UMHLONYANE – Artemisia afra

Named after the Greek goddess Artemis, this soft aromatic shrub is one of the most popular medicinal plants in South Africa

Umhlonyane has been used for decades by traditional healers to treat various illnesses, including respiratory symptoms. It can be consumed with water, used with steam to clear a blocked nose and chest, or inhaled in the plant form.


Used for its multitude of medicinal properties Umhlonyane helps in the treatment of malaria, headaches, intestinal worms and increasing appetite. Heating the leaves and inhaling the vapours helps clear the respiratory tract, thus treating the common cold, cough, sore throat, influenza, and asthma.

It may alleviate pain. This herb has long been sought for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. The herb has been used to treat intestinal worms as far back as Ancient Egypt. This parasite-fighting property is attributed to thujone. Besides thujone, another notable Artemisia afra compound is chamazulene. It acts as an antioxidant and is most concentrated in the essential oils of the plant’s pre-flowering stage. Antioxidants like chamazulene may combat oxidative stress in your body, which is associated with cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and other ailments.

Artemisinin, another plant compound found in wormwood, may help fight inflammation in your body. Prolonged inflammation is associated with several chronic diseases

Due to a lack of research, no specific dosage guidelines for Umhlonyane exist. “When you use Umhlonyane it is always advisable that you use Umhlonyane as a cocktail with other medicinal plants. We believe as friends of the plants it is in the combination of other plants. The best person to tell you how best to use it would be your healer.” Gogo Phepsile Maseko

The information here is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice.