Wormwood (artemisia absinthium) is an herb utilized in the alcoholic drinks vermouth and absinthe. Its oil contains the chemical thujone, which might be dangerous.

The thujone in wormwood oil excites the main nerve system and can trigger seizures and other adverse impacts. Other chemicals in wormwood may reduce swelling.

People use wormwood for food digestion issues, crohn illness, a kidney condition called iga nephropathy, osteoarthritis, and numerous other conditions, but there is no good clinical evidence to support these usages. There is also no good proof to support utilizing wormwood for covid-19. Utilizing thujone-containing wormwood products can be unsafe.

Do not puzzle wormwood with artemisia herba-alba, mugwort, sweet annie, wormseed, or ginger. These are not the very same. [2]

History and utilizes

The bitter oil is extracted from the plant and has a variety of uses aside from absinthe!

The earliest historical referral to wormwood i can find goes back as far as 2800bc. The legendary chinese emperor shen-nung, (also known as “the divine therapist”) solitarily tasted every plant in china to see if the taste was good and to find out what was dangerous. Legend has it that throughout his research study he was poisoned seventy-two times in a single day and yet surprisingly suffered no long-lasting effects, however, alternative stories expose that he turned green and passed away from hazardous overdose you choose! He is associated with finding that sweet wormwood treatments malaria now utilized in a herb based medicine as an antimalaria drug. According to the department of bioengineering, university of washington, it is also believed to have selective toxicity towards cancer cells.

Medicinal uses for wormwood likewise go back to the 1840s where french foreign legion troops fighting in algeria were given absinthe to prevent different fevers. This gave the troops “a taste” for absinthe which they brought back to paris and it rapidly engaged the french society.

Making use of wormwood leaves and integrating them with alcohol is ancient, with recommendations appearing in old texts such as the bible and egyptian papyri. For numerous centuries its numerous uses have consisted of, a repellent for moths and fleas, a general pesticide and a worming medication for people and animals.

The greek philosopher, pythagoras, claimed it reduced giving birth and hippocrates, dad of medication, suggested it for a number of conditions, consisting of menstrual pain, rheumatism and anaemia.

Wormwood has likewise in the past been used in routines by adding it to organic incense to assist psychic reception, high spirits, and ease anger and negativity.

The romans described common wormwood as absinthium from the word absinthial significance bitter.

Wormwood was likewise once used as a conventional stuffing for the goose.

Today wormwood is used as a moderate sedative, to eliminate worms, increase stomach acidity and lower fever. It can help you restore your appetite and boosts digestion. It gets rid of toxic substances and congestion in the gut and has likewise been utilized to deal with liver, gastric gallbladder and vascular conditions and migraine. It is used for treating infections, fever, colds and flu. Moroccans call it chiba, which is arabic for wormwood and includes it to their tea during the cooler months to keep out the cold. Wormwood’s usages are not only restricted to intake, this herb can be utilized for injuries, skin ulcers, blemishes and insect bites.

Wormwood does not just have these incredible homes but it forms the intrinsic quality of absinthe. [3]


Absinthium is a herbaceous perennial plant with fibrous roots. The stems are straight, growing to 0.8– 1.2 m (2 ft 7 in– 3 ft 11 in) (and rarely over 1.5 metres (4 feet 11 in)) tall, grooved, branched, and silvery-green.

Leaves are spirally arranged, greenish-grey colored above, white listed below, covered with silky silvery-white trichomes, and bearing minute oil-producing glands. The basal leaves are up to 250 mm (10 in) long, bi- to tripinnate with long petioles, with the cauline leaves (those on the stem) smaller sized, 50– 100 mm (2– 4 in) long, less divided, and with short petioles. The uppermost leaves can be both basic and sessile (without a petiole).

Flowers are pale yellow, tubular, and clustered in round bent-down heads (capitula), which remain in turn clustered in leafy and branched panicles. Flowering happens from early summertime to early autumn; pollination is anemophilous. The fruit is a small achene. Seed dispersal occurs by gravity.

