctor for professional advice.
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