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. Some brands of Absinthe use Roman Wormwood, Artemisia Pontica, in addition to Grand Wormwood and this type of wormwood also contains thujone, 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. Only Absinthe which has negligible amounts of thujone is legal for sale in the USA because thujone is an illegal food additive there.
Absinthe Wormwood has a controversy?
Common Wormwood, Artemisia Absinthium, is a plant which has been used in medicine since Ancient times. It has already been used:-
– To weaken poisoning caused by toadstools and hemlock.
– As a tonic.
– Helps in lowering down a fever.
– As a digestive stimulant.
– To deal with parasitic intestinal worms.
Due to wormwood Absinthe got it’s bitter taste, green color and name. One can see the famous “louche” effect caused by the essential oils when water is added to the drink.
Absinthe was banned in the early 1900s in several countries due to it’s harmful effects. Absinthe drinking was believed to be responsible for violent crimes, serious intoxication, insanity and thujone was thought to have psychoactive and psychedelic effects. A french man killed his whole family after drinking Absinthe and lots of other alcohols for which Absinthe was claimed to be the basic cause!
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. As Absinthe has approximately twice the alcoholic content in comparison to other drinks so it should be consumed in moderation but the wormwood in it is not harmful at all. Lots of people report about feeling a funny lucid or clear headed type of drunkenness due to high 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.
The European Union and the United States allow only trace amounts of thujone which is an important content of Absinthe. Artificial flavored Absinthe should be avoided.