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Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

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Botanical name: Artemisia absinthium

Other names: Absinthe, Absinthium, Wermut, Wormwood

Family: Asteraceae

Parts used: Above ground parts, leaves, stems, flowering tops.

Wormwood is a herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae. It is native to Europe, North Africa, Asia and North and South America (1).

It has been employed since ancient times and for many varied purposes. It's most well known use in Central Europe was in the making of the now widely restricted alcoholic drink Absinthe, popular amongst artists and Bohemians towards the end of the nineteenth century (2).

In herbalism, Wormwood has been used as a bitter and has the effect of stimulating the digestive process and can help in cases of indigestion when there is a lack of gastric juices. It has also been used to treat worm infestations from which is may have obtained its common name. It is also a general tonic with many benefits to the body (3).

Constituents: Wormwood contains large quantities of bitter substances (absinthine) and an essential oil rich in thujone (2).


Avoid if pregnant or breast feeding (has been used as an abortificant in folk medicine)

Not for children.


(2) Rätsch, C. Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants
(3) Hoffman D. 2003.The Holistic Herbal. London: Element.
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