Absinthe wormwood is normally Artemisia Absinthium or Grand Wormwood which is actually a variety of wormwood which doesn’t contain a large number of the compound thujone. Several brands of Absinthe use Roman Wormwood, Artemisia Pontica, together with Grand Wormwood and this form of wormwood also includes thujone, so drinks with 2 types of wormwood might have more thujone. Thujone amounts can differ between brands considerably, some Absinthes just have negligible quantities of thujone, whereas others have approximately 35mg/kg. Only Absinthe that has negligible amounts of thujone is legal for sale in the USA due to the fact that thujone is an outlawed food additive there.
Why is there disputes about Absinthe Wormwood?
Common Wormwood, Artemisia Absinthium, is a plant which has been used in medicine for thousands of years. It’s been used:-
– To combat poisoning caused by toadstools and hemlock.
– Being a tonic.
– To relieve temperature.
– Being a stimulant to digestion.
– To take care of parasitic intestinal worms.
It’s the herb Wormwood which gives Absinthe its bitterness, its green colour and its name myabsinthe. The essential herbal oils in Absinthe also are the cause of the famouse “louche” effect, the cloudy that happens when water is added to the drink.
Absinthe was prohibited in the early 1900s in lots of countries due to the alleged harmful effects of the chemical thujone, seen in Wormwood extract. Absinthe drinking was connected with violent crimes, serious intoxication, madness and thujone was believed to have psychoactive and psychedelic effects and to be a hallucinogen. It was even claimed that a french man killed his whole family after drinking Absinthe – he was in fact an alcoholic who ingested copious quantities of other alcohol right after the Absinthe!
From being a trendy Bohemian drink enjoyed by many writers and artists, such as Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde, it had been instantly a banned and illegal drink. It was forbidden in a great many European countries as well as in the USA but was not ever stopped in the UK, where it had not been popular, Spain, Portugal or even the Czech Republic.
Absinthe Wormwood Resurgence
There was clearly no real evidence connecting Absinthe drinking to hallucinations or insanity and it’s now known that Absinthe isn’t any worse than any other highly alcoholic drink. Absinthe has approximately two times the alcoholic content of spirits including whisky and vodka and thus should be consumed sparingly, but Absinthe wormwood is not considered to be harmful. Many Absinthe drinkers do report feeling an amusing lucid or clear headed type of drunkenness when consuming a little too much Absinthe – this could be because of the combination of the sedative effects of some of the herbs (and the alcohol content) as well as the stimulating outcomes of the Wormwood along with other herbs.
Since Absinthe was legalized in many countries during the 1990s there has been a renewed interest, a resurgence, in Absinthe drinking important source. There are numerous types and brands of Absinthe on the market and buyers may even order Absinthe essence, to create their own Absinthe, online from businesses like AbsintheKit.com.
Absinthe Wormwood is still the most critical component in Absinthe today but thujone content is rigorously controlled in the European Union (not more than 10mg/kg) and the United States where only trace amounts are permitted. Search for Absinthes which contain real wormwood and herbs not artificial flavors.