Medicinal plants

Wormwood – Application & Treatment for Health


Wormwood or wormwood herb (botanical: Artemisia absinthium L.) belongs to the daisy family of plants. It is also popularly known as absinthe or wormweed.

Occurrence & Cultivation of Wormwood

Wormwood grows as a perennial subshrub with a strong rootstock, preferring dry, calcareous soil.

The plant, which is up to 120 centimeters high, has characteristic silver-grey hairy leaves and has a strong aromatic scent. Wormwood blooms between July and September. Its inflorescences consist of numerous, small, globular caplets containing yellow tubular flowers.

Wormwood grows at altitudes of up to 3500 meters. It is widespread in Europe, Asia, North Africa and now also in North and South America. Wormwood is grown locally as a medicinal plant.

Effect & Application

Wormwood contains essential oil , the main component of which is the poisonous thujone. Bitter substances are found in high concentrations in wormwood, including mainly absinthe. Various flavonoids were also detected. In addition, small amounts of acytelium are suspected.

Wormwood is harvested and cultivated in Germany, the quality of which is specified in the European Pharmacopoeia. The tips of the branches of flowering plants are used. On the one hand, they are sold as a cut drug for tea preparations. Dry extracts (in the form of coated tablets or tablets) and aqueous or aqueous-alcoholic extracts (as tinctures or drops) are also available as phytopharmaceuticals.

In addition to the use of wormwood as a medicinal drug, wormwood herb is added as a spice to hard-to-digest foods in some regions. The best known is probably the use of wormwood to make wormwood wine and absinthe – a dangerous, high-proof alcoholic beverage .

Possible side effects from an overdose of wormwood include drowsiness to the point of delirium, malaise , and vomiting . In severe cases, kidney damage can occur. This is due to the toxic effect of the thujone contained in wormwood.

Importance to health

Wormwood was used as a medicinal plant in ancient times . Wormwood was considered appetizing and beneficial for digestion. Hildegard von Bingen described in detail the use of wormwood in traditional medicine in the Middle Ages . The use of wormwood as a wormer is also documented, which is also indicated by the English language designation of wormwood as “wormwood”.

As a committee of the European Medicines Agency, the Herbal Medicinal Product Committee (HMPC) decides on the classification of herbal drugs and their approval as herbal medicinal products. Wormwood has been classified as a Traditional Herbal Medicinal Product by the HMPC.

The effectiveness of wormwood has been proven to stimulate appetite, indigestion and to stimulate liver function. Wormwood is therefore mainly used in the treatment of temporary loss of appetite , flatulence , gastritis and other spasmodic complaints in the gastrointestinal tract.

Anyone suffering from gallstones or other bile disorders should consult a doctor before treatment. People with allergies to daisy family should not use preparations containing wormwood. It is also not recommended for pregnant women and nursing mothers. The use of wormwood is also not recommended for children and young people, as there is still no knowledge of its harmlessness.

When using commercially available phytopharmaceuticals, the manufacturer’s dosage instructions must be observed. For a tea infusion, about 150 milliliters of boiling water is poured over a teaspoon of wormwood herb, left covered for 10 to 15 minutes and then strained. Three cups of freshly prepared tea daily are recommended. To stimulate the appetite, wormwood tea infusion should be drunk about half an hour before meals, and after meals in case of acute digestive problems.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.