Worm Wood


1 oz dried : The botanical family of Artemisia is rather large and many writers don't differentiate much between different species. Thus, there is a lot of confusion over Wormwood, Artemisia absinthium, the green herb fairy. Most commonly it is confused with Mugwort and Southernwood, but in fact it is far more bitter than either of these and it is also more psychoactive. Back in the 19th century a, bright green drink was made from Wormwood and other herbs which became extremely fashionable with the Avant-garde. This concoction had a very high thujone content and it soon became evident that Absinth got its adherents more than just a little tipsy. Thujone is a nerve poison and Absinth became the 'designer drink' of choice among the artists of the 'belle epoch'. Numerous painters, writers and musicians succumbed to the allure of the green fairy, who drove many of them to edge and beyond the threshold between genius and madness. Absinth soon became illegal and still remains so in most countries. Nevertheless, Wormwood remains an elusive temptation among modern psychonauts, looