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Updated on April 12, 2011

Health Benefıts Of Wormwood Artemısıa Absınthıum

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L. scientific name, 1753) is a small herbaceous plant belonging to the family Asteraceae. It is a medicinal plant known for its use in the preparation of the spirit of absinthe, aromatic and very bitter drink diluted or sweetened. It is the main basis for the preparation of aromatic vermouth.It is a herbal plant




The etymology of the generic term (Artemisia) is safe and appears to derive from Artemisia, wife of Mausolus, King of Caria, but also, according to other etymologies, could come from the goddess of the hunt (Artemis), or from a Greek word " Artemesia "(= healthy), alluding to the medicinal properties of plants of the genus Artemisia. The specific name (absinthium) is derived from the Latin, botanical name by which this plant was called in ancient times, before it comes from ancient greek "ἀψίνθιον (apsinthion) with probable reference to the nature of the bitter drink made from this plant.


The currently accepted scientific binomial (Artemisia absinthium) was proposed by Carl von Linné (1707 - 1778) Swedish biologist and writer, considered the father of modern scientific classification of living organisms in the publication "Species Plantarum" in 1753.


Distribution and habitat


·         Geoelemento: type chorological (source region) is probably East-Mediterranean or Eurasian who later became Sub-cosmopolitan. According to some of the probable origin is in Central and South America; for Pignatti, whereas this plant was known to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks could be the Middle East.


·         Distribution: Absinthe is often cultivated in most temperate parts of the world (Europe, temperate Asia, North Africa, North America and Chile. There is on all over Europe with the exception of the Dinaric Alps.


·         Habitat: It is a common plant on the walls and near the towns of submontane and mountainous regions, but also in arid and uncultivated hedgerows. Although its introduction in Italy, and then his naturalization is dated for a long time (even before the Romans), one gets the impression that it is unable to blend with the natural vegetation. The preferred substrate is acidic and calcareous soil with a basic pH, high nutritional value and dry.


·         Altitudinal distribution: in the hills these plants can be found up to 1100 m above sea level, and then attend the following plans vegetation: hilly, mountainous and subalpine.




With regard to the medicinal properties of this plant is known about which date from antiquity, there are hints in the Bible. The functions are associated with absinthe

· tonic (strengthens the body in general);

· digestive;

· anti-inflammatory (reduces an inflammatory condition);

· anthelmintic (eliminates several types of parasitic helminths or worms);

· antiseptic (property to prevent or slow the growth of microbes);

· antispasmodic (relieves muscle spasms, and relaxes the nervous system);

· cholagogue (reduces the secretion of bile to the intestine);

· stimulating hormone (invigorates and activates the nervous system and cardiovascular);

· stomach (helps the digestive function);

· febrifuge (reduces fever);

· emmenagogue (menstrual flow rule);

· vermifuge (eliminates intestinal worms).

The collection of leaves and terminal ends of the flowers for medicinal purposes (and food), occurs between July and September. In addition, the fresh shoots are designed to repel insects (fleas and moths) and mice, while an infusion of the plant is removing the snails from the fields (the compounds are strongly insecticidal sesquiterpene lactones)


It is the main ingredient in the preparation of the spirit that was used in particular by European and American artists and was then banned in the nineteenth century because of the serious problems of addiction that caused this drink, in fact, the addiction was simply due to the high alcohol content of liquor, rather than the thujone (monoterpenes). The absinthe is still produced but with lower amounts of thujone.


This plant is grown in areas with enough sun and clayey soils, however, well-drained. If the soil is dry and moderately rich plant does best.

Active Ingredients

Thujone, absintina, anabsintina, artabsina, and anabsina anabsinina. The thujone also is an active ingredient in Salvia officinalis. The active ingredients just mentioned are mainly in the leaves, in stems and flowering tops of the plant.

Pharmaco-toxicological properties

Dall'assenzio is an essential oil extract containing sesquiterpene lactones which absintina, anabsintina, artabsina, anabsina anabsinina and which can be ascribed to the pharmacological properties of the plant. The toxicity of absinthe was instead attributable to monoterpene thujone and its metabolites. Absinthe also exerts a protective effect against toxic insults to the liver, which appears to be partly associated with inhibition of hepatic microsomal enzymes. A study in rats showed that the crude extract of the plant is able to exert a preventive and curative rodents against liver damage induced by paracetamol and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), two experimental models of hepatotoxicity widely used.

Side Effects of Poisoning

The symptoms associated with acute intoxication are represented by seizures (cortical neuronal discharges), hypotension and generalized vasodilation, decreased heart rate and breathing difficulties. In the past (nineteenth and twentieth century) it was thought that chronic abuse of absinthe (a liqueur made from wormwood) was respon-sible to the emergence of "Absinto" syndrome, characterized by an initial feeling of comfort which was followed by the perception of hallucinations and a deep state of depression, prolonged use of wormwood were also attributed the onset of seizures, blindness, hallucinations and mental deterioration. Recently it was shown that the toxic effects that occur after chronic intake not only related to the content of thujone in liquor prepared according to traditional recipes.The "undesirable effects" attributed to thujone in time may actually derive chronic abuse of alcohol content in liquor and the mixture of toxic herbs (Acorus calamus, Tanacetum vulgare) which were used as adulterants of liquor, or, by 'use of adulterants such as zinc chloride or antimony. The thujone is potentially neurotoxic and, despite the low content of thujone in the liquor, are documented in several clinical cases in which it is reported the occurrence of adverse effects (seizures) in people who have become essential oil contains thujone. The literature shows a clinical case related to a patient hospitalized because of seizures associated with rhabdomyolysis, renal failure and congestive heart failure, occurred after erroneous assumption of 10 ml of essential oil of wormwood. The symptoms regressed along with a normalization of laboratory parameters after 17 days of hospitalization.



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    • daffodil2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      thank you!

    • sarclair profile image


      7 years ago

      I have not heard of the scientific name, or the family, but I have heard of herbaceous.

      This is an interesting hub. Coincidentally "Artemisia" means healthy...

      Thanks for sharing.

    • daffodil2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      thank you my friendss

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Wormwood grows in profusion where I live. As an artist I always wonder if I would paint more exciting pictures if I drank absinthe!

    • daffodil2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      ? have bought black walnet hulls capsules

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      7 years ago

      I put myself on a cleansing program once that included drinking wormwood tea. Just writing the word makes my hair stand on is the most bitter stuff in the world. I never felt better.



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