Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

Wormwood Information

Artemisia absinthium is the botanical name of the plant more commonly known as wormwood. Other common names for Artemisia absinthium include absinthe wormwood, absinthium, grand wormwood, green ginger, and true wormwood.

The Artemisia genus (which contains over 200 species) is part of the Asteraceae family (also called the Compositae family) of plants. Asteraceae is more commonly known as the daisy or sunflower family. It is comprised of over 1,100 genera and 20,000 species.

Some species of plants in the family are cultivated as food crops, they include artichoke, chicory, lettuce, and safflower plants. Other members of the family like chrysanthemums are grown as ornamental plants by gardeners.

Scientific Classification Of Artemisia absinthium Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: Artemisia absinthium

Artemisia absinthium is thought to have originated in Asia or Europe. It can now be found growing wild in parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America.

The wormwood plant has been used for medical purposes since ancient times. In the east, it has a long history as an additive in sake (rice wine). But in the west, wormwood has only been utilized more recently as an ingredient in absinthe, and some other alcohol based drinks such as vermouth.

The origins of the word wormwood can be traced back to the middle english word wormwode, which is derived from the traditional use of wormwood (as a cure for intestinal worms).

The word wormwood appears in the Christian bible several times. Because of its bitterness, wormwood is often used to describe something very bitter or poison. Although it is found mostly in the old testament, the most well known reference to most people is in the new testament.

In the eighth chapter of the book of revelations, verses 10-11 say that the third angel blew his trumpet and a large star fell from the sky. The star was called wormwood, it fell on a third of the rivers and many people died from this water, because it was turned to wormwood.

In Ukrainian, the word chernobyl is translated into english as mugwort or common wormwood, a species of Artemisia very similar to Artemisia absinthium. The town of Pripyat (in the Ukraine) was the scene of the worst accident ever in the history of nuclear power.

On April 26, 1986 (just after 01:20 a.m), an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant caused radioactive contamination of the surrounding area. The town of Pripyat is now a ghost town. A 2005 report said 56 people died directly as a result of the explosion, while up to 6.5 million people were highly exposed to radiation.

Some of those who were exposed will develop some kind of radiation related illness, that will eventually kill them. The report also noted that by the year 2002, there were 4000 diagnosed cases of thyroid cancer among children that had been exposed to radiation from the accident.

Medical Uses Of Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

Artemisia absinthium has been used to rid the body of worms since ancient times. It has long been used to cause abortions and induce labor, and more recently to treat epilepsy and spasms.

When made into tea, Artemisia absinthium can been used to treat appetite problems, diarrhea, gallbladder problems, nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting.

Wormwood oil can be applied externally to bruises, cuts, itching, skin irritations, and sprains. The oil acts as a local anesthetic and can be applied to relieve the pain associated with arthritis, lumbago, neuralgia, rheumatism, tuberculosis, and other ailments.

How To Use Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

You can buy wormwood extract and leaves (foliage) here. They ship from the USA to most countries. Wormwood leaves can be consumed, but it takes large amounts to produce any notable effects. When consumed with marijuana they can impart a pleasant contribution to the high, but the best way to consume wormwood is in extract form.

Wormwood extract can be smoked by itself but when consumed with marijuana, wormwood extract increases the potency of marijuana and adds its own effects to the mix. Break up about 1/8 to 1/4 gram of wormwood extract into small pieces and mix with some marijuana, then smoke in a pipe.

1/8 to 1/4 gram is a good amount to start with, if you would like a stronger effect, smoke a bit more. Besides being stronger than either substance is on its own, the combined high is more energetic and clear-minded than smoking marijuana alone is. Wormwood leaves and extract can last over a year when stored in a cool environment away from light.

Wormwood should not be consumed by woman who are pregnant because thujone may cause a miscarriage. Ingestion may also cause irritation of the GI tract and stomach, so it should be taken in moderation (or not at all) by anyone with intestinal ulcers or stomach ulcers.

Avoid ingesting preparations sold as Wormwood Oil, besides tasting really bad, wormwood oil can be dangerous if taken in a quantity large enough to produce psychoactive effects. Wormwood oil should not be ingested internally in quantities larger than 5 drops. In a dose of 5 drops or less, the oil can act a stimulant tonic and improve the appetite.

You can use wormwood oil to treat pain, as well as cuts and burns. Apply some oil (q-tips work well) to the area that is painful, cut, or burned. Wormwood oil does cut down the amount of pain, but should not be applied to areas over internal organs like the kidneys, liver, etcetera.

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The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants:
Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications

Very nice book and considering the subject matter, it's easy to understand. The botany, history, distribution, cultivation, preparation and dosage of more than 400 psychoactive plants. Over 900 pages with hundreds of black and white illustrations and full color photographs.

Information about almost every plant that has been used for medical, spiritual, or recreational purposes. Includes all the common and most of the less common plant drugs. This is the most thorough plant drug encyclopedia available at the present time. Contains eight pages of Artemisia info with several color and black and white images.

The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants

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