We’ve all seen it in movies, the wonderful green drink with faeries, absinth. If you didn’t already know the main ingredient for it to cause its effects is the wormwood herb.

So what is wormwood? Is it actually bad for you? Can it do anything else?

Wormwood is a plant that is from the daisy family. Its technical name is artemisia ansinthium.  Though be careful as it has been told that the oils (thujone) are poisonous!  Wormwood is a great addition to any garden. It survives cold winters and it also helps suppress weeds! Its roots release a compound that supresses growth of surrounding plants, so its great when you companion garden. It shoots tall sprouts and winds together.Wormwood also has an odor that repels pests!

If used for medicinal do not mistake common wormwood for true wormwood. Common wormwood is another name for mugwart which is a completely different plant. Wormwood is not bad for you in the proper doses or uses.  In folklore it is said that wormwood increases clarity and creativity. Many people believe this is because it has thujone, which is an oily substance that is found on various plants and flowers. In extreme quantities, thujone is toxic and may cause hyperactivity, excitability, delirium, seizures or worse. So like anything else be sure to consult a doctor or herbalist. It was also used as an incense around newborn children “to give the child a life of good health”.

Wormwood can be used to help the following ailments:

  • Can be used as a stimulant
  • Used as a tonic
  • rheumatism
  • anemia
  • menstrual pains
  • in middle ages it was used to cure tapeworm
  • upset stomach

In the proper amount wormwood isn’t bad for you, and absinth drinkers have nothing to fear from wormwood or thujone. The only thing you have to worry about if you drink absinth is the next morning 😉