7 junio, 2024

Estafiate: what it is, what it is for, preparation and contraindications

What is scamming?

He scam yourself (Artemisia ludoviciana) It is one of the many common names for a perennial herb of North American origin. The word ludoviciana It comes from the Latinization of Louisiana, one of the states in the southeastern region of the United States. It is currently distributed in Mexico, Canada and the United States.

The fresh or dried leaves (and sporadically the flowers) have medicinal use. The pre-Columbian codices reflect the permanence of the species in the life of Mexicans, for a long time. Even today, both the oil and the leaves and flowers are part of the most popular remedies in Mexico.

It is known as «iztauhyatl» in Nahuatl. In Spanish it is known as white artemisa, altamiza, altaniza, artemisia, skunk tail, epazote de castilla, white salvia, prairie salvia, and Louisiana salvia.

Despite the inclusion of «sage» in common synonymy, the plant is not related to it. This is probably because the aroma of the leaves and stem is reminiscent of sage.

Estafiate is recommended for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, pain and diabetes. It belongs to the genus Artemisa, a large and diverse group of plants made up of an approximate average of 300 species.

Seven subspecies are counted in the species Artemisia ludoviciana (according to D D.Keck, scientific authority on his classification). These are: albula (Wooton), candicans (Rydb.), incomplete (Nutt.), ludoviciana, mexican (Willd. ex Spreng.), redolens (A.Gray) and sulcata (Rydb.).

Description and habitat of the stafiate

Stafiate grows on banks along streams and in short- and tall-grass prairies. It thrives on light, sandy to rocky soils below 3,500 m. It can grow up to a meter in height.

The silvery green color that characterizes it comes from the multitude of microscopic, white, short, tangled and woolly hairs that cover it. It tolerates drought and can thrive in moderately shaded places.

The leaves are very variegated, the flowers grow hanging at the top of the stem and are small, green or yellow. It flowers from August to October and the seeds ripen between September and October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).

Most of the time the plant abounds in its natural habitat. Its propagation is done by seeds or cuttings.

What is the scam used for? (Properties)

Estafiate is considered a multi-use remedy. The essential oils of various Artemisia species have been used for their anti-infective, analgesic, antimalarial, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.

These properties result from the interaction of many of the substances that compose them. In the Artemisia genus, the main active principles are usually camphor, 1,8-cineole, borneol, thujone and terpineol.

Chemical compounds

Monoterpenes, various sesquiterpene lactones, and flavonoids are some of the metabolites found in the Artemisia ludoviciana. Among the flavonoids, eupatiline, jaceosidin, arglanine and salvinine stand out.

Eupatilin has the property of protecting the gastric mucosa in cases of ulcer and chronic gastritis, and of decreasing intestinal motility. There is also evidence that it improves allergic inflammation.

Jaceosidin has antitumor properties; It has been shown to be cytotoxic against colon cancer.

antidiabetic effect

The hypoglycemic and antihyperglycemic effect of some of the main components of the estafiate infusion was verified in animal tests. It is likely that it is mainly attributed to arglanine.

However, it is quite possible that the plant contains more compounds acting synergistically to achieve the antidiabetic effect. That is, substances that pharmacologically contribute to the release of insulin and the absorption of glucose.

Human trials have not yet been carried out verifying this finding, which would confirm the scientific basis of the ancestral practice.

Helps in the regulation of menstruation

Although menstruation is part of the normal cycle in the life of a woman of childbearing age, its regulation is important and the generation of the least number of discomforts that accompany premenstrual syndrome.

Traditionally, stafiate tea has been used for this purpose. That is, normalize the hormonal cycle and alleviate the symptoms that accompany these changes.

In the treatment of malaria

The resistance of Plasmodium falciparum and of P. vivax to chloroquine has stimulated the search for new antimalarials. In 1972 it was discovered that artemisinin, as well as its derivatives, are effective drugs against this disease.

In 2015, a Chinese scientist received the Nobel Prize in medicine for this discovery, made from a species of mugwort used in traditional Chinese medicine (sweet wormwood or Chinese wormwood, Artemisia annua). In the case of stafiate, its high effectiveness in the treatment of malaria was demonstrated in studies in mice.

Rheumatism and Arthritis Relief

One of the traditional uses of stafiate has been as a palliative for the discomfort generated by inflammation in the lining of the joints.

For this, cold compresses of stafiate tea are applied directly to the painful joint. The effect is reinforced by drinking the infusion daily.

