Artemisia pallens Wall.
Botanical family : Asteraceae
Method of culture : Traditional
Part harvested : Flowering tops
Davana is a small aromatic herbaceous plant native to southern India. It was long grown in Indian gardens, having an exquisite fragrance that was very popular there. In the wild, it usually grows near Sandalwood trees, a preferred location. The blue-green leaves have a grayish-white downy coating and the plant produces pretty, fragrant, yellow flowers. Davana takes four months to reach maturity. Harvesting is done when the flowers are fully in bloom in late summer. The whole plant is cut by hand using a sickle and allowed to dry for about a week before distillation. Davana is very delicate and requires the utmost attention during harvesting. The delectable fragrance has a fruity note of syrupy liqueur on a woody, animalic base.
Davana is strongly rooted in Indian religious traditions. Called Davanam in Tamil, the plant is braided into lovely wreaths and bouquets for use in rituals and to decorate the temples dedicated to Shiva. Davana is used as a daily offering, placed on the altar early in the day to be removed in the evening. Used in Ayurvedic medicine, davana is an integral part of Indian folklore and culture.
|Method for obtaining||Steam distillation|
|Appearance||Yellow to orange liquid|
|Constituents||Davanone, ethyl cinnamate|
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