Wormwood is best known as main ingredient of the drink absinthe, that has narcotic, euphoric and hallucinogenic effects.
Wormwood has been used for centuries in many cultures as a medicine to treat stomachache or menstrual problems, to improve appetite and digestion, or to free the body from worms.
Wormwood or Absinthe has been used for thousands of years in many cultures as a medicine against stomach ache, to promote appetite and digestion, and for menstrual problems.
Wormwood has been used by humans for a very long time. Around 1552 B.C. it was already written about in a Papyrus Ebers. These papyrus rolls are one of the oldest and most important writings with medical information. Also in the Old Testament is written about wormwood.
According to some, Pythagoras would recommend wormwood leaves in wine to facilitate childbirth. Hippocrates described the healing properties to menstrual pain, rheumatism and anemia.
A grave in the east of England (40-60 A.D.) contained the body of possibly a druid and a sieve bowl that had been used to make Artemisia-containing tea.
In the Middle Ages, wormwood was used to treat flatulence. Later, in 1731, G. Smith published a recipe to make an alcoholic beverage, to which wormwood and sugar had been added. And in 1990, Wormwood extracts were used to combat malaria, which proved to be as effective as chloroquine.
The effects of wormwood remain mysterious. The plant contains the volatile oil Thujone, which is thought to have a psychoactive effect.
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