Wormwood is an herbaceous perennial plant that is native to Europe and scientifically known as Artemisia absinthium. This shrub-like plant has been cultivated for its unique active ingredients and potential uses in herbal medicine.
Wormwood has perhaps gained the most notoriety for one of its active ingredients “absinthol”, used in the French spirit “Absinthe”. However, this potent herb has a long history of use stretching back into Ancient Greece and the time of Hippocrates. It was most commonly used for the expulsion of worms – hence the name Wormwood, although Hippocrates prescribed it for menstrual pains, jaundice, anaemia and rheumatism.
Common Names: Common wormwood, green ginger, madderwort, old woman, absinthium and ajenjo
One of the active ingredients in wormwood is a substance called artemisinin, which is well known to combat malaria in tropical regions of the world. By functioning as an antioxidant and destroying the cell walls of the malaria parasite, using this herb in moderate doses can be an excellent first line of defense against this deadly disease.
Artemisinin is an herbal drug that’s the most powerful antimalarial on the market. It’s known for quickly reducing the number of parasites in the blood of patients with malaria. The World Health Organization recommends artemisinin-based combination therapies as first-line treatment for uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria.
Wormwood is used to eliminate intestinal worms, especially pinworms and roundworms. Parasites are never a good thing, but thankfully they’re treatable with natural remedies. Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), black walnut (Juglans nigra), and clove (Syzygium aromaticum) are commonly used together to kill off a parasitic infection. It’s said that when these three are taken at the same time, together they’re able to break the parasite’s life cycle.
Numerous studies have now shown that regular supplementation with wormwood herb can, in some cases, eliminate the need for steroids in patients with Crohn’s disease, as the herb can help to improve overall gut health. Additionally, results indicate that wormwood has positive effects on mood and quality of life, which is not achieved by other standard Crohn’s disease medications.
Anecdotal and modern evidence both point to the immune system boost provided by the wormwood herb, including specific defenses against E. coli and Salmonella, as well as a variety of fungal infections, such as the fungi that lead to yeast infections, Candida albicans.
If you are suffering from small intestine bacterial overgrowth, using wormwood is an excellent way to balance the bacteria in your gut and improve your digestive efficiency.
Research has shown that the active ingredient in wormwood, artemisinin, is also able to induce apoptosis in breast cancer cells; artemisinin can battle iron-enriched breast cancer cells similar to the way it eliminates malaria-causing parasites, making it a potential natural cancer treatment option for women with breast cancer.
Following injury or illness, this herb has been traditionally used to stimulate the appetite and ensure a speedy recovery.
Dosage: 30-60 drops, 3 times a day, before the meal.
Precaution: Wormwood herb is not meant for long-term use. Make sure you don’t exceed recommended doses because excessive consumption could be highly toxic. Using wormwood for longer than four weeks or at higher than recommended doses may lead to nausea, vomiting , restlessness, insomnia, vertigo, tremors and seizures.
Don’t take this herb in any form if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding. There have been documented abortifacient and emmenagogue effects of wormwood.
If you’re allergic to ragweed and other plants in the Asteraceae/Compositae family, then wormwood may cause an allergic reaction.
If you have porphyria (a group of disorders that result from a buildup of natural chemicals that produce porphyrin in your body), then you should know that the thujone present in wormwood oil might increase your body’s production of chemicals called porphyrins, which could make your porphyria worse.
If you have epilepsy or any other seizure disorder, speak with your doctor before using this herb. The thujone in wormwood cause cause seizures, especially in people who have a tendency toward seizures.
Wormwood is not recommended for people with kidney disorders. If you have kidney concerns, don’t take this herb before talking with your doctor.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.