Absinthium grows naturally on uncultivated dry ground, on rocky slopes, and at the edge of footpaths and fields. Although when relatively typical, it is ending up being significantly unusual in the uk, where it has actually just recently been suggested to be an archaeophyte rather than a true local. [4]

Constituents and bioactivities

Wormwood contains a wide variety of biologically active compounds that contribute to its medical value. The constituents of wormwood consist of:.

  • Acetylenes (trans-dehydromatricaria ester, c13 and c14 trans-spiroketalenol ethers and others)
  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin c)
  • Azulenes (chamazulene, dihydrochamazulenes, bisabolene, camphene, cadinene, sabinene, trans-sabinylacetate, phellandrene, pinene, and others)
  • Carotenoids
  • Flavonoids (quercitin 3-glucoside, quercitin 3-rhamnoglucoside, spinacetin 3-glucoside, spinacetin 3-rhamnoglucoside, and others)
  • Lignins (diayangambin and epiyangambin)
  • Phenolic acids (p-hydroxyphenylacetic, p-coumaric, chlorogenic, protocatechuic, vanillic, syringic, and others)
  • Tannins
  • Thujone and isothujone
  • Sesquiterpene lactones (absinthin, artabsin, anabsinthin, artemetin, artemisinin, arabsin, artabin, artabsinolides, artemolin, matricin, isoabsinthin, and others)

Wormwood is a strong bitter that affects the bittersensing palate on the tongue that send signals to the brain to promote the entire digestion system (salivation, stomach acid production, digestive system movement, etc). This bitter taste also promotes the production of bile by the liver and storage of bile in the gall bladder. The azulenes in wormwood have anti-inflammatory activity. The sesquiterpene lactones are insecticidal and have anti-tumor activity. The contaminant thujone is a brain stimulant. Wormwood likewise has anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, carminative (alleviates intestinal tract gas), tonic (brings back tone to tissues), antibacterial, antifungal, antiamoebic, antifertility, hepatoprotective (avoids and cures liver damage), febrifugal (minimizes fever), and vermifugal (expels intestinal tract worms) activities. [5]

System of action and pharmacology:

  • Sesquiterpene lactones (absinthin, artabsin, santoinin) have bitter action which promotes taste and by reflex action increases appetite, stomach secretions, bile circulation, and promotes food digestion.
  • Unpredictable oils (thujone) fidget system stimulants and in high doses, harmful to the cns and liver.
  • Azulene is anti-inflammatory.
  • Santonin is likewise insecticidal, anti-tumor and disables worms.
  • Artemisin and derivatives demonstrate anti-malarial and cytotoxic results. [6]

Tips for growing wormwood in the garden

If wormwood sounds familiar, it might be because of its curious mention in apocalyptic religious texts. But wormwood is not some elusive, ancient sign of the end of the world. Wormwood is real and it’s real helpful for you. A conventional, useful herb utilized throughout history, wormwood is a should for any historic or herb garden. And, for the garden enthusiast who enjoys to include something remarkable, functional and absolutely easy-to-grow, wormwood is a specific reward.

Start with seeds: because many yard and garden centers will not be offering wormwood starter plants, it’s finest to start with seeds. Wormwood is the typical name for herb ranges artemisia vulgaris and artemisis absinthium.

Yes, you read that right. Absinthium. As because mysterious botanical beverage with a strange green color and connected with even complete stranger effects upon consuming.

To get high quality seeds, skip purchasing “absinthe” seeds from unreputable merchants wishing to capitalize off the attraction of the absinthe connection. Rather, go with a reliable seed provider with a credibility for regularly satisfying the needs of devoted garden enthusiasts with quality products.

When to sow: as a perennial herb, wormwood will develop a deep and intricate root system. This is where nutrition is obtained, keeping the plant prospering year after year. Seeds can be planted inside or out. But note that wormwood seeds are extremely tiny. If sowing outdoors take care! Best germination temperature is about 55-65 degrees fahrenheit.

Sowing inside: time sowing seeds in starter pots about 6-8 weeks prior to last expected frost.

