We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Wormwood?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Many plants in the genus Artemisia are known as “wormwood,” although most people use the term specifically to refer to A. absinthium or grande wormwood, the primary active ingredient in absinthe. This variety has been used medicinally in a variety of ways for centuries, and despite concerns about its health risks, few studies have really examined the plant and its compounds closely.

Wormwood is native to Europe, although it has since spread to Asia, Africa, and North America. It grows primarily in temperate zones, and readily takes over when given a chance to do so. People can recognize the plant by its shrub-like look, tall gray-green hairy stems, and lobed yellow green leaves, which are typically arranged in a spiral pattern around the stems. It also has a very distinctive sharp, spicy odor that some people describe as bitter or acrid.

The plant prefers full sun, and it likes to grow in dry soil. Wormwood often grows very well in poor soil, taking over where other plants cannot grow, although it prefers medium-weight soil which is high in nitrogen. In temperate zones, the plant will grow as a perennial, while in colder zones, it may die off during the winter, due to frost. Its bitter flavor and odor, incidentally, makes it an excellent method of natural pest control.

A number of cultures have used wormwood in various medical applications. The plant has historically been used in tisanes and tinctures for things like labor pains, digestive problems, and cardiac issues. Wormwood's effectiveness as a treatment for these conditions has not been proved, and because compounds in the plant can potentially be toxic, these treatments should only be undertaken with caution, with the products prepared by skilled herbalist. Pure extract should never be consumed.

The main toxin of concern in wormwood is thujone, the same compound that allegedly makes absinthe a hallucinogen. In fact, thujone does not appear to have hallucinogenic properties, but in large amounts, it can cause damage to the nervous system, resulting in convulsions, loss of muscle control, and sometimes death, if enough is involved. The amount of thujone in absinthe is typically quite minimal, as wormwood is only one of an assortment of herbs macerated in alcohol to yield this spirit.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All Things Nature researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.