-Jo Franks

The International Herb Association has declared the genus Artemisia as herb of the year for 2014. There are 2 herbs from the Artemisia genus on the School of Natural Healings 100 herb list. Artemisia tridentate, whose common name is desert sage and Artemisia absinthium or wormwood.

Artemisia tridentate or desert sage is a plant that grows abundantly here in Utah. After a summer rain it fills the air with its pleasant aroma. It is used as a tonic and blood cleanser and to help to regulate female issues. The branches of this plant are bound together and used as smudge sticks to clear the air when burned.


Artemisia absinthium or wormwood is usually used in combination with other herbs. It will expel worms and is a good liver tonic and digestive aid. A tincture made from the fresh leaves makes a good liniment for sore muscles, sprains and bruises. The dried leaves have been hung in pantries and storage areas to keep bugs away.


Both of these herbs are very bitter. Use a teaspoon per cup of boiling water and steep for 30 minutes. A cold infusion is best when using desert sage. Leave to steep a few hours or overnight.


Jo Francks is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also a Holistic Iridologist and Quantum Touch practitioner.