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Schwabe News Volume 4 | Issue 6 | June 2013

Ambrosia artemisiaefoli

 

It is commonly known as rag-weed or roman worm-wood or by the botanical name Ambrosia absinthifolia.  It is an annual herb, extremely variable, from 1 to 3 feet high, erect, simple, and then branching; pubescent stem.  The leaves are thin, finely cut, opposite and alternating, twice pinnatifid, smooth above and hairy beneath.  The flowers are greenish-white1.

The attention of the drug was high because of its cytotoxic compound.  It has many phytochemicals, cytotoxic compounds, psilostachyin and dihydroparthenolide; sesquiterpenes, lactones, guaianolides, cumanin, dihydrocumanin and peruvin; germacranolides, artemisiifolin and isabelin.  This plant also contains psilostachyin and psilostachyin C.  Its pollen grains contain hydrocarbons, sterols, triterpinoids, ambrosic acid, etc. Native in North America, it is found in India in Khasi hills, in Meghalaya and also in Lucknow (U.P.).2 It has become an invasive species in some European countries, and in Japan, where it is known as butakusa —pig grass.

Basically the drug is for allergic rhinitis and causes pollinosis in crude. It is also used in hyposensitization and diagnosis of allergies. Isolation of poisonous substance – ambrosic acid- from pollens and determination of its crystal structure have helped in scientific aspect 3.

The mother tincture is prepared from the whole plant with alcohol content about 65% 4. It is covered by Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of United States.

Reports suggest its use in inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, early in the autumn.  At first dryness, then watery discharges, finally involving the frontal sinuses and the conjunctival membrane.  The irritation extended to the trachea and bronchial tubes, amounting to severe asthmatic attacks 5.

It is used in hay-fever, whooping cough, pain in the chest, stuffed nose, red and swollen with profuse watery discharge or sniff and dry feeling.  There may be nose- bleed 6.   Hay-fever with intolerable itching of the eyelids, watery coryza, sneezing and watery discharge, irritation of trachea and bronchial tube with asthmatic attacks.  It is potentially an important drug and may be useful as cytotoxic agent 7.

Dose:  Mother tincture may be given 1 to 10 drops and up to 3x 6. In epistaxis 10 drops in water during after bleeding and in hay fever high potencies 7.

 

References:
  1. Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, Southeastern, PA, Homeopathic Pharmacopeia Convention of the United States (available by subscription at http://www.hpus.com/).
  2. R. N. Chopra et al., Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants, Publication and Information Directorate, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
  3. R.P. Rastogi & B.N. Mehrotra, Compendium of Indian Medicinal Plants, Publication and Information Directorate, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
  4. P. N. Varma, Indu Vaid, Encyclopaedia of Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia, Updated edition 2007, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
  5. E. P. Anshutz, New, Old and Forgotten Remedies, 2nd Edition, RadarOpus 1.33, Archibel S.A. Rue Fontaine St. Pierre 1E, Zoning Industriel de la Fagne, 5330 Assesse, Belgium.
  6. A. L. Blackwood, A Manual of Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacology, Reprint Edition 1995, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
  7. W. Boericke, New Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica & Repertory [with Relationship of Remedies], Second Re-Augmented & Revised Edition Based on Ninth Edition, Reprint Edition 2002, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.