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Wormwood: Its Medicinal Properties

Aug 17, 2007
If not for the medicinal properties of wormwood, we might not be enjoying this otherworldly drink known as absinthe today.

Due to a plethora of illnesses and ailments which wormwood was believed to cure, absinthe was first mass-produced in 1798 as a tonic. Thousands of years ago, wormwood had already been harvested in China as a cure for malaria thanks to its artemisinin component, which reacts with the high iron levels in the malarial parasite, producing free radicals. These then destroy the cell walls of the parasite, effectively subduing the illness. Today, it is still one of the most effective malarial cures and is still being sought in Asia and certain places in Africa.

The downside to this herb, however, is its extreme bitterness. This is why several other herbs have been added to the absinthe recipe to make the taste more appealing. On the other hand, it is exactly this tartness that stimulates the bitter-sensing taste buds of the tongue and consequently sends signals to our brain, stimulating our digestive system. It also excites the liver's bile production and bile storage in the gall bladder.

Below are more of wormwood's medicinal uses:

As a digestive stimulant. Used in treating stomach pain, bloating, gas, heartburn, and indigestion.

As a tonic in recuperation. Wormwood has been known to aid in the absorption of nutrients in the body, thus helping people recover from a long illness.

As a purgative. This perennial shrub has been extensively used to purge intestinal worms (thus its name), particularly roundworms and pinworms.

As an insecticide. Its hairy yellowish-green leaves contain glands that have resinous fragments where the natural insecticide resides.

As a potential cancer cure. Research has shown that artemisinin, the same substance responsible for treating malaria, can also be used to target cancer cells.

As a pain reliever. Wormwood has been used to relieve pains associated with childbirth, as well as muscle sores and pain due to arthritic joints, broken bones, and sprains.

As an anti-inflammatory agent. It has long been known to cure inflammation of the gall bladder as well as certain types of infections, jaundice, and hepatitis.

As a brain stimulant. Due to its component thujone, it has been used to treat mild depression and to restore impaired cognitive functions such as perceiving, remembering, and thinking.

Wormwood preparations should only be done by professionals in the field due to the danger of ingesting dangerously high levels of thujone. However, the thujone levels used in all our products are true to the original Swiss recipe and are highly regulated, safely giving you those sought-after effects when consumed in the recommended manner.
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