Biological Name: Artemisia absinthum
Other Names: Wormwood, absinthium, green ginger, absinthe, old woman, southernwood
Parts Used: Leaves or flowering tops
• Volatile oil with a high level of thujone
• Sesquiterpene bitter principles: including absinthine, anab. sinthine, artabsine and matricine
• Volatile oil, of variable compostition, usually containing a- and b-thujone as the major component, up to about 35%; with thujyl alcohol, azulenes including chamazulene, 3,6- and 5,6- dihydrochamazulene; bisabolene, cadinene, camphene, sabinene, trans-sabinylacetate, pinene, phellandrene and others.
• Sesquiterpene lactones; artabsin, absinthin, anabsinthin, artemetin, arabsin, artabin, artabsinolides, matricin, isoabsinthin, artemolin and others.
• Acetylenes, in the root; trans-dehydromatricaria ester, Cl3 and Cl4 trans-spiroketalenol ethers and others
• Flavonoids; quercitin 3-glucoside and 3-rhamnoglucoside, spinacetin 3-glucosideand 3-rhamnoglucoside and others
• Phenolic acids; p-hydroxyphenylacetic, chlorogenic, p-coumaric, protocatechuic, syringic, vanillic and other acids
• Lignans; diayangambin and epiyangambin.
• Loss of appetite
• Dyspeptic complaints
• Liver and gallbladder complaints
Bitter, carminative, anti-microbial, anthelmintic, aromatic, tonic, antiseptic, febrifuge. The herb is administered for loss of appetite, dyspeptic disorders, bloating, meteorism and for dyspepsia as a result of convulsive gallbladder disorders.
In folk medicine, wormwood preparations are used internally for gastric insufficiency, intestinal atonia, gastritis, stomach. ache, liver disorders, bloating, anemia, irregular menstruation, intermittent fever, loss of appetite, and worm infestation.
Externally, the drug is applied for poorly healing wounds, ulcers, skin blotches, and insect bites.
Wormwood is primarily used as a bitter; it has the effect of stimulating and invigorating the whole of the digestive process. Used for indigestion, especially when due to a deficient quantity or quality of gastric juice. It is a powerful remedy in the treatment of worm infestations, especially roundworm and pinworm. It may also be used to help the body deal with fever and infections. It benefits the body in general.
Native to Europe, N. Africa and Western Asia, cultivated in the USA and elsewhere.
The plant grows from 2 to 4 feet in height. The numerous flower heads are short-stemmed and hang in a many-flowered panicle. The capitula are small, globular, inclined and 3 to 4 mm wide and almost as long. The bracts are gray, silky-pubescent with a rounded tip. The outer ones are linear-oblong and pubescent while the inner ones are ovate, obtuse, broad and have a transparent, membranous margin. The receptacle is rough-haired. The flowers are yellow and fertile. The fruit is about 1.5 mm long.
Mode of Administration: Comminuted herb is used for infusions and decoctions. Powdered herb, extracts and tinctures in liquid or solid forms are used for oral administration. Combination with other bitters or aromatics is common.
Preparation: To prepare an infusion, pour 150 ml boiling water over 1/2 teaspoonful of the drug, strain after 10 minutes. A decoction is prepared by adding 1 handful of drug to 1 liter of boiling water for 5 minutes. To prepare a tea, use 1 g drug in 1 cup water.
Pill: The powdered herb may be used to get rid of worms in the form of pills, thus avoiding the extreme, bitter taste.
Daily Dose: The total daily dose is 3 to 5 g of the herb as an aqueous extract. Internal dose of the infusion is 1 cup freshly prepared tea taken 30 minutes before each meal. The tincture dosage is 10 to 30 drops in sufficient water taken 3 times daily. The liquid extract dosage is 1 to 2 ml taken 3 times daily.
Externally, a decoction is used for healing of wounds and insect bites.
Storage: Wormwood must be kept in sealed containers and protected from light.
Due to the drug’s thujone content, the internal administration of large doses can lead to vomiting, stomach and intestinal cramps, headache, dizziness and disturbances of the central nervous system. Continuous use is not advisable. The use of volatile oils and spirituous extracts from the drug for the manufacture of alcoholic drinks is forbidden in many countries because of possible injuries to health.
Caution: Wormwood is the principal herb used in absinthe, a bitter, aromatic, alcoholic drink that was very popular in Italy, France, and Switzerland during the nineteenth century. Because of the addictive nature of wormwood, and frequent side effects when absinthe was used to excess – dizziness, seizures, stupor, delirium, hallucinations, and even death- it has now been banned in nearly every country of the world.
NOT RECOMMENDED. Caution: Wormwood is poisonous if taken in large doses. Use extreme care. Do not take without the supervision of a qualified professional.