Other Common Names: Cudweed sagewort, Silver sagebrush, Istafiate, Iztauhyلtl, Ajenjo del paيs, Estafiate de Castilla
Where is it found? Various species of plants are known commonly as “estafiate” or “istafiate” throughout Mexico and the Southwestern portion of the United States. Due to their great similarity in resemblance, some species are difficult to identify and not all contain exactly the same active principles. For this reason, people should not take any herb known as “estafiate” without prior professional advice, as there is no guarantee that the tea or other herbal product they may intend to ingest is made from the adequate medicinal species. Similar species of the botanical genus Artemisia are used in China in the treatment of Malaria. Unfortunately, the North American species of this genus do not contain seem to contain antimalarial compounds.
Parts of the plant used: Principally the leaves and flowers, and sometimes the stems.
How is it used? The leaves and flowers are steeped in boiling water to make a tea for the treatment of various ailments, most of which are related to the digestive system.
What is it used for? Tea made from leaves and stems is used to treat stomachache (colic), diarrhea, fever, and to expel intestinal worms. Externally, a decoction of the plant is used to treat rheumatism and hemorrhoids due to its purported analgesic and anti -inflammatory properties.
Safety/Precautions •This plant, of which there many species and varieties throughout the western hemisphere, is closely related to wormwood (ajenjo), with which it shares similar properties. •Estafiate seems to be safer than wormwood, at least as a tea for adults, but unfortunately there are no clinical trials to ensure its correct dose or safety. •In any case, treatment with this plant should not be prolonged, as the safety of long term use is presently unknown. •Estafiate contains some chemical compounds known as terpenes that could be toxic to the nervous system should the patient ingest very concentrated forms of the tea. •Estafiate tea should not be ingested by pregnant or lactating women, as well as by small children, especially those under 6 years of age. •Patients suffering from Parkinson’s’ disease or other neural disorders should likewise avoid it, just to be on the safe side.
Disclaimer Before you decide to take any medicinal herb or herbal supplement, be sure to consult with your health care professional first. Avoid self-diagnosis and self-medication: Always be on the safe side!