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Wormwood Information


Also called Absinthe, Wormwood is traditionally used as a tea, a smoke or as an alcoholic extract, a liquor.

Several species of Artemisia are also smoked for visionary effect by some Indian tribes.

A user writes: 'The effect was extremely pleasant, although I would not list absinthe as a psychedelic. It definitely belongs in terms of subjective effects to the solvent/nitrous oxide category, although pharmacologically very different. The following day I felt very lethargic, but it is hard to say if it was due to the absinthe since we stayed up pretty late that night. My conclusion: I give it two thumbs up, but would not drink it more than occasionally since it is reported as neurotoxin.' This is to be taken seriously. Use sparingly.

Although the oil destroys various types of worms, long-term use, due to the somewhat toxic thujones, is not recommended. Ordinary wormwood teas or tinctures, however, contain very little thujone, and are generally considered safe for short-term use. Also present in the plant are strong bitter agents known as absinthin and anabsinthin. These stimulate digestive function, including gall bladder function.

Grieve's classic 'A Modern Herbal': 'Tonic, stomachic, febrifuge, anthelmintic. A nervine tonic, particularly helpful against the falling sickness and for flatulence. It is a good remedy for enfeebled digestion and debility. Fluid extract, to 1 drachm.

Wormwood Tea, made from 1 oz. of the herb, infused for 10 to 12 minutes in 1 pint of boiling water, and taken in wineglassful doses, will relieve melancholia and help to dispel the yellow hue of jaundice from the skin, as well as being a good stomachic, and with the addition of fixed alkaline salt, produced from the burnt plant, is a powerful diuretic in some dropsical cases.

The ashes yield a purer alkaline salt than most other vegetables, except Beanstalks and Broom. A light infusion of the tops of the plant, used fresh, is excellent for all disorders of the stomach, creating an appetite, promoting digestion and preventing sickness after meals, but it is said to produce the contrary effect if made too strong. The flowers, dried and powdered, are most effectual as a vermifuge, and used to be considered excellent in agues. The essential oil of the herb is used as a worm-expeller, the spirituous extract being preferable to that distilled in water.

The leaves give out nearly the whole of their smell and taste both to spirit and water, but the cold water infusions are the least offensive. The intensely bitter, tonic and stimulant qualities have caused Wormwood not only to be an ingredient in medicinal preparations, but also to be used in various liqueurs, of which absinthe is the chief, the basis of absinthe being absinthol, extracted from Wormwood. Wormwood, as employed in making this liqueur, bears also the name 'Wermuth' - preserver of the mind - from its medicinal virtues as a nervine and mental restorative. If not taken habitually, it soothes spinal irritability and gives tone to persons of a highly nervous temperament.

Suitable allowances of the diluted liqueur will promote salutary perspiration and may be given as a vermifuge. Absinthium occurs in the British Pharmacopoeia in the form of extract, infusion and tincture.'

'The oil [safrole] is said to relieve the pain caused by menstrual obstructions, and pain following parturition, in doses of 5 to 10 drops on sugar, the same dose having been found useful in gleet and gonorrhoea. The oil can produce marked narcotic poisoning.

Mazatec Garden describes the common uses of many herbs. This is for informational purposes only, as we are not advising or prescribing herbs for any specific medical condition or for any specific use. Distribute this information freely.


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