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woemwood - artemisia absinthium - dried herb

Wormwood, Artemisa absinthium L.

I personally think wormwood, Artemisia absinthium, is a beautiful plant with its fine grey-green mass of leaves. However, many people do not appreciate it in their garden because it does not flower abundantly. They would probably change their mind if they knew that this plant is extremely potent, both medicinally and magically. This also goes for her little sister mugwort, but wormwood is just a bit more powerful. Anyway, a monograph on this plant is a must have for this plantvademecum.

Medicinal properties of wormwood, Artemisia absinthium

During the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Artemisia family was presented as a good helper against this virus. Rightly so, because wormwood has powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties. And there is more it can be used for. This plant is best known for its effects on digestion and is therefore regularly found in herbal bitters. Less known is the fact that wormwood can help with nervous disorders, depression, menstrual problems and more.

Magical effects of absinth

Magically speaking, wormwood is renowned for its hallucinogenic qualities. The alcoholic drink absinthe, known for its reputation to transport you to other, more inspiring realms, is made from this plant. Not surprisingly, it is an ingredient of witch’s ointment and is used in divination. It is also employed in protective magic. More obscure is its effect on fertility magic.

Botanical description Wormwood, Artemisia absinthium L.

Wormwood stands on a woody rootstock and spreads through rhizomes. Woody, sturdy and widely branched, greyish stems grow from the root, making the plant almost look like a shrub, especially due to its considerable height.
The leaves are grey-green on top and grey-white underneath with a pannose quality to the touch. Shape-wise, they are deeply incised thrice.
The flowers are yellow, small and spherical and consist of numerous tubular florets. The plant smells good and tastes bitter.

Interesting facts

The drink absinthe is named after and made from this plant. The drink was banned in Europe for a long time, but can now be purchased again widely. It was banned because of its perceived toxicity when overconsumed. However, this later turned out to be grossly exaggerated and most of the adverse effects could just as well have been caused by the alcohol it contained. Another name for absinthe is the Green Fairy, because many artists attributed their inspiration to this drink and it is green in colour.

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