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. As thujone is an illegal food additive in the USA so Absinthe with negligible amounts of thujone is authorized here.
Why is there controversy about Absinthe Wormwood?
Common Wormwood, Artemisia Absinthium has been used in medicine from Ancient times. Utilization of it has been done :-
– It is efficient on poisoning caused by toadstools and hemlock.
– How to use as a tonic .
– Fever can be reduced.
– It acts as a stimulant to digestion.
– Treating with parasitic intestinal worms.
Green color, bitter taste and name of Absinthe is based on wormwood herb used in it’s preparation. 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.
Due to the harmful effects of thujone Absinthe was restricted in many countries. Absinthe drinking was linked to violent crimes, serious intoxication, insanity and thujone was thought to have psychoactive and psychedelic effects and to be an hallucinogen. It was even claimed that a french man killed his whole family after drinking Absinthe – he was actually an alcoholic who consumed excess quantity of other alcohol after the Absinthe!
This drink was enjoyed by most of the writers and artists before it’s illegalization. The UK, Spain, Portugal or the Czech Republic are the few European countries where Absinthe was never restricted.
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. The consumption of decent amount of Absinthe can make a person feel a funny lucid or clear headed type of drunkenness.
In the 1990s Absinthe was legalized in many countries which gave rise to a renewed interest in Absinthe drinking. 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 thujone content of wormwood should not be used more than 10mg/kg in the European Union and in the United States it can be used only in trace amounts. One should get Absinthe that contain real wormwood and herbs.