Author(s): Shabnam Ansari, Yasmeen Shamshi, Qamar Alam Khan
The Unani drug ‘Afsanteen’ of botanical name Artemisia absinthium, Linn. is a perennial plant found in Kashmir, Nepal and mountainous district of India. Dried sample of drug consists of broken stem, twigs, leaves and flower head. Powder form of drug is brownish yellow in colour. Traditionally, ‘afsanteen’ has been used by Unani (Greek) physicians in diverse diseases like jaundice, fever, anorexia, hepatitis, cirrhosis, hepatobiliary obstruction, epilepsy, gout and rheumatism, ascites, haemorrhoids, anal fissures, weak memory, helminthic infestation, Scorpio bite, chronic conjunctivitis, dark circles, eye diseases, otorrhoea, tinea capitis, dyspepsia, indigestion, amenorrhoea, sexual debility and as mosquito and insect repellent etc. This plant contains substance called sesquiterpene lactones; these are strongly insecticidal and give drug bitter taste. The dry leaves and stems contain essential oil, absinthin, anabsin, anabsinthin, artabsin and matricin which have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, strong hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, antidepressant, antiaging and antioxidant activity. This article provide review of common names, temperament, description of plant, pharmacological actions, therapeutic uses, experimental studies, adverse effects, contraindication, dose, corrective, alternative and important compound formulation of Artemisia absinthium through illustrations. Many actions and therapeutic uses of ‘afsanteen’ previously not reported in other articles have also been mentioned in the present paper.