Absinthe wormwood is normally Artemisia Absinthium or Grand Wormwood which is actually a variety of wormwood which does not have a large number of the substance thujone. Some brands of Absinthe use Roman Wormwood, Artemisia Pontica, in addition to Grand Wormwood and also this type of wormwood also contains thujone www.absinthedistiller.com, so drinks with two types of wormwood may contain more thujone. Thujone amounts may vary between brands considerably, some Absinthes simply have negligible levels of thujone, whereas others have as much as 35mg/kg. Only Absinthe which includes negligible levels of thujone is legal for sale in the USA because thujone is an illegal food additive at this time there.
Why is there controversy about Absinthe Wormwood?
Common Wormwood, Artemisia Absinthium, is a plant which has been used in medicine since ancient times. It is used:-
– To counteract poisoning caused by toadstools and hemlock.
– As a tonic.
– To lessen a fever.
– As a stimulant to digestion.
– To take care of parasitic intestinal worms.
It is the herb Wormwood which gives Absinthe its bitterness, its green colour as well as its name. The essential herbal oils in Absinthe also are responsible for the famouse “louche” effect, the cloudy that occurs when water is added to the drink.
Absinthe was restricted during the early 1900s in many countries because of the alleged side effects of the substance thujone, seen in Wormwood extract. Absinthe drinking was associated with violent crimes, severe intoxication, insanity and thujone was considered to have psychoactive and psychedelic effects as well as to be a hallucinogen. It had been claimed that a french man wiped out his whole family right after drinking Absinthe – he was in fact an alcoholic who used copious sums of other alcohol right after the Absinthe!
From becoming 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 prohibited and illegal drink. It was forbidden in many European countries and also in the USA but was not ever suspended in the UK, where it had not been popular, Spain, Portugal or perhaps the Czech Republic.
Absinthe Wormwood Resurgence
There was clearly no real evidence relating Absinthe drinking to hallucinations or insanity and it’s now regarded that Absinthe isn’t any worse than every other highly alcoholic drink. Absinthe has roughly twice the alcoholic content of spirits like whisky and vodka therefore must be consumed sparingly, but Absinthe wormwood is not thought to be harmful. A lot of Absinthe drinkers do report feeling an amusing lucid or clear headed form of drunkenness when consuming a tad too much Absinthe – this might be a result of the mixture of the sedative effects of some of the herbs (as well as the alcohol content) and the stimulating effects of the Wormwood and other herbs.
Since Absinthe was legalized in many countries during the 1990s there has been a renewed interest, a resurgence, in Absinthe drinking. There are numerous types and brands of Absinthe available for sale and buyers may even order Absinthe essence, to create their very own Absinthe, online from companies like AbsintheKit.com.
Absinthe Wormwood is still the most important component in Absinthe these days but thujone content is rigorously controlled in the European Union (not more than 10mg/kg) and the United States where only trace sums are allowed. Try to find Absinthes which contain real wormwood and herbs not artificial flavors.