Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)Shredded, 50 g
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Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium)
Artemisia Absinthium, also known as Wormwood is a moderately poisonous species of Artemisia native to Eurasia and North Africa. It is been widely naturalized in Canada and the northern United States for some time now. It is grown as an ornamental plant and is an ingredient in the spirit Absinthe and some other alcoholic beverages.
Some of the names Artemisia Absinthium is known by are Wormwood, Grand Wormwood, Absinthe, Absinthe Wormwood, Mugwort, Wermout, Wermud, Wormit, and Wormod.
History of Wormwood
Artemisia Absinthium or Wormwood is a perennial herb native to Europe and North Africa. Wormwood is prized for its aroma, herbaceous flavor, and supposed health benefits. The plant has velvety white or greenish-silver stems covered by fine hair with yellow-green leaves that are hairy and silky to touch and bulbous pale to bright yellow flowers.
The earliest record of the plant being used medicinally dates back to ancient Egypt and is mentioned in Ebers Papyrus. A Wormwood flavored wine called absinthites oinos was used in ancient Greece.
Absinthe (and by extension Wormwood) became popular in the 1840s when it was given to the French troops as a malaria preventive however, soon the soldiers were drinking it for non-medical purposes and brought their taste for Absinthe back home with them. By the 1860s Absinthe became the drink of choice in bars, bistros, and cafes. It was favored by all social classes from the wealthy to the bourgeoisie to poor artists and ordinary working-class people.
Absinthe was the preferred drink of many artists including Pablo Picasso, Manet, Oscar Wilde, and famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.
Wormwood is typically taken in the form of tea or tincture made from the stem and leaves of the plant. The plant contains the chemical Thujone that is thought to excite the brain by blocking gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABBA), a neurotransmitter that has calming effects on the central nervous system.
Wormwood was banned in the United States for nearly a century, however is now legally available again since 2007.
Effects of Wormwood
When administered properly, Wormwood can help;
- Increase sexual desire
- Stimulate imagination
- Improve appetite
- Lift mood
Wormwood Uses and Dosage
Wormwood is best taken in form of tea or tincture.
To make Wormwood tea - Soak 2-5g of dried herb in a cup of hot water. Let it seep for about 10 minutes. The longer you let the herb seep, the more bitter it will taste. Add honey or lemon juice to make it more palatable. You can drink up to 3 cups a day preferably half an hour before meals if drinking to improve appetite.
To make Wormwood tincture – Take a sealable jar and fill it with 120g of dried Wormwood. Top it up with 240ml (approx. 1 cup) of 80-100 proof vodka. Aim for a 1:2 herb to alcohol ratio. Lid the jar and place it in a cool, dark place for about 6 weeks, shaking it every few days. Strain the tincture through a cheesecloth and store it in a clear airtight jar or tincture bottle.
Take up to 20-30 drops in water or tea. For loss of appetite take 30 minutes before each meal and to promote digestion, twice a day after meal.
To make Wormwood wine – Combine 1 liter of wine with 150g raw, organic, unfiltered honey, and add 1-2 ounce (30-50g) dried Wormwood leaves.
Bring the wine and honey mixture to a boil while constantly stirring it. Gently introduce the Wormwood herb, bringing the concoction to another boil. Reduce the heat and let the mix simmer for about 5 minutes. Once the wine has cooled down, strain it and store it in a clean, airtight bottle.
For optimal benefits, take 30-50ml of Wormwood wine at a time.
Keep Wormwood in its original packaging in a dry and cool place, out of the reach of children.
It is not recommended to use Wormwood either orally or topically during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or in children.
Taking Wormwood in (very) large quantities can cause kidney failure. If you have kidney problems, it is best to consult your healthcare practitioner before taking Wormwood in any form or amount.
If you are sensitive to Asteraceae/Compositae family (more commonly known as sunflower family) including chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, sunflowers, dahlias, and many others, Wormwood may cause you to have an allergic reaction. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before taking Wormwood.
Wormwood might make seizures more likely in people prone to them.
Thujone present in Wormwood might increase the production of chemical porphyrins in the human body. Thus, worsening the condition of people with Porphyria (a rare inherited blood condition).
Wormwood may interact with some of the seizure medications. Please consult your healthcare provider if using any such prescription medication before taking Wormwood.