Hey, I had a good time at my cousin`s some days ago, going through a book that described a number of herbs. Of all herbs I read about, there was this one herb that I could not take off my mind. I had to do some more research on it, and I am excited to share my findings with you. This herb, Wormwood, is loaded with some more amazing names — green ginger, motherwort, grand and common wormwood, absinthe, absinthium, ajenjo, and even old woman! What? And its botanical name, Artemisia absinthium. Wormwood is indigenous to the temperate climate zones of Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. I`m sure you want to know about this wonderful herb.
Interesting Facts about Wormwood
- Wormwood is a perennial plant that can survive from 3 to 10 years in the wild.
- Wormwood produces yellow, tubular flowers found in drooping, multi-branching inflorescence. Its flowers contain both types of reproductive organs, bisexual or hermaphrodite flowers.
- Wormwood blooms during the summer and autumn, and its flowers are pollinated by wind.
- Studies revealed that substances isolated from wormwood have the potential to treat various types of cancer.
- Wormwood is used as flavoring agent of wines, vermouth, and bitters.
- When mixed with apple cider vinegar, fresh leaves of wormwood can be used as a potent insecticide.
What does it Contain?
Here is a list of compounds that make wormwood a wonder. Let`s take a look, and discuss some of them later in the article.
- acetylenes (trans-dehydromatricaria ester, C13 and C14 trans-spiroketalenol ethers and others)
- ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
- azulenes (chamazulene, dihydrochamazulenes, bisabolene, camphene, cadinene, sabinene, trans-
- sabinylacetate, phellandrene, pinene, and others)
- flavonoids (quercitin 3-glucoside, quercitin 3-rhamnoglucoside, spinacetin 3-glucoside, spinacetin 3-rhamnoglucoside, and others)
- lignins (diayangambin and epiyangambin)
phenolic acids (p-hydroxyphenylacetic, p-coumaric, chlorogenic, protocatechuic, vanillic, syringic, and others)
- thujone and isothujone
- sesquiterpene lactones (absinthin, artabsin, anabsinthin, artemetin, artemisinin, arabsin, artabin,
- artabsinolides, artemolin, matricin, isoabsinthin, and others)
Let’s Describe it More!
It is a perennial shrub-like plant that belongs to the aster family bracket (Asteraceae). Its roots produce firm stems covered with delicate hairs. What else? Its leaves are green and its flowers are yellow. It is usually between 1 and 1.5 meters in height and can be found to be commercially cultivated in many parts of the world, including the United States. Did you know it’s one of the most bitter herbs that exist? Oh yes, it is. It contains silica, thujone, tannis, flavonoids, inuline, and anti-inflammatory agents such as absinthin and anabsinthine that add to its bitter taste. Wormwood is usually mixed with peppermint to reduce its bitter taste.
What do we Need Wormwood for anyway?
It Gets Rid of Worms
Have you ever wondered why it has that name, Wormwood? I will tell you. An extract made from the plant has for centuries been effectively used as herbal medicine to eliminate intestinal worms such as pinworms and roundworms. So it`s indeed a worm wood.
To Ease Pain
The herb has anesthetic effects that make it useful in the reduction of arthritis and rheumatism pain. It doesn’t leave out labor pain and menstrual cramps. Wormwood is super at easing pains.
It is Used in Treating Anorexia
Anorexia is a loss of appetite for food. Because Wormwood is bitter, it is effective in stimulating an appetite for food.
It Calms a Whole Lot!
It is helpful, due to its calming effects, in treating mild forms of depression, epilepsy, and muscle spasms. Is Wormwood not just amazing?
It Stimulates the Digestive System
Having digestion issues? Relax. Many problems involving the digestive system are under Wormwood`s control. It relieves indigestion and stimulates better digestion because it produces bile and it supports gallbladder and liver health. It gets even more effective when combined with other digestive herbs such as ginger or peppermint.
Effective in Treating Malaria
Wormwood is highly effective in drastically reducing parasites in the blood of anyone suffering from malaria. Artemisinin, one of the most powerful anti-malaria drugs, was extracted from Wormwood. Did you know that the World Health Organisation recommended artemisinin as the first line of treatment for P.falciparum malaria? Interesting! Now you know how amazing Wormwood is. Keep reading to know more.
It Stimulates Menstruation
Hey ladies, now Wormwood has got this super one for you, and that’s the result of emmenagogue, a substance that stimulates or increases menstrual flow, present in Wormwood. Wormwood can stimulate menstruation and regulate its cycle. What a wonder herb Wormwood is!
It is Useful in Treating SIBO
SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, is a condition which comes with unwanted weight loss, chronic diarrhea, osteoporosis, nutritional deficiencies, and a wide range of other problems. Wormwood does well in dealing with SIBO mercilessly.
And Crohn`s Disease?
Crohn`s disease is an inflammatory disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, leading to fatigue, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. Wormwood is capable of treating it.
Another delightful part of this wonder: Wormwood tea! Let`s talk about it.
Making Wormwood tea is really easy. It’s too easy for you not to make and enjoy it nutritious benefits.I`ll tell you just how to make Wormwood tea. Here is how:
- Take half a teaspoon of well crushed and dried wormwood.
- Added to a cup of boiled water.
- Allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain out the herbs and see it ready to drink.
- You can drink it beta or add some peppermint.
Wormwood is available as an essential oil, tablets, capsules, tincture, and aqueous extract dosage forms. The dosage of wormwood powder (leaves or flowers) is 500 mg to 3 grams. Its maximum dosage of wormwood powder should not exceed 6 grams per day.
Side Effects of Wormwood
You would agree with me from your reading that Wormwood is a wonder, and like many other wonder herbs, it can have its not-so-good sides. Let`s talk about them.
- Consuming wormwood habitually for more than four weeks at a time may be dangerous to the health due to the presence of thujone in it, as thujone can cause muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis) seizures, kidney failure, restlessness, sleep difficulty, nightmares, vomiting, stomach cramps, dizziness, tremors, urine retention, thirst, changes in heart rate, numbness of arms and legs, paralysis, and death.
- Excessive use can cause intestinal and stomach cramps, nausea, headache,
- People with kidney failure should avoid taking Wormwood, as it may cause more complications.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking Wormwood, as thujone, present in it, causes muscular contractions and spasms.
- This same thujone is toxic to nerves, hence may cause nerve damage if overdosed.
You know the nature of this herb, you know its uses. What else? You know its side effects and even amazing facts about it. It is so wonderful in its composition and benefits that everyone has something to derive from it. From its ability to get rid of worms to its nature of easing pain, treating anorexia, stimulating the digestive system and still calming you, not leaving out its anti-malarial wonder, and what else? SIBO, Crohn`s disease, and menstrual anomaly all settled…Wow! What a herb we have in Wormwood. The choice is yours to enjoy the wonders of wormwood for a better health, and not forget to tell a someone about it. I wait to read about your amazing experience with wormwood.