Sowing outdoors: time sowing seeds straight on the surface of the soil when weather condition has warmed and all risk of frost has actually passed.

Planting depth: because wormwood seeds require light in order to sprout, they are sown on soil’s surface area.

Starter pots: scatter about 3-5 seeds on soil surface of starter pots left uncovered and positioned so they will get direct lighting.

Direct sowing: spread seeds in the outside area designated for your future wormwood plant. Make certain that the area does not get extreme shade.

What to expect: once seeds sprout, wormwood will undergo a couple of modifications as it turns into the fullness of maturity.

Germination: seeds will grow as early as 7 days or take as long as 21 days. To put it simply, be patients with any seeds that appear to be taking their time.

Thinning: there may come a time to thin out some of the seedlings. How do you know which to keep and which should go? After all, you don’t wish to get stuck with a dud! Taller doesn’t always mean better! Simply put, if you have to pick in between a high, spindly fellow or a much shorter one with foliage of a richer shade of green, by all means opt for the short one. Dark green colors, well-shaped leaves, and an overall well balanced look is the beginning of a strong wormwood plant.

Maturity: ultimately, wormwood, if delegated its natural behavior, will turn into a bush about 3-4 feet high and a diameter of about 2 feet. With a silver tint to rich green leaves, it is an appealing addition to any garden. Well, nearly. But we will get to that in a bit.

Upkeep: wormwood chooses a bit of shade. Prime temperature remains in the 70-77 degree fahrenheit range. However wormwood is normally rather sturdy even if soil conditions are rather bad. Nevertheless, be kind to your wormwood. Add a bit of garden compost to the soil, work it in well and toss in a little sand or other organic matter if you require to enhance drain. Although there is not much that can do hurt to a vigorous wormwood bush, excessive water can trigger root rot. So ensure that soil drains well.

As soon as developed, wormwood will be with you for a long period of time. It will wilt and disappear from the surface area of your garden each winter season. Underground it is biding it’s time, waiting on spring to get here.

Be an excellent neighbor: as discussed earlier, wormwood is an excellent addition to any garden, almost. There are a couple of plants that will not consider wormwood an excellent next-door neighbor. Edible plants in the garden will absorb a few of the natural chemical homes of wormwood that are present in the soil. This will hinder their growth. So take care with your arrangement.

Good next-door neighbor plants: carrots, onions, leeks, rosemary and sage.

Bad next-door neighbor plants: anise, caraway, and fennel.

Good-bye bugs: wormwood is harmful to a range of garden pests. If planted in strategic areas, an organic garden enthusiast will find wormwood is very useful as a sentry, keeping away unwelcome guests such as:.

  • Ants
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Cabbage loopers & & cabbage maggots
  • Flea beetles
  • Tomato hornworms
  • Carrot fly

You may even see a decline in bigger bugs like mice. One really useful use of wormwood is to brew up a batch of wormwood tea and utilize it as a natural pesticide spray throughout a decorative garden. But it shouldn’t be utilized on edible plants.

Make sure: although wormwood does have advantageous health usages, it is very important to remember that, in essence, it is considered a toxic plant. Practical preventative measures will avoid nasty side effects like headaches. Ingesting the plant straight can even trigger convulsions or nerve damage. It likewise has a scent that dogs find appealing. Keep pets and children safe by choosing an appropriate website in the garden for your wormwood plant.

Harvesting: once you have grown those small little seeds into a healthy, full wormwood bush, what in the world do you make with it? Well, you collect upper portions of healthy green growth. Leave behind the thicker, woody stems that will eventually press forth brand-new growth. [7]

Prospective advantages and uses of wormwood

Wormwood has the following prospective usages and advantages:.

Absinthe beverage

Wormwood is the active component in the alcohol absinthe. The u.s. Federal government prohibited absinthe in 1912 because it thought it was hallucinogenic.

Since 2007, merchants can offer the drink, provided its thujone level is listed below 10 parts per million, which they label as thujone-free. In addition, the fda (fda) permits manufacturers to use wormwood as a food additive, offered it has no thujone content.

