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What is Davana?

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  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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India is known for its vibrant decorations and bursts of color, especially during its religious festivities. Davana, a fervid orange flower native to India, is often used to create ornate bouquets for these rites. The fruity plant is also a popular perfume additive, dessert ingredient, and an herbal remedy.

The burnt orange flower is popular because of its appearance and its rich, peach-like scent. Variations of its odor include vanilla and camphor notes, as well as woody overtones. The botanical name of devana is artemisia pallens. Its long-lasting scent makes the flower's petals popular ingredients for perfumes and essential oils.

An antiseptic, antifungal flower, davana is useful in treating a variety of conditions. Anxiety, depression, dry skin, coughing, congestion, measles, joint pain, urinary tract infections, headache, insomnia, small wounds, and the common cold may all be treated with the herbal remedy. Menstruation may also be induced or regulated by the plant. Menstrual symptoms such as cramping, nausea, fatigue, and pelvic pain can be relieved by using davana.

Blood pressure may be lowered through davana essential oil use. Practitioners using the oil report that it creates feelings of peace and positive energy. Users of the herbal remedy report being able to recover from the effects of trauma, loss, or shock. The oil may also help to protect against tetanus.

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With its antibacterial value, davana is a valuable disinfectant. It is sometimes used as a vaporizer, fumigant, or spray in areas affected with infectious diseases. The oil can also be used as an effective insect repellent, and blends well with other essential oils, particularly those of the citrus, woody, and spicy varieties. These include caraway, geranium, chamomile, neroli, grapefruit, coriander, and cedar wood.

Davana oil is potentially dangerous if allowed near the eyes or mucous membranes. While nontoxic, the plant can cause mild irritation for some people. Pregnant or nursing women should avoid the herbal remedy entirely. It should also be kept out of reach of children.

Most davana is grown in private gardens in Southern India. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu feature the largest concentrated populations of davana. A member of the daisy family, its leaves are blue-green in color, and the flowers are very small. The flower is rarely found in the wild due to its sensitivity and need for constant care. Typically harvested in April, the flowers are given to the Hindu god Shiva as an offering or exported to countries such as Germany, France, the United States, and Japan.

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