Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

    Cina maritima

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    absinthium cina, a. maritima


    The word derives from the Latin "absinthium", which is in turn a stylization of the Greek "αψινθιον" (apsinthion). Some claim that the word means "undrinkable" in Greek, but it may instead be linked to the Persian root "spand" or "aspand", or the variant "esfand", which may have been, rather, Peganum harmala, a variety of rue- another famously bitter herb. That this particular plant was commonly burned as a protective offering may suggest that its origins lie in the reconstructed Proto-Into-European root "*spend", meaning "to perform a ritual" or "make an offering". Whether the word was a borrowing from Persian into Greek, or rather from a common ancestor is unclear.


    Traditional name

    Synonyms---Sea Wormwood, Wormseed. Santonica. Semen Sanctum. Semen Cinae. Semen Contra. Semen Santonici. Artemesia Lercheana. Artemisia maritima, var. Stechmanniana. Artemisia maritima, var. pauciflora. Artemesia Chamaemelifolia.
    (Italian) Semenzina.
    German: Wurmsamen     Wurmsaat

    Used parts

    flower heads


    Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Asteridae / Synandrae; Asterales; Compositae / Asteraceae - Composites / Daisy or Sunflower Family


    Original proving

    Introduced in Homoeopathy by Hahnemann in 1829. Allen's Encyclop. Mat. Med. Vol. III, 307.

    Description of the substance

    The Levant Wormseed, largely imported into Britain, is derived from a variety of the Sea Wormwood. Several species of Wormwood are mentioned by Dioscorides as being effective as a vermifuge, one of which was reported as growing in the country of the Santones in Gaul. Its ancient reputation has been maintained in modern times, for the universally employed vermifuge Santonin (the very name derived from classic days) is produced from Santonica - popularly called Wormseed - which consists of the minute, dried, unexpanded flower-heads of a Russian variety of the Sea Wormwood (Artemisia maritima, var. Stechmanniana, Bess.). This variety, which some botanists consider to be a distinct species, under the name of A. Cina (Berg.), or A. chamaemelifolia (Vill.), grows in profusion in Siberia, Turkestan and Chinese Mongolia. The greater part of the Wormseed is used in Turkestan, where it grows in enormous quantities in the desert of the Kirghiz, especially near the town of Chimkent, where a factory has been erected in which large quantities of Santonin are produced from the Wormseed collected in the vicinity, not more than 10 per cent of the drug being now exported in the crude state, in which condition it is known in this country as Levant Wormseed.
    The plant is low and shrubby, throwing up a number of erect stems on which the little greenish-yellow, oblong flower-heads are borne. Each head is about 1/8 inch long and 1/16 inch in diameter, and contains three to five minute, tubular flowers. In July and August, before the flowers expand, they are stripped from the stems and dried, being brought into Chimkent by the Kirghiz and other tribes.