Dealing with parasites and digestive conditions

People in asia and europe used wormwood traditionally for treating gastrointestinal disorders and expelling worms and parasites. Today, herbalists utilize wormwood to improve food digestion and hypoacidity or absence of appetite.

A 2018 evaluation discusses that the bitter compounds in wormwood can promote stomach juices and bile and improve blood flow in the digestion system. It also recommends that the herb can displace parasitic organisms and act versus a number of pathogens.

Treating inflammatory conditions and immune conditions

A 2017 research study shows that topical treatment with wormwood is comparable to piroxicam gel for knee osteoarthritis. Research study individuals had no pain after 2 weeks of treatment with wormwood lotion.

Another animal study discovered that wormwood has considerable pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory results due to its flavonoids.

According to a 2017 review, studies show that wormwood might also be advantageous for treating swelling associated with crohn’s disease. Furthermore, wormwood may hinder the development of human breast cancer cells.

Scientists have likewise analyzed wormwood’s results on the body immune system and cells, and they recommend it may work for dealing with immune conditions, intracellular infections, and bacterial infections.

Dealing with tuberculosis

In 2019, researchers examined wormwood’s effects on tuberculosis (tb) in animals. The authors found that extracts may be effective versus mycobacterial infections that cause tb and are not harmful to animals.

Offering antidepressant and brain-protective impacts

A 2020 review indicates that wormwood supports the formation of the body’s antioxidant glutathione and is protective of the brain. It notes that animal research studies recommend wormwood has an antidepressant impact and may increase serotonin.

Another evaluation suggests that wormwood might benefit those with neurological illness, such as alzheimer’s or parkinson’s, and might have properties that reduce confusion, delirium, and disorientation.

Nevertheless, scientists require to conduct more human research to verify these impacts.

Balancing blood glucose

Research study recommends that wormwood might be advantageous for balancing blood glucose and insulin.

Furthermore, some research study recommends that wormwood may prevent the build-up of lipids in the blood and reduce blood sugar level levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia. [8]

Other advantages

Crohn’s illness

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal system. Signs consist of intense stomach pain, diarrhea, and tiredness. Research study recommends there are advantages for people with crohn’s illness who take wormwood, however the results are drawn from little sample sizes.

In one study, 10 individuals with the illness were provided 750 milligrams (mg) of dried powdered wormwood 3 times a day for six weeks, in addition to their routine treatment. Ten other individuals who did not get wormwood acted as a control group. Amongst those who took wormwood, 8 of the 10 reported fewer symptoms while simply 2 in the control group stated their signs improved. The study also discovered those who took the supplements had actually enhanced state of mind when compared to the control group.

A various, older study included 40 adults with crohn’s disease. They were offered either 1,500 mg of wormwood a day or a placebo. Signs significantly enhanced in 65% of those taking wormwood, compared with just 15% in the control group. The patients taking wormwood also did not need as many steroids– a typical crohn’s medication– after eight weeks of supplements.

Small studies of wormwood’s use in people with crohn’s illness might show promising outcomes. However, more research is required on whether it is safe and effective. [9]

Precautions and possible adverse effects

Susceptible populations and individuals with particular conditions might want to avoid wormwood. These conditions include:

Pregnancy. You shouldn’t take wormwood if you’re pregnant, as it might trigger miscarriage

Breastfeeding and early youth. Females who are breastfeeding and kids need to prevent this herb due to a lack of safety information.

Epilepsy. Thujone stimulates the brain and has been known to trigger seizures. Wormwood may likewise decrease the effectiveness of typical anti-seizure medications, such as gabapentin and primidone.

Heart problem. Taking this herb with the cardiovascular disease medication warfarin might trigger intestinal bleeding.

Kidney issues. Wormwood is toxic to the kidneys and may increase your risk of kidney failure.

Specific allergies. If you’re allergic to members of the asteraceae family, such as ragweed and marigolds, you may likewise respond to wormwood, which remains in the very same botanical family.