Antibacterial and antiparasitic

Stafiate contains lactone glycosides, such as artemisinin and santonin, which are considered anthelmintics. It also contains thujone, a poisonous substance in large doses, but which is prized for its antimicrobial properties.

Stomach upset reliever

The carminative properties of the estafiate compounds act against discomforts such as flatulence, pain, swelling, heartburn or nausea in the upper part of the stomach.

It is a popular Mexican remedy against diarrhea, which is one of the symptoms that frequently appear when there is food poisoning.

antinociceptive effects

There is rigorous preclinical scientific evidence supporting the use of essential oil of A. ludoviciana for the treatment of painful diseases.

In addition, the biological mechanisms of its action in pain relief have been established. Substances that would promote this effect are campor, γ-terpineol, borneol, and 1,8-cineole.

spiritual healing practices

It has had an important role in the ceremonial rites of some Native American tribes. The harvested and tied stems were burned in acts of cleansing and purification, and the dried leaves served as incense. With the smoke, spaces, utensils, implements, animals and weapons were cleaned.

It was also used to purify people and drive away evil spirits, dreams and thoughts, as well as bad influences and disease. In these cases it was mixed with a small portion of Actea rubra.

The Lakota and Cheyenne made bracelets from the plant for the Sun Dance.

Other uses of stafiate

It is used as a repellent and deodorant. For example, to deodorize the feet, a sheet is placed in the shoe. The infusion of the leaves is also used as an underarm deodorant.
The soft leaves are used as toilet paper, and the smoke that results from the burning plant repels mosquitoes.
When the decoction of the plant is made together with other medicinal herbs, it allows the complementarity between its properties. For example, ginger and stafiate preparations improve poor digestion.
Together with the bitter chaparro, it is used to treat intestinal parasitism, as well as digestive disorders such as ulcers and gastritis.
With orange blossom it is sedative of the nervous system.
Stafiate and cactus flowers relieve prostate pain and have moisturizing and antioxidant effects.
With peonies relieves anxiety and muscle tension.
The plant is also a source of fiber for making household items.

How is the stew prepared?

Estafiate is used as a condiment and to make tea. The seed is edible, but very small and difficult to use. The use of the seeds to make tea has also been reported.

The leaves and flowering tops are seasoning for sauces and serve as a garnish for dishes. The crushed leaves have been used to relieve headaches and nosebleeds.

To make the tea, one teaspoon of dried leaves and flowers is used per cup of boiling water. It is left to infuse for approximately 15 minutes, and then it is drunk.

The dose starts with a quarter cup a day and gradually increases. As the taste is very bitter, it is recommended to sweeten with honey.

The Artemisia ludoviciana it can also be ingested in drops, from the tincture. It is suggested between 5 to 10 drops per day and prepare it in the following proportion: for each part of estafiate, 2 parts of 95% alcohol.

The tea can be applied directly to the skin if there is eczema, wounds, bites, or joint pain. The poultice made with the leaves is indicated in the presence of spider bites, blisters and boils. Rubbing the plant through the affected areas is recommended in case of pain and inflammation.

Inhalation of the plant is useful for treating respiratory infections, as well as colds and headaches and sore throats.


Potential drug interactions are unknown. It should not be taken during pregnancy or when its existence is suspected, nor is it indicated in lactating women.

Side effects

No side effects have been reported in humans, although it can eventually cause contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals.

In large doses, it presents liver and brain toxicity, being able to cause convulsions, delirium, paralysis and even death. However, healthy individuals are not affected by ingesting small, controlled doses.

Estafiate can cause or promote menstruation.


Anaya-Eugenio, G., Rivero-Cruz, I., Rivera-Chávez, J. and Mata, R. Hypoglycemic properties of some preparations and compounds from Artemisia ludoviciana Nutt. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2014. 155(1), 416-425.
Anaya-Eugenio, G., Rivero-Cruz, I., Bye, R., Linares, E. and Mata, R.. Antinociceptive activity of the essential oil from Artemisia ludoviciana. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2016, 179, 403-411.
Artemisia ludoviciana White Sage, Louisiana Sage, Prairie Sage, Western Mugwort PFAF Plant Database (nd). Retrieved on July 6, 2018 at pfaf.org
Artemisia ludoviciana (2018). Retrieved on July 7, 2018, on Wikipedia.
Estafiate (2009). Retrieved on July 7, 2018, in medicinatradicionalmexicana.unam.mx

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