Herbs of the Holyland by Nissim Krispil

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Shrubby wormwood
Common name:

Shrubby wormwood

Synonym name:

white wormwood

Hebrew name:

לענה שיחנית

Scientific name:

Artemisia arborescens


Asteraceae, Compositae

Arabic name:

0.6 - 1 m
Flowering color:
Flowering period:
Growing areas:
According to ancient stories the Crusaders in their travels to the holy land brought the plant to Israel. Interestingly, the tree wormwood is growing near the Crusader sites: Nimrod fortress area and near the Banias river, Upper Galilee, near the Montfort groves in Naftali Mountains, near Fort Hunin at the Western Galilee, in the Carmel and on sandstone hills between Caesarea and Tantura.
The shrubby (or tree) wormwood is more popularly known in her Arab name "shiba". The shrubby wormwood is a branched shrub very common in house gardens but can be hardly seen in the wild. Its leaves are cut and pinnate. All parts of the plant are covered with dense silvery hairs that contain essential oil with a strong odor. The flowers color is yellow. in the folk medicine the tree wormwood is known to be helpful in balancing the female cycle, it also helps to increase appetite, it stimulates and strengthens, helps digestion, prevents abdominal pain and diarrhea, cramps and nausea.


For treating diarrhea, gastrointestinal disorders and against stomach worms 
Dip one two twigs of wormwood, fresh or dry in a cup of boiling water, set aside for about 10 minutes and drink.
The origin of the Arab name "shiba" comes from the whitening appearance of the plant that reminds an aging man's (saba) white hair. 
Rabbi Rafael Ohana who gathered medical advises from Assyria, Persia Yemen and more in his book "children view", writes about the wormwood: "If you drink wormwood in hot wine, expand urine and remove drunkenness, drink in vinegar, heal throat sickness, mixed with honey will cure things under the tongue. Wormwood mixed with bitter cow plant, will benefit ringing in the ears ".
 Moroccan Jews like to drink wormwood brew in the cold winter. They ascribe the plant qualities of heating. According to their tradition the wormwood tree opens appetite, diuretics and effective for treating diarrhea. Yemenite Jews used to wash their hair with the plant for Preventing Hair Loss. The Jews of Tunis and Algiers add the herb to their tea for prevention of gastrointestinal disorders and against stomach worms. In the Vegan medicine the wormwood tree is used to balance the female cycle, increase appetite, stimulates and strengthens, helps digestion, prevents abdominal pain, cramps and nausea.