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damanaka - Artemisia sieversiana Willd.

damanaka :

Flowering stems (green/yellow flowers) Photograph by: Mountain Partnership at FAO
Artemisia sieversiana is an annual to biennial plant growing 50 - 150cm tall
The plant is harvested from the wild for medicinal use. The essential oils are extracted and used in proprietary medicines

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Order: Asteraless
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: Artemisia sieversiana

Allied species:

Absinthium sieversianum (Ehrh. ex Willd.) Besser

Artemisia chrysolepis Kitag.

Artemisia koreana Nakai

Artemisia moxa DC.


Sanskrit: Dauna, Agnidamanaka
English: sieversian wormwood
Chinese: 大籽蒿 da zi hao.


Generic name Artemisia is derived from Artemis, which refers to Diana, a 
Greek Goddess. 


Synonyms in Ayurveda: tapodhana, gandhotkata, brahmajata, pushpacamara

The leaves and flowering stems are anthelmintic, deobstruent, emmenagogue, febrifuge and tonic. 


Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a warm sunny dry position. Established plants are drought tolerant[. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer


Seed - surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making sure that the compost does not dry out. 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. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. .


Harvest the young shoots when about10 - 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy


26 terpenoids (21 guaiane-type sesquiterpenes, 3 germacrane-type sesquiterpenes, 1 muurolane-type sesquiterpene, and 1 diterpenoid), 16 sesamin-type lignans, 9 flavonoids, 3 steroids, and 3 alkaloids.


The essential oils from Artemisia sieversiana are used in anti-inflammatory and hemostatic medicines

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Whole plant, ,


Herbs, annual or biennial, 50-150 cm tall, gray pubescent or glabrescent. Basal and middle stem leaves: petiole (1-)2-4 cm; leaf blade broadly ovate or ovate-orbicular, 4-8(-13) × (2-)3-6(-15) cm, 2- or 3-pinnatisect or -partite, segments 2 or 3 pairs, lobules linear or linear-lanceolate, 2-10 × 1-1.5(-2) mm, rarely lacerate, apex acute or obtuse. Uppermost leaves and bracts sessile, pinnatisect or entire, leaves or lobes elliptic-lanceolate or lanceolate. 


Synflorescence a long, narrow panicle to 10-30 × 5-10 cm; branches ± erect, 5-10 cm, remote. Capitula many, remote, pedunculate or ± sessile, subtended by linear bracteoles. Involucre hemispheric or subglobose, (3-)4-6 mm in diam.; receptacle hemispheric, densely white pubescent. Marginal female florets 20-30 in (1 or)2 series; corolla conical, (2-)4-toothed. Disk florets 80-120, bisexual. Achenes oblong. Fl. and fr. Jun-Oct. 2n = 18.

Geographical distribution:

E. Asia - Himalayas from Pakistan to C. Nepal.


Stony ground, especially in Ladakh, and also in dry areas of Nepal, 1500 - 4100 metres

General Use:

A decoction of artemisia sieversiana is helpful in clearing heat, cooling blood and promoting diuresis.

Prescribed with other herbs, artemisia sieversiana can help to treat jaundice.

A decoction of artemisia sieversiana can be taken to ease and relieve joint pain.

Medicated wine with artemisia sieversiana and rice is taken orally to treat malignant sores.

Smashed artemisia sieversiana is taken with rice soup on an empty stomach to treat acute bacillary dysentery.

Prescribed with other herbs, artemisia sieversiana can help to purify globefish poison.

Therapeutic Uses:

The leaves and flowering stems are anthelmintic, deobstruent, emmenagogue, febrifuge and tonic. Externally, they are used as an antiseptic and discutient. 

Systemic Use:

A decoction of the plant, combined with Ajuga lupulina and Ephedra gerardiana, is used as a wash to relieve painful joints. A paste of the roots is applied to boils


One report says that the plant is edible but does not say what part of the plant.


The essential oils from the plant are used in anti-inflammatory and haemostatic medicines

Clinical trials:

1. Phytochemicals and biological activities of Artemisia sieversiana by Shi-Jun Liu, Zhi-Xin Liao, Zhi-Shu Tang, Chun-Li Cui


Tan R.X., Tang H.Q. HUJ and Shuai B. Lignans and sesquiterpene lactones from Artemisia sieversiana and Inula racemosa phytochemistry.1998,49,157-161.


many members of this genus contain potentially allergenic sesquiterpene lactones that can cause skin reactions

Toxicity studies:

Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people

Use in other system of medicine:

The leaves of this plant are widely used in traditional medicine as a decoction for their antivenin, anti-inflammatory, anti-rrheumatic and antimicrobial properties


Artemisia Sieversiana (scientific name: Artemisia sieversiana Willd, also known as sieversian wormwood, Chinese: Bai Hao, 白蒿, 蘩、皤蒿、由胡、莓母、旁勃、白艾蒿), a species of biennial plant in genus Artemisia (Asteraceae family). Native to China, the plant can grow up to 1.5 meters. The whole plant of Artemisia Sieversiana acts as detoxicant, a bitter tonic, antidiarrheal and antibacterial in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) used in treating diseases including dysentery, diarrhea and some skin diseases.

Photos of damanaka -

KEY WORDS: Artemisia sieversiana, damanaka

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