Absinthe wormwood is normally Artemisia Absinthium or Grand Wormwood which is actually a variety of wormwood which does not contain a vast amount of the chemical thujone. A few brands of Absinthe use Roman Wormwood which also contains thujone in addition to Grand Wormwood so drinks with two types of wormwood may contain more thujone. Thujone amounts can differ between brands significantly, some Absinthes only have negligible amounts of thujone, whereas others have up to 35mg/kg. Absinthe with thujone content is restricted in the USA.
Controversy is there about Absinthe Wormwood?
Common Wormwood, Artemisia Absinthium, is a plant which has been used in medicine since Ancient times. It has already been used:-
- To counteract poisoning caused by toadstools and hemlock.
- One can use as a tonic.
- To reduce a fever.
- It is used as a stimulant to digestion.
- Treating with parasitic intestinal worms.
Due to wormwood Absinthe got it’s bitter taste, green color and name. The essential herbal oils in Absinthe are also responsible for the famous “louche” effect, the cloudy that happens when water is added to the drink.
Absinthe was banned in the early 1900s in many countries because of the alleged harmful effects of the chemical thujone, found in Wormwood extract. Absinthe drinking was linked to different crimes and problems and thujone was thought to be a psychoactive and psychedelic element. After drinking the Absinthe a french man consumed lots of other alcohol and killed his family for which Absinthe was made responsible!
Several writers and artists enjoyed this Bohemian drink and it was suddenly a banned and illegal drink. Absinthe was never restricted in the UK, Spain, Portugal or the Czech Republic though banned in many European countries.
Absinthe Wormwood Revival
There was never any real evidence linking Absinthe drinking to hallucinations or insanity and it is now known that Absinthe is no worse than any other highly alcoholic drink. One should consume Absinthe in moderation because of double amount of the alcoholic content in it. The combination of the sedative effects of some of the herbs (and the alcohol content)and the stimulating effects of the Wormwood and other herbs can make a person feel a funny lucid or clear headed type of drunkenness when consuming heavy dose of Absinthe.
Several countries legalized Absinthe in the 1990s. There are many different types and brands of Absinthe available to buy and buyers can even order Absinthe essence, to make their own Absinthe, online from companies like AbsintheKit.com.
Even today the exact amount of thujone in Absinthe is unauthorized in the European Union and in the United States. It is necessary to have Absinthe that contain real wormwood and herbs.