Wormwood ( Artemisia absinthium ) is a perennial plant that grows back every year. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
The name of wormwood is due to the fact that it can eliminate unwanted parasites. The bitter-tasting essential oil from this hearty herb also has other health benefits. It can help with digestion, relieve pain, and reduce bloating.
This article explains how wormwood is used medicinally and what is known from medical research about how it works. The available forms of wormwood and possible side effects are also discussed.
If you are new to the study of absinthe, you will find that it is known by several other names. You can see them by researching their uses or comparing absinthe products. Other commonly used names for wormwood include:
- Green ginger
- Grass of San Juan
What is absinthe used for?
Research has proven many uses for absinthe. While research is limited, as is often the case in herbal medicine, this is what is known.
Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the digestive system with symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fatigue. Research shows that taking absinthe benefits people with Crohn's disease, but the results are based on small samples.
In one study, 10 people with the condition were given 750 milligrams (mg) of dry ground wormwood three times a day, in addition to their usual treatment for six weeks. Ten people who did not receive absinthe formed the control group.
Among those who took wormwood, eight out of 10 reported a decrease in symptoms, while only two in the placebo group said their symptoms improved. The study also showed an improvement in mood in those who took the supplements compared to the control group.
Another older study included 40 adults living with Crohn's disease. They were given 1,500 mg of wormwood per day or a placebo. Symptoms improved significantly in 65% of those who took wormwood, compared to 15% in the control group. The absinthe patients also did not need this amount of steroids (a common Crohn's drug) after eight weeks of supplementation.
Small studies on the use of wormwood in people with Crohn's disease may show promising results. However, as with many other supplements, more research is needed on how safe and effective they are.
However, most research on the use of wormwood as an antiparasitic agent is based on animal studies that cannot be interpreted as having the same value in humans. One such study in mice, published in the Journal of Helminthology , showed that wormwood caused loss of muscle function and the death of parasites. The treatment has been shown to work in the same way as some of the major antiparasitic drugs.
About two-thirds of Americans experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as gas, bloating, heartburn, stomach pain, constipation, and diarrhea. Research shows that wormwood aids digestion and reduces intestinal and stomach cramps.
Wormwood can also increase appetite and promote the production of saliva, other digestive enzymes, or proteins that promote metabolism. All of these support healthy digestion and overall health.
A small study has shown that wormwood can reduce pain and swelling in the body. The study included 42 people who received 300 mg of wormwood extract per day, 600 mg of extract per day, or a placebo for 12 weeks. Participants who took 300 mg per day said their pain levels improved, but the same effect was not found in the other two groups.
A review of the research literature published in 2018 found that all types of wormwood , such as wormwood, are beneficial pain relievers. This is because they contain antioxidants that help protect your cells through a chemical reaction. They can also reduce swelling.
Arthritis and immune support
Inflammation is associated with many chronic diseases, acute and chronic pain, and decreased immune function. Artemisinin, a compound found in wormwood , can help. It stops the body from making cytokines, a type of protein that causes inflammation.
Many people use wormwood to relieve pain and swelling caused by arthritis. A study of 180 people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) examined the differences between those who received wormwood extract or a placebo for 12 weeks. Those who took wormwood reported significant relief from joint pain, and wormwood was found to be safer than some of the conventional medications used to treat RA.
Another study involving 90 people with knee pain found that applying 3% wormwood ointment to sore joints reduced pain and improved physical function in patients with osteoarthritis .
Wormwood is a medicinal plant that has been used for thousands of years. It shows promise in treating Crohn's disease and intestinal parasitic infections. It can also improve digestion and immune system function, or help relieve pain, including arthritis pain.
Possible side effects of wormwood
Wormwood is relatively safe for short-term consumption of two to four weeks. Long-term use for four or more weeks and / or taking more than recommended can cause side effects.
These side effects can be serious. They include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Threw up
- The need to constantly move
Since wormwood contains ingredients that can cause toxic effects, people with certain medical conditions should not consume wormwood. They include:
- Pregnant or Nursing – Animal studies show that wormwood can cause miscarriage.
- Epilepsy or other seizure disorder : Wormwood contains thujone , a chemical known to cause seizures. Wormwood can also reduce the effects of certain anticonvulsants.
- Heart disease : If you are taking Coumadin (warfarin) for heart health, wormwood can cause bleeding in the intestines.
- Kidney Disease : Wormwood is toxic to the kidneys and can lead to kidney failure.
- Allergy : wormwood belongs to the Asteraceae family. If you are allergic to any of this group, such as ragweed or calendula, avoid wormwood.
While absinthe is safe for most adults when used for a short time, it is important to discuss its use with your healthcare professional. In some cases, it cannot be taken with certain medications. Wormwood is not safe for children.
Dosage and preparation of absinthe.
There are currently no specific dosage recommendations for wormwood. Be sure to follow all the recommended dosages listed on the labels of commercially available absinthe products. Large amounts can cause serious side effects.
Wormwood is commonly used as a tea. It can also be used as an extract, in some cases applied to the skin as an essential oil. Dried (not fresh) leaves can be used to make absinthe tea.
Wormwood tea recipe:
- Pour 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of dried absinthe leaves into a cup (250 ml) of boiling water.
- Let it act for 5-10 minutes; the longer it is infused, the more bitter the taste.
- Add mint, honey, or lemon juice to taste (optional).
What to look for
Absinthe is sold in health food stores and online. It can be found in the form of essential oil, tablets, and liquid extracts.
The FDA considers wormwood to be unsafe for internal use because it contains the toxic thujone. The FDA requires that all absinthe products sold in the United States be thujone-free.
Be sure to look for a product that is approved by third-party quality testing. These organizations include the United States Pharmacopeia, ConsumerLab.com, and NSF International. The seal of approval confirms that the product has been manufactured correctly, contains the ingredients listed on the label, and does not contain harmful levels of contaminants.
Wormwood has been shown to have many benefits, but be sure to check with your doctor before taking it. It is also important to think about the possible side effects and decide if the benefits are worth the risk.
Get the word of drug information
Wormwood is a nutrient-rich herb that has been shown to be beneficial for people with Crohn's disease and arthritis. It can also remove unwanted parasites like pinworms and malaria from the body and promote healthy digestion.
As with any dietary supplement, it is important to consult your doctor before consuming wormwood. They can help you choose the correct form and dosage of absinthe.