The wormwood plant has traditionally been used for everything from indigestion to brewing, insect repellent, and more. Wormwood ( Artemisia vulgaris L. ) is a perennial plant of the Asteraceae family. The plant grows in northern Europe and Asia; It can also be found in many parts of North America.
Wormwood grows up to 4 feet tall, but sometimes grows up to 6 feet tall. Its reddish-brown angular stems have bitter-tasting sage-scented leaves. In summer, the plant blooms with yellow or dark orange flowers.
The aerial parts of wormwood are used as an essential oil. The plant is also burned by moxibustion. In addition to its medicinal uses, wormwood has been used to spread, protect, and induce vivid dreams (when placed under a pillow).
Historically, absinthe was used by the Romans, who are said to have planted it on the side of roads so that marching soldiers could put the plant back in its place. This was done to relieve leg pain. Saint John the Baptist wore a girdle of absinthe.
Commonly known as
- Yerba de San Juan
- Common grass
- Offender weed
- Hypericum herb
- Weed chrysanthemum
- Herb royale
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What is absinthe used for?
Wormwood is considered by many to be a common weed. This is because the plant spreads aggressively, often occupying large areas of the garden. The plant is associated with ragweed and can cause allergy symptoms that resemble those caused by ragweed allergy .
So when it grows in a person's yard or garden, wormwood is often destroyed. But in other regions of the world, the benefits of absinthe are much more appreciated. The parts of the plant that grow above the ground and their roots are used to make medicines.
Wormwood is credited with many beneficial health and other properties, including :
- Emenagogue: promote regular menstrual cycles
- Nervine: calm the nerves
- Diuretic: increased diuresis (with fluid retention).
- Repel insects
- Flavoring products
Common uses for wormwood ( not supported by clinical trials) include:
- Increased energy
- Promoting dissemination
- Supports liver health
- Relief from itching (caused by scars or burns)
Wormwood is commonly used by alternative medicine specialists for many ailments. While there is preliminary research showing the potential health benefits of wormwood, there is not enough clinical research to conclusively confirm the safety and efficacy of wormwood in treating many conditions, including:
- Diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and other gastrointestinal conditions.
- Irregular menstrual periods.
- Hypochondria (obsession with illness)
- Trouble sleeping
- Anxiety and irritability
What is moxibustion?
Within the framework of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), wormwood has been used in the practice of moxibustion for thousands of years. Moxibustion involves rolling the wormwood into sticks or bumps, lighting it up, and balancing it over the area to be treated. It serves to stimulate the acupuncture point with the heat and chemical compounds of the herb.
Although this procedure may seem primitive, there is evidence from clinical studies that supports the effectiveness of moxibustion and increases the credibility of the practice of moxibustion.
A systematic review published in 2012 examined the effects of moxibustion in children with breech presentation. The study authors explained that when combined with acupuncture, moxibustion can result in fewer C-sections and that this practice also reduces the need for oxytocin (a hormone). signals the contraction of the uterus during labor).
Note: Since the mid-1960s, oxytocin-induced vaginal labor in breech babies has been almost universally discouraged in breech presentation .
The study authors concluded that performing moxibustion may also reduce the frequency of breech presentation at birth. More research is needed to conclusively demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of the procedure.
How does it work
The parts of wormwood that grow above ground are used to produce essential oil, which is made up of various therapeutic chemicals (including camphor, pinene, and cineole). This chemical compound has a variety of health benefits, including the plant's antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal effects .
Another chemical derived from wormwood is called artemisinin. It is believed to have anticancer effects.
Additionally, the chemicals in wormwood are believed to stimulate uterine contraction and promote the menstrual cycle. These chemicals are believed to be used during labor. This can cause a decrease in the dose of oxytocin to stimulate contractions.
Possible side effects.
There is not enough medical research data to prove or disprove the safety of wormwood. Wormwood is not safe for pregnant or nursing women. This can cause the uterus to contract and cause a miscarriage. Using wormwood has not been found to be safe for babies.
Anyone with an allergy to ragweed in the Asteraceae family should use wormwood with caution due to the increased likelihood of an allergic reaction to wormwood pollen. A person suffering from any other allergies to plants in the Compositae family (including ragweed) should use wormwood with caution; this includes:
- Daisy flower
Note that the Asteraceae family is sometimes referred to as the Asteraceae family. Wormwood pollen is also known to cause allergic reactions. in those allergic to tobacco.
People allergic to celery, birch, or wild carrots should use wormwood with caution because this plant is associated with a syndrome called celery-carrot-wormwood-spices.
In a 2008 study, 87% of celery allergy patients tested positive for wormwood pollen sensitization (by skin testing). The study found that 52% of carrot allergy patients tested positive for allergy to wormwood and 26% tested positive for allergy to wormwood. Study participants who were known to be hypersensitive (allergic) to cumin were allergic to wormwood.
Less common cross-reactivity (allergies) to spices and herbs, such as anise, fennel, and pepper.
Wormwood pollen can also cause allergic reactions in people allergic to:
- Royal jelly
- Nangai (variety of walnut)
- Salvia (and other plants of the genus Artemisia)
A person experiencing mild allergy symptoms to wormwood should stop taking herbs immediately and consult a doctor.
Mild allergic symptoms to wormwood can include:
- Swelling of the lips, face, or eyes
- Tingling in the mouth
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Serious allergic symptoms to wormwood can include:
- Dizziness that won't go away
- Conversation problems (hoarse voice)
- Swelling or narrowing of the throat.
- Difficulty breathing
- Noisy breathing
- Physical collapse
Serious allergic symptoms are signs of a medical emergency. Anyone with symptoms of anaphylactic shock should seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Dosage and preparation
Wormwood is commonly used in cooking to flavor many foods and beverages, including fish, meats, desserts, pancakes, soups, salads, beer, and more. Wormwood was used in Europe to flavor beer long before hops were discovered.
Wormwood can be used in various formulations, including:
- Dry leaves
- Essential oil
- Tablets (as an additive)
- Poultice (soft, moist mass of plant leaves held by tissue and applied to the body to relieve pain and inflammation)
Wormwood can be made into tea by adding 1.5 teaspoons of wormwood leaves to a cup of boiling water (in a French press or kettle), infusing for 10 minutes, then straining the leaves and serving.
A tonic is made from the roots of wormwood, which is said to increase energy.
In ancient cultures, absinthe was smoked to induce vivid dreams. This is due to the fact that wormwood has mild psychotropic effects while you are awake. The psychotropic effect can be caused by a substance that affects a person's mental state.
Wormwood lotion is sometimes applied to the skin to relieve itching caused by scars or burns. Studies have shown that wormwood and menthol lotion applied to the skin relieves itchiness in burn victims .
To prepare fresh wormwood, after harvesting, fan the stems and leaves of the plant to dry evenly and completely, then tie and hang outdoors.
The correct dosage of any medicinal supplement, including wormwood, depends on many factors, including the person's general health, age, and more. There is no medical research data to determine a safe dosage range for wormwood.
Review the package leaflet and consult a doctor or professional pharmacist to determine a safe and effective dose before taking wormwood.
Be aware that even natural supplements can cause serious side effects, especially when a person takes more than the recommended dose.
What to look for
When purchasing absinthe (or any other herbal substance), keep in mind that herbs are not regulated by a government agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Therefore, it is very important to select products that have been certified by a trusted third-party source such as USP, NSF International, or ConsumerLab.com. These organizations evaluate and report on the purity and potency of natural and herbal products.
When picking absinthe, it is important to remember that the leaves must be collected before the flowers bloom. When collecting wormwood for its essential oil content, the tops of the plant should be harvested when they first bloom. This is when the flowers contain the most powerful essential oil.
Frequently asked questions
Wormwood is a mild psychoactive herb that can change your senses. Some types of psychoactive herbs can cause hallucinations, but this is unlikely with absinthe. You have to take too much absinthe to change your senses and cause hallucinations.
This can actually be very dangerous, but more research is needed on the risks. For millennia, traditional medicine has used absinthe smoke to treat illnesses. It can be smoked like tobacco or burned on the skin. In both forms, smoke contains harmful and cancerous chemicals.
Wormwood is often considered a variety of wormwood, but the names are used synonymously. There are many species of absinthe and many species of absinthe, but they are grouped into a scientific family, the genus Artemisia . The plants are then divided into smaller groups that differ in appearance, habitat, or other characteristics.
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Wormwood is considered an invasive species in some geographic areas due to its rapid spread.
In fact, absinthe grows so fast and takes over gardens and other areas that it is illegal to plant absinthe in some states. Be sure to check your local state regulations before growing wormwood; some states impose heavy penalties for planting wormwood.