Home > All about absinthe > What is wormwood?
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-- By Tess B in Lincs on Mon, 16 Apr 2007 at 08:05.
I believe that there are actually two constituents of
wormwood - absinthine and anabsinthine. It has traditionaly been used to make beer (wormwood ale) and also a wine tonic to cure stomach upsets, as you say. But wormwood was also widley used in religion. There is a Mexican festival that uses garlands of the plant, during a pre Christian ritual worship of the Salt Goddess. In fact, wormwood plays an important part in many ancient magic rituals - I was wondering if it was this fact that influenced the belief that absinthe had the power to create shamanic type visons? I am not sure what wormwood is used for - to conjure up spirits or something? It's an interesting thought. I must admit that I've never had any deities turn up when I've been drinking absinthe, but then the modern day absinthe doesn't contain as much wormwood.
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About the wormwood plant
The Vaults of Erowid site has a section about wormwood with information, photos of the plant and even experiences by people who have "experimented" with wormwood.
Wormwood tea anyone? The Golden Harvest Organics site has the recipe (the tea is to be used as a natural insect repellent, not drunk!), plus some tips on growing and harvesting the plant.
Purdue University's Center for New Crops & Plant Products has a short entry on wormwood that gives its common names, habitat and desription.
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