Sea Wormwood (Artemisia maritima)

Shrub
Seriphidium maritimum. (L.)Soj‡k.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Sea Wormwood
Artemisia maritima
Compositae

The growing shoots are said to repel insects and mice[6, 18, 20], they have also been used as a strewing herb[4, 14]. An infusion is said to discourage slugs and insects[14, 18].

  • Medicinal Use

    Sea wormwood is not much used in herbal medicine, though it is often used domestically. Its medicinal virtues are similar to wormwood, A. absinthum, though milder in their action. It is used mainly as a tonic to the digestive system, in treating intermittent fevers and as a vermifuge[4]. The leaves and flowering shoots are anthelmintic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge[4, 145]. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use[4].

    The unexpanded floral heads contain the vermicide ‘santonin'[218].

  • Edible Use

    The leaves are occasionally used as a flavouring[183]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

  • Cautionary Notes

    The following notes are from a report on the closely related A. absinthum, they quite possibly also apply to this species. The plant is poisonous if used in large quantities[20, 61]. Even small quantities have been known to cause nervous disorders, convulsions, insomnia etc[222]. Just the scent of the plant has been known to cause headaches and nervousness in some people[169].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making sure that the compost does not dry out[200]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn[200].
Succeeds in any soil but prefers a poor dry soil with a warm aspect[37]. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position[1, 200]. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil[245]. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.0 to 7.6. Dislikes shade. Established plants are very drought tolerant[190, 200]. Tolerates maritime exposure[190]. The whole plant has a sweet aromatic smell[245]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
Much of Europe, including Britain, east to central Asia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.