Artemisia Absinthium (Wormwood)
Artemisia Absinthium (Wormwood) is a medicinal plant used in ayurveda and herbal medicines. It helps in digestive ailments, parasitic infestation, liver diseases and fever.
|Scientific Name||ARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM|
|Hindi Name||VILAYATHI AFSANTIN|
|English Name||ABSINTH, ABSINTHIUM, ABSINTH SAGEWORT, ABSINTH WORMWOOD|
|Other Names||COMMON SAGEWORT|
Botanical Classification (Taxonomy)
|Infra Kingdom||STREPTOPHYTA (land plants)|
|Division||TRACHEOPHYTA (TRACHEOPHYTES or Vascular Plants)|
|Sub Division||SPERMATOPHYTINA (SPERMATOPHYTES or Seed Plants)|
|Family||ASTERACEAE (sunflowers or tournesols)|
|Genus||ARTEMISIA (wormwood, sagewort or sagebrush)|
|Species||ARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM (absinth, absinthium, absinth sagewort or wormwood, common sagewort)|
Phytochemistry (Active Constituents)
Wormwood oil contains THUJONE phytochemical, which influences central nervous system. It can also excite the nervous system and cause seizers and convulsions.
Artemisia Absinthium (Wormwood) has following healing properties.
- Brain tonic (in low dosage)
- Cardiac stimulant
Artemisia Absinthium (Wormwood) is helpful in following health conditions.
Brain & Nerves
Heart & Blood
- Bradycardia (Slow heart rate)
- Loss of appetite
- Gallbladder disorders
- Crohn’s disease
- Liver disorders
- Parasitic infestation or intestinal worms
- Dysmenorrhea (Painful periods)
- Loss of Libido
Benefits & Medicinal Uses
Wormwood leaves powder paste application on the scalp can prevent epilepsy attacks and convulsions. How does it work is yet unknown, but this remedy is commonly used in traditional folk medicine.
Wormwood oil can itself cause seizures. In ayurveda, internal use of leaves is also suggested for epilepsy and hysteria. However, it may be beneficial in lower dosage (less than 500 mg per day).
Larger amounts of leaves powder can also excite the central nervous system and can cause more seizures, so unwise use of wormwood leaves can result in severe side effects.
The second thing to remember is that you should never use wormwood extract because it may not be safer than crude wormwood powder.
Paralysis & Hemiplegia
Wormwood is central nervous system stimulant and nervine tonic. It also improves blood circulation due to cardiac stimulant properties. Due to these reasons, it can also help in paralytic disorders. It can improve sensation and movement of paralytic parts of the body. Its leaves decoction is used in paralysis.
Bradycardia (Slow heart rate)
Artemisia Absinthium (Wormwood) has cardiac stimulant properties and it provides strength to the heart muscles, according to ayurevdic herbal science. Therefore, it also improves heart rate and stabilizing heart problems that cause bradycardia.
Loss of appetite & Indigestion
However, wormwood is rarely used for loss of appetite and indigestion because there are several safer ayurvedic remedies available. Artemisia Absinthium flowers and leaves improve appetite and helps improving digestion process.
Some research studies have suggested that wormwood can improve the symptoms in Crohn’s disease. Its regular consumption for 2 – 3 months can help lowering symptoms of the disease and reducing steroid dosage.
The dosage of wormwood powder (leaves or flowers) is 500 mg to 3 grams. The maximum dosage of wormwood powder should not exceed from 6 grams per day.
Wormwood oil is not for internal use, as per ayurveda. Therefore, you should avoid using wormwood oil.
Caution & Side Effects
Artemisia Absinthium (Wormwood) in natural form is POSSIBLY SAFE in recommended amounts (less than 6 grams a day).
The safety of wormwood depends on the amount of THUJONE content present in the wormwood. In natural crude form, wormwood contains lesser amount of THUJONE as compared to its oil and extract.
THUJONE can cause following side effects.
- Nausea & Vomiting
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Artemisia Absinthium (Wormwood) is UNSAFE in pregnancy and breastfeeding. It may cause bleeding, uterine contractions and then miscarriage.
THUJONE content also result in loss of pregnancy. Avoid wormwood in pregnancy even in supplemental dosage.