Artemisia Absinthium (Wormwood)

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Artemisia Absinthium (Wormwood) is a medicinal plant used in ayurveda and herbal medicines. It helps in digestive ailments, parasitic infestation, liver diseases and fever.

Botanical Description

Basic Information

Scientific NameARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM
Plant FamilyASTERACEAE
Hindi NameVILAYATHI AFSANTIN
Sanskrit NameINDHANA
English NameABSINTH, ABSINTHIUM, ABSINTH SAGEWORT, ABSINTH WORMWOOD
Other NamesCOMMON SAGEWORT

Botanical Classification (Taxonomy)

KingdomPLANTAE
Sub-KingdomVIRIDIPLANTAE
Infra KingdomSTREPTOPHYTA  (land plants)
Super DivisionEMBRYOPHYTA
DivisionTRACHEOPHYTA (TRACHEOPHYTES or Vascular Plants)
Sub DivisionSPERMATOPHYTINA (SPERMATOPHYTES or Seed Plants)
ClassMAGNOLIOPSIDA
Super OrderASTERANAE
OrderASTERALES
FamilyASTERACEAE (sunflowers or tournesols)
GenusARTEMISIA (wormwood, sagewort or sagebrush)
SpeciesARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM (absinth, absinthium, absinth sagewort or wormwood, common sagewort)

Medicinal Parts

  • Leaves
  • Flowers

Phytochemistry (Active Constituents)

Wormwood oil

Wormwood oil contains THUJONE phytochemical, which influences central nervous system. It can also excite the nervous system and cause seizers and convulsions.

Medicinal Properties

Artemisia Absinthium (Wormwood) has following healing properties.

  1. Anodyne
  2. Ant
  3. Anti-inflammatory
  4. Brain tonic (in low dosage)
  5. Cardiac stimulant
  6. Diuretic
  7. Emmenagogue
  8. Febrifuge

Therapeutic Indications

Artemisia Absinthium (Wormwood) is helpful in following health conditions.

Brain & Nerves

  • Epilepsy
  • Paralysis
  • Hemiplegia
  • Sciatica

Heart & Blood

  • Bradycardia (Slow heart rate)

Digestive Health

  • Loss of appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Gallbladder disorders
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Liver disorders
  • Parasitic infestation or intestinal worms

Women Health

  • Dysmenorrhea (Painful periods)

Men Health

  • Loss of Libido

Benefits & Medicinal Uses

Epilepsy

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.

Warning

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.

Crohn’s disease

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.

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.

  • Seizures
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Numbness
  • Thirst
  • Paralysis
  • Insomnia

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.

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