High dosages of wormwood might result in digestive upset, kidney failure, queasiness, throwing up, and seizures. Nevertheless, you’re not likely to experience these adverse effects if you’re taking it in little dosages, such as those found in tea.

Large amounts of this herb and other thujone-containing products can be deadly, though its lethal dosage in humans has actually not been developed.

Furthermore, it can trigger burns if used directly to your skin. If using it topically, make certain to just use it as an ointment or cream.

Finally, you shouldn’t take any kind of wormwood regularly for over 4 weeks. This duration is considered long term, and the herb’s long-term security and side effects are unidentified.


You must prevent wormwood if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking specific medications. Furthermore, individuals with epilepsy and kidney problems should not take it. Its long-term security is unidentified.

Wormwood formulas

Wormwood stems, leaves, and flowers are generally dried for developing into a tea. Plus, the herb can sometimes be found in supplement form and natural blends.

For application on the skin, it’s drawn out into an essential oil and diluted into lotions or lotions.

You can purchase dried wormwood– as well as capsules, extracts, and tinctures made from it– online.

Keep in mind that these items aren’t regulated by the fda, so you must look for third-party verification on the label. This suggests that the supplement has been evaluated and is devoid of pollutants and hidden ingredients.

Trusted testing laboratories consist of nsf international, consumerlab.com, and usp.

You may likewise purchase the plant or its seeds to grow in your garden.


Wormwood is readily available in different kinds, such as herbal tea, tincture, extract, lotion, and lotion. [10]

Medical wormwood tea dish


  • 1 tsp dried wormwood leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint tea optional or
  • 1/2 tsp anise tea optional
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey optional


  1. To a warm teapot put a teaspoon of wormwood tea. You can include peppermint tea or anise tea to dilute the taste.
  2. Put the water on the boil and as soon as the bubbles begin appearing, pour the water over the tea leaves.
  3. Let the tea leaves high for about 7-10 minutes. You can sweeten the tea with sugar or honey. [11]

Wormwood black pepper shortbread


  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (i use a mix of 1 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup garbanzo fava flour, 1/2 cup ivory teff flour; all-purpose works fine too
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 loosely packed table spoons fresh wormwood leaves, sliced, or 2 1/2 teaspoons dry
  • 1 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into 1-inch cubes (i choose goat milk butter)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, newly ground


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 ° f. Line 6 4-inch springform pans in parchment, or one 8-inch pie or springform pan.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together sugar and wormwood up until well integrated (this assists instill the flavor). Include salt, pepper, and flour, and pulse until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add in the butter, pulsing until a small crumb forms. Continue pulsing up until the dough just starts to come together.
  4. Press the dough into the pans, making certain to push to the edges.
  5. Bake for 30– 40 minutes for 4-inch springform pans, 35– 45 minutes for 8-inch pan, or until gently golden at the edges. It is better to underbake than overbake this shortbread.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then gently get rid of while still flexible. Let cool completely and serve in rounds or wedges. Delicious with wormwood ice cream! [12]

Wormwood interesting facts

The name wormwood is stemmed from ancient use of the plant and its extracts as an intestinal tract anthelmintic, antiparasitic drug that expels parasitic worms and other internal parasites from the body.

In ancient egyptian times, it was a commonly used medical plant, specifically for anal discomfort, and as an additive to white wine. Later on it was used in european folk medicine to induce labor. The plant, when steeped into a strong wormwood tea, has actually been utilized generally in europe in addition to a bitter stomach stabilizer to stave off indigestion and loss of appetite.

A favorite liquor in 19th century france, absinthe was stated to be addictive and related to a collection of serious negative effects known as absinthism or irreparable damage to the main nerve system.

Absinthe was made popular by some really widely known authors and artists, such as ernest hemingway, henri de toulouse-lautrec, édouard manet, edgar degas, vincent van gogh, pablo picasso and oscar wilde. The manic depressive painter vincent van gogh was addicted to absinthe, and some state his continuous drinking of it resulted in many of his paintings having a green or yellow-colored tint (due to the thujuone’s hallucinatory results)– and that the wormwood in fact improved his epilepsy.

Absinthe is an anise-flavored spirit derived from numerous botanicals. Absinthe ingredients consist of the flowers and leaves of wormwood, anise and fennel. It’s illegal in the u.s. In addition to many other countries. Nevertheless, it’s not banned in some european union countries as long as the thujone material is less than 35 milligrams per kg.

Thujone is the potentially harmful chemical discovered in wormwood. Distilling wormwood in alcohol increases the thujone concentration. Thujone-free wormwood extract is presently used as a flavoring in alcohols like vermouth.

Wormwood, or its derivative chemical parts, have notoriously been discussed in numerous a novel, play and in other art forms, from bram stoker’s “dracula” to john locke essays to “romeo and juliet.”.

There are numerous bible recommendations to this herb too. The word “wormwood” appears a number of times in the old testament, translated from the hebrew term la’anah (which indicates “curse” in arabic and hebrew).

It’s also mentioned in the new testimony in the book of revelation: “the third angel sounded his trumpet, and an excellent star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a 3rd of the rivers and on the springs of water– the name of the star is wormwood. A 3rd of the waters turned bitter, and many individuals passed away from the waters that had actually become bitter.” [13]


Wormwood is commercially available as an essential oil, as well as in capsule, tablet, tincture, and liquid extract dose types. Nevertheless, no current medical proof supports dosing suggestions. Conventional use of the herb for treating dyspepsia was dosed as an infusion of 2 to 3 g daily. [14]


Medications used to prevent seizures (anticonvulsants) interaction score:

Moderate be cautious with this mix. Talk with your health provider.

Medications utilized to prevent seizures affect chemicals in the brain. Wormwood might likewise impact chemicals in the brain. By impacting chemicals in the brain, wormwood might reduce the efficiency of medications utilized to prevent seizures.

Some medications used to prevent seizures consist of phenobarbital, primidone (mysoline), valproic acid (depakene), gabapentin (neurontin), carbamazepine (tegretol), phenytoin (dilantin), and others. [15]


Absinthe is a botanical spirit made from wormwood, anise and fennel, however that’s not all wormwood is good for. It’s used to get rid of digestive worms, especially roundworms and pinworms, and it’s the source of the crucial component for the natural drug artemisinin, which is the most effective antimalarial on the market.

It’s also been shown to kill cancer cells and deal with anorexia, insomnia, anemia, a lack of hunger, flatulence, stomach aches, jaundice and indigestion.

Specifically, this herb has been shown to beat malaria, kill breast cancer cells, eliminate parasites, treat crohn’s illness, consist of antimicrobial and antifungal capabilities, and treat sibo.

Wormwood is commercially available at health shops and online as an essential oil, in addition to in capsule, tablet, cast and liquid extract kinds. It can likewise be used in fresh or dry type to make an infusion or tea.

Wormwood needs to only be taken under the supervision of an expert. It must constantly be taken in little doses as directed and for no longer than 4 weeks at a time. [16]


  1. Https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wormwood
  2. Https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-729/wormwood
  3. Https://lafee.com/wormwood-history-myths/
  4. Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/artemisia_absinthium#description
  5. Https://www.encyclopedia.com/plants-and-animals/plants/plants/wormwood
  6. Https://wholisticmatters.com/herb-detail/wormwood/
  7. Https://www.seedneeds.com/blogs/seed-needs/tips-for-growing-wormwood-in-the-garden
  8. Https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/wormwood#benefits-and-uses
  9. Https://www.verywellhealth.com/wormwood-5082001
  10. Https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-wormwood#forms
  11. Https://www.organicfacts.net/wormwood-tea.html
  12. Https://ediblealaska.ediblecommunities.com/recipes/wormwood-black-pepper-shortbread
  13. Https://draxe.com/nutrition/wormwood/
  14. Https://www.drugs.com/npp/wormwood.html
  15. Https://www.rxlist.com/wormwood/supplements.htm#interactions
  16. Https://draxe.com/nutrition/wormwood/
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