Absinthe thujone

Absinthe thujone is the chemical found in Absinthe’s essential ingredient, the plant called Common Wormwood, or Artemisia Absinthium to give it its botanical name. The chemical thujone was to some extent accountable for Absinthe being banned in the early 1900s in lots of countries around the globe and thujone is still tightly regulated these days, especially in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was thought to be much like THC found in cannabis and Absinthe had been purported to be psychoactive and have psychedelic effects causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe was popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre within Paris and several artists absinthe legal and writers claimed that Absinthe, the Green Fairy, gave them inspiration and their genius. Famous Absinthe drinkers consist of Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas, Baudelaire and Verlaine. Some claim that Van Gogh’s madness was caused by Absinthe and that he cut off his ear under its influence. Absinthe was even blamed for a man murdering his family, although he had ingested many other strong alcoholic beverages after the Absinthe.

Prohibition campaigners used news of the murder to campaign for the banning of Absinthe and held responsible France’s growing problems of alcohol dependency on the emerald liquor.

Is Absinthe thujone Hazardous?

Today’s studies suggest that it was really the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe that was dangerous instead of the thujone. Absinthe is twice as strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be taken when ingesting Absinthe. Thujone is merely obtained in minute quantities and should therefore result in no major negative effects or perhaps health problems. The EU stipulates that alcohol based drinks with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level over 25% may only consist of a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” may contain up to 35mg/kg, it is not totally clear which class Absinthe matches but most brands of Absinthe have much under 35mg with many being beneath 10mg/kg. In the US it is simply legal to get or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone may be dangerous causing convulsions but you would need to drink a great deal of Absinthe to use that volume of thujone plus it will be impossible to drink that amount, you’d be comatose from alcohol until then!

Absinthe Ingredients

It is said that Henri-Louis Pernod, who owned the first Absinthe distillery, utilized the herbs wormwood, aniseed, fennel, lemon balm, hyssop, angelica root, dittany, star anise, nutmeg, juniper and veronica to make his famous Pernod Absinthe. The essential oil from all of these herbs accounts for La Louche, the clouding which comes about when water is put into Absinthe. These kinds of herbs particularly the aniseed and anise lead to the distinctive aniseed or licorice flavor of Absinthe and wormwood is responsible for the bitter flavor. Absinthe is oftentimes utilized as bitters in cocktails.

There are lots of brands of Absinthe or Absinthe alternatives which were developed in the ban and therefore contain no Absinthe thujone or perhaps wormwood, but a majority of people would say that Absinthe isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter flavor of wormwood. If you want real Absinthe look for brands containing wormwood or Absinthe thujone.