Artemisia absinthium


Artemisia absinthium


(traditional use) Common wormwood is an herb in the Artemisia genus native to Europe, North America, and Siberia. It has the characteristic grayish white downy leaves common to the artemisias and small yellow flower buds, and grows as a weed along fences and roadsides. It was traditionally used as a bitter tonic and carminative to support healthy appetite levels and gastrointestinal function, and a healthy flora balance in the digestive tract. The plants in the Artemisia family are known for their extreme bitterness, which was used to stimulate secretions from the gastrointestinal tract and liver. It was often used to cleanse the digestive tract of parasites and toxins during febrile illness. Wormwood was also used to support the nervous system when taken in small amounts. It was used as a chief ingredient in the notorious preparation of absinthe liqueur, to which the name absinthium refers. It was once believed that the psychotropic activity and toxicity of absinthe were due to the thujone content, however modern analysis has demonstrated that only minor amounts of this compound were present, and the effects may have been due to the copper and antimony adulterants as well as the high ethanol content.

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Traditional Health Benefits of Wormwood

Digestive Support, Immune Support

What is Wormwood Used for?

Supports healthy digestive tract function

View Important Precautions

Active Constituents of Wormwood

absinthin, anabsinthin, artabsin, resins, and various organic acids

Parts Used

Aerial Parts

Additional Resources

1.) Mills and Bone. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. Churchill Livingstone: 2005 Feb;14(2-3):87-95. Epub 2007 Jan 19. 2.) Weiss R & Fintelmann V. Herbal Medicine, 2nd ed. Thieme: 2000 3.) Gambelunghe C, Melai P. Absinthe: enjoying a new popularity among young people? Forensic Sci Int 2002;130:183-6.

Important Precautions

Not for use during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use. Not for long term use.


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

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