Filed under: Herbal. Tagged as: Herbal.
Dry the leaves, crumble them, and store with woollens to keep the moths away. Its ether-like smell is repugnant to them. Southernwood tea is also prescribed when people are convalescing from the flu: it helps combat the bodily weakness and pains in the limbs suffered with this wretched illness. It can tone up the skin, too, and the extract, santonin, can be a helpful rub to sufferers from rheumatic aches.
Reputedly, no snake will ever enter a garden where wormwood or southernwood is planted. Legend says that wormwood sprang up along the path taken by the Serpent on his way out of Eden as a barrier to any return. It is certainly a native of Iran and surrounding areas below the 8,000-foot level. St John the Baptist’s girdle in the wilderness was made from wormwood stems, and the name has become associated with bitterness and self-imposed discipline.
In humid weather, southernwood and wormwood can act as strong insect repellents in the garden. Moisture on their leaves releases the ether-like scent so unpleasing to insects. Amongst roses, southernwood can act like garlic chives, keeping aphis away.