Belonging to the genus Artemisia, wormwood is a group containing 180 species of plants native to Northern Africa and Eurasia. This herbaceous perennial plant is grown as an ornamental plant, and is used in some alcoholic drinks.
With pale yellow tubular flowers, this plant is found growing on arid grounds and rocky slopes and contains thujone- a psychoactive chemical that may cause convulsions when taken in large amounts.
In the middle ages, wormwood was used to spice mead, and in the 18th century, it was used instead of hops and beer.
Today, wormwood and the extracts of its different parts are used to deal with many health disorders and conditions.
Let’s take a closer look at these
- Wormwood extracts are helpful against falling sickness and flatulence. Its chemical composition is such that it is a good remedy against various gastrointestinal disorders.
- The parts above the ground are used to deal with various disorders of the digestive system including loss of appetite, upset stomach, gallbladder problems, liver disease, worm infections, and other digestive system problems.
- Wormwood oil is also used to increase sexual desire and to boost imagination.
- Some herbal medicine practitioners believe that wormwood extracts may also be used as a tonic, and could help stimulate sweating.
- It is believed that wormwood extracts could also be helpful in curing certain minor conditions like fever.
- The oil extracted from this herb contains a chemical known as thujone, which is thought to excite the central nervous system.
- Some people even apply wormwood extracts directly on the skin, and believe that its topical application could be helpful in curing insect bites and for healing wounds.
- In many manufacturing industries, wormwood is used as a fragrance, and is added to impart odor to soaps, creams, cosmetics and perfumes.
- Wormwood oil is also used as a counter-irritant and may help reduce pain.