34 mins read

Wormwood (artemisia absinthium) is an herb utilized in the alcohols vermouth and absinthe. Its oil consists of the chemical thujone, which might be toxic.

The thujone in wormwood oil delights the central nerve system and can trigger seizures and other adverse effects. Other chemicals in wormwood might decrease swelling.

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

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

History and utilizes

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

The earliest historical referral to wormwood i can find returns as far as 2800bc. The famous chinese emperor shen-nung, (also called “the divine healer”) single-handedly tasted every plant in china to see if the taste was great and to find out what threatened. Legend has it that during his research study he was poisoned seventy-two times in a single day and yet astonishingly suffered no long-term effects, nevertheless, alternative stories reveal that he turned green and passed away from hazardous overdose you decide! He is associated with finding that sweet wormwood cures malaria now used in a herb based medication as an antimalaria drug. According to the department of bioengineering, university of washington, it is likewise believed to have selective toxicity towards cancer cells.

Medicinal uses for wormwood likewise date back to the 1840s where french foreign legion troops fighting in algeria were provided absinthe to prevent various fevers. This gave the troops “a taste” for absinthe which they reminded paris and it quickly engaged the french society.

Using wormwood leaves and integrating them with alcohol is ancient, with recommendations appearing in old texts such as the bible and egyptian papyri. For lots of centuries its numerous usages have actually included, a repellent for moths and fleas, a basic pesticide and a worming medicine for individuals and animals.

The greek philosopher, pythagoras, claimed it reduced childbirth and hippocrates, father of medicine, suggested it for a variety of ailments, consisting of menstrual discomfort, rheumatism and anaemia.

Wormwood has also in the past been utilized in routines by including it to herbal incense to assist psychic reception, high spirits, and ease anger and negativeness.

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

Wormwood was likewise as soon as utilized as a conventional stuffing for the goose.

Today wormwood is utilized as a mild sedative, to remove worms, increase stomach acidity and lower fever. It can assist you restore your cravings and boosts food digestion. It removes toxic substances and congestion in the gut and has likewise been utilized to deal with liver, stomach gallbladder and vascular disorders and migraine. It is used for dealing with infections, fever, colds and influenza. Moroccans call it chiba, which is arabic for wormwood and adds it to their tea throughout the colder months to keep out the cold. Wormwood’s usages are not just minimal to intake, this herb can be utilized for injuries, skin ulcers, acnes and insect bites.

Wormwood doesn’t only have these remarkable residential or commercial properties however it forms the intrinsic quality of absinthe. [3]


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

Leaves are spirally organized, greenish-grey colored above, white below, covered with smooth 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 spherical bent-down heads (capitula), which remain in turn clustered in leafy and branched panicles. Blooming occurs from early summer season to early fall; 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 once fairly typical, it is becoming increasingly unusual in the uk, where it has just recently been suggested to be an archaeophyte instead of a real local. [4]

Constituents and bioactivities

Wormwood contains a variety of biologically active substances that contribute to its medical worth. The constituents of wormwood include:.

  • 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 taste on the tongue that send out signals to the brain to stimulate the whole digestion system (salivation, stomach acid production, digestive system movement, etc). This bitter taste likewise stimulates 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 also has anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, carminative (eases intestinal tract gas), tonic (restores tone to tissues), anti-bacterial, antifungal, antiamoebic, antifertility, hepatoprotective (avoids and remedies liver damage), febrifugal (decreases fever), and vermifugal (expels intestinal worms) activities. [5]

Mechanism of action and pharmacology:

  • Sesquiterpene lactones (absinthin, artabsin, santoinin) have bitter action which promotes palate and by reflex action increases hunger, stomach secretions, bile circulation, and promotes digestion.
  • Unpredictable oils (thujone) fidget system stimulants and in high doses, poisonous to the cns and liver.
  • Azulene is anti-inflammatory.
  • Santonin is likewise insecticidal, anti-tumor and paralyzes worms.
  • Artemisin and derivatives show anti-malarial and cytotoxic effects. [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 evasive, ancient symbol of the end of the world. Wormwood is genuine and it’s genuine good for you. A traditional, helpful herb used throughout history, wormwood is a should for any historical or herb garden. And, for the garden enthusiast who likes to include something fascinating, practical and absolutely easy-to-grow, wormwood is a specific reward.

Start with seeds: because a lot of lawn and garden centers won’t be offering wormwood starter plants, it’s best to start with seeds. Wormwood is the typical name for herb varieties artemisia vulgaris and artemisis absinthium.

Yes, you check out that right. Absinthium. As because mysterious botanical drink with an odd green color and related to even stranger effects upon consuming.

To get high quality seeds, avoid acquiring “absinthe” seeds from unreputable merchants hoping to capitalize off the appeal of the absinthe connection. Instead, opt for a dependable seed provider with a track record for regularly meeting the needs of passionate garden enthusiasts with quality items.

When to plant: as a seasonal herb, wormwood will develop a deep and intricate root system. This is where nourishment is derived, keeping the plant thriving every year. Seeds can be planted inside or out. But note that wormwood seeds are exceptionally tiny. If sowing outdoors make sure! Finest germination temperature level has to do with 55-65 degrees fahrenheit.

Planting indoors: time sowing seeds in starter pots about 6-8 weeks before last expected frost.

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

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

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

Direct sowing: scatter seeds in the outside location designated for your future wormwood plant. Make certain that the location does not receive extreme shade.

What to expect: once seeds germinate, wormwood will undergo a couple of changes as it becomes the fullness of maturity.

Germination: seeds will sprout as early as 7 days or take as long as 21 days. In other words, be patients with any seeds that seem to be taking their time.

Thinning: there may come a time to thin out a few of the seedlings. How do you understand which to keep and which should go? After all, you don’t want to get stuck to a dud! Taller doesn’t necessarily mean much better! In other words, if you have to pick between a tall, spindly fellow or a much shorter one with foliage of a richer shade of green, by all means go with the brief one. Dark green colors, well-shaped leaves, and a total well balanced look is the start of a strong wormwood plant.

Maturity: ultimately, wormwood, if delegated its natural behavior, will become 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 attractive addition to any garden. Well, almost. However we will get to that in a bit.

Maintenance: wormwood prefers a little bit of shade. Prime temperature is in the 70-77 degree fahrenheit variety. However wormwood is normally rather sturdy even if soil conditions are rather poor. Nevertheless, be kind to your wormwood. Add a little compost to the soil, work it in well and toss in a little sand or other organic matter if you require to enhance drainage. Although there is not much that can do harm to an energetic wormwood bush, too much water can trigger root rot. So ensure that soil drains pipes well.

As soon as developed, wormwood will be with you for a very long time. It will wilt and vanish from the surface area of your garden each winter. Underground it is biding it’s time, awaiting spring to show up.

Be a good next-door neighbor: as pointed out previously, wormwood is a fantastic addition to any garden, practically. There are a few plants that will not consider wormwood a good 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 prevent their development. So take care with your plan.

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

Bad neighbor plants: anise, caraway, and fennel.

Good-bye bugs: wormwood is harmful to a variety of garden bugs. If planted in tactical areas, an organic garden enthusiast will discover wormwood is very useful as a sentry, keeping away undesirable visitors such as:.

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

You may even see a decrease in larger insects like mice. One extremely useful use of wormwood is to brew up a batch of wormwood tea and utilize it as a natural pesticide spray throughout an ornamental garden. But it should not be utilized on edible plants.

Make sure: although wormwood does have helpful health uses, it is necessary to remember that, in essence, it is thought about a poisonous plant. Practical safety measures will prevent nasty adverse effects like headaches. Ingesting the plant straight can even cause convulsions or nerve damage. It also has a fragrance that dogs discover appealing. Keep family pets and children safe by selecting a proper website in the garden for your wormwood plant.

Harvesting: once you have grown those tiny little seeds into a healthy, complete wormwood bush, what on the planet do you finish with it? Well, you harvest upper parts of healthy green growth. Leave behind the thicker, woody stems that will eventually press forth new development. [7]

Prospective advantages and uses of wormwood

Wormwood has the following prospective usages and advantages:.

Absinthe beverage

Wormwood is the active component in the alcoholic drink absinthe. The u.s. Federal government banned absinthe in 1912 since it thought it was hallucinogenic.

Since 2007, merchants can offer the beverage, provided its thujone level is listed below 10 parts per million, which they identify as thujone-free. Additionally, the fda (fda) allows makers to use wormwood as a food additive, supplied it has no thujone content.

Dealing with parasites and digestion conditions

Individuals in asia and europe used wormwood typically for treating food poisonings and expelling worms and parasites. Today, herbalists use wormwood to improve digestion and hypoacidity or absence of cravings.

A 2018 evaluation discusses that the bitter substances in wormwood can stimulate stomach juices and bile and enhance blood circulation in the digestive system. It also recommends that the herb can dislodge parasitic organisms and act versus a number of pathogens.

Dealing with inflammatory conditions and immune disorders

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

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

According to a 2017 review, research studies suggest that wormwood might also be helpful for treating swelling associated with crohn’s disease. Additionally, wormwood may hinder the growth of human breast cancer cells.

Scientists have likewise taken a look at wormwood’s impacts on the immune system and cells, and they suggest it might work for dealing with immune conditions, intracellular viruses, and bacterial infections.

Treating tuberculosis

In 2019, scientists investigated wormwood’s impacts on tuberculosis (tb) in animals. The authors discovered that extracts might be effective against mycobacterial infections that cause tb and are not hazardous to animals.

Offering antidepressant and brain-protective effects

A 2020 review suggests that wormwood supports the development of the body’s antioxidant glutathione and is protective of the brain. It notes that animal studies suggest wormwood has an antidepressant result and might increase serotonin.

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

However, researchers need to conduct more human research to confirm these results.

Stabilizing blood glucose

Research recommends that wormwood may be beneficial for stabilizing blood sugar and insulin.

In addition, some research recommends that wormwood might avoid the accumulation of lipids in the blood and reduce blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia. [8]

Other benefits

Crohn’s illness

Crohn’s illness is an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal system. Symptoms include intense stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and fatigue. Research suggests there are benefits for individuals with crohn’s disease who take wormwood, however the results are drawn from little sample sizes.

In one study, 10 individuals with the disease were given 750 milligrams (mg) of dried powdered wormwood 3 times a day for six weeks, in addition to their routine treatment. 10 other individuals who did not receive wormwood worked as a control group. Among those who took wormwood, eight of the 10 reported less signs while simply 2 in the control group said their signs improved. The research study also found those who took the supplements had enhanced state of mind when compared to the control group.

A various, older study included 40 grownups with crohn’s disease. They were provided either 1,500 mg of wormwood a day or a placebo. Symptoms significantly improved in 65% of those taking wormwood, compared with simply 15% in the control group. The patients taking wormwood likewise did not require as many steroids– a common crohn’s medication– after eight weeks of supplements.

Little studies of wormwood’s usage in individuals with crohn’s disease might reveal promising results. However, more research is required on whether it is safe and reliable. [9]

Preventative measures and possible side effects

Vulnerable populations and people with specific conditions may wish to prevent wormwood. These conditions consist of:

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

Breastfeeding and early childhood. Women who are breastfeeding and children must prevent this herb due to an absence of security info.

Epilepsy. Thujone promotes the brain and has actually been known to cause seizures. Wormwood might likewise reduce the efficiency of common anti-seizure medications, such as gabapentin and primidone.

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

Kidney problems. Wormwood is toxic to the kidneys and may increase your threat of kidney failure.

Certain allergic reactions. If you’re allergic to members of the asteraceae household, such as ragweed and marigolds, you might likewise react to wormwood, which is in the exact same botanical family.

High doses of wormwood might lead to 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 doses, such as those found in tea.

Very large quantities of this herb and other thujone-containing items can be deadly, though its lethal dosage in people has not been developed.

Furthermore, it can cause burns if applied directly to your skin. If utilizing it topically, make sure to only use it as a lotion or lotion.

Lastly, you should not take any type of wormwood routinely for over 4 weeks. This period is thought about long term, and the herb’s long-lasting security and side effects are unknown.


You need to avoid wormwood if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking certain medications. Additionally, people with epilepsy and kidney problems shouldn’t take it. Its long-lasting security is unknown.

Wormwood formulas

Wormwood stems, leaves, and flowers are usually dried for brewing into a tea. Plus, the herb can often be found in supplement form and herbal blends.

For application on the skin, it’s drawn out into a vital oil and diluted into creams or lotions.

You can purchase dried wormwood– in addition to pills, extracts, and casts made from it– online.

Bear in mind that these items aren’t controlled by the fda, so you must try to find third-party confirmation on the label. This indicates that the supplement has been evaluated and is devoid of impurities and covert active ingredients.

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

You might also purchase the plant or its seeds to grow in your garden.


Wormwood is available in numerous types, such as organic tea, cast, extract, ointment, and lotion. [10]

Medicinal wormwood tea recipe

Active ingredients

  • 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 add peppermint tea or anise tea to water down the taste.
  2. Put the water on the boil and as soon as the bubbles start appearing, pour the water over the tea leaves.
  3. Let the tea leaves steep 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 utilize a blend 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 jam-packed table spoons fresh wormwood leaves, sliced, or 2 1/2 teaspoons dry
  • 1 cup cold, saltless butter cut into 1-inch cubes (i prefer goat milk butter)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly 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 until well combined (this helps instill the flavor). Include salt, pepper, and flour, and pulse until completely combined.
  3. Include the butter, pulsing up until a little crumb kinds. Continue pulsing till the dough just starts to come together.
  4. Press the dough into the pans, ensuring 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 lightly eliminate while still flexible. Let cool completely and serve in rounds or wedges. Delicious with wormwood ice cream! [12]

Wormwood interesting truths

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

In ancient egyptian times, it was a frequently used medical plant, particularly for anal discomfort, and as an additive to red wine. Later it was used in european herbal remedies to cause labor. The plant, when steeped into a strong wormwood tea, has actually been utilized generally in europe along with a bitter stomach stabilizer to stave off indigestion and anorexia nervosa.

A preferred liquor in 19th century france, absinthe was stated to be addicting and associated with a collection of major negative effects known as absinthism or irreversible damage to the main nervous system.

Absinthe was made popular by some extremely well-known writers 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 a lot of his paintings having a green or yellowish tint (due to the thujuone’s imaginary results)– and that the wormwood really improved his epilepsy.

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

Thujone is the potentially poisonous chemical found in wormwood. Distilling wormwood in alcohol increases the thujone concentration. Thujone-free wormwood extract is presently used as a flavoring in liquors like vermouth.

Wormwood, or its acquired chemical elements, have famously been mentioned 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 referrals to this herb too. The word “wormwood” appears a number of times in the old testament, translated from the hebrew term la’anah (which means “curse” in arabic and hebrew).

It’s also spoken of in the new testament in the book of discovery: “the third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great 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 lots of people died from the waters that had ended up being bitter.” [13]


Wormwood is commercially readily available as a vital oil, as well as in capsule, tablet, cast, and aqueous extract dosage kinds. However, no current clinical evidence supports dosing recommendations. Traditional 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 rating:

Moderate beware with this combination. Talk with your health service provider.

Medications used to prevent seizures impact chemicals in the brain. Wormwood may also affect chemicals in the brain. By impacting chemicals in the brain, wormwood may decrease the effectiveness of medications utilized to prevent seizures.

Some medications used to prevent seizures include 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 utilized to eliminate intestinal tract worms, especially roundworms and pinworms, and it’s the source of the key component for the herbal drug artemisinin, which is the most powerful antimalarial on the market.

It’s likewise been shown to eliminate cancer cells and treat anorexia, insomnia, anemia, an absence of cravings, flatulence, stomach aches, jaundice and indigestion.

Particularly, this herb has actually been shown to beat malaria, kill breast cancer cells, eliminate parasites, treat crohn’s disease, consist of antimicrobial and antifungal capabilities, and deal with sibo.

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

Wormwood must just be taken under the supervision of a professional. It should constantly be taken in little doses as directed and for no longer than four 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/
Our Score

Latest from Blog


This short article talks about how federal governments look for public endorsement of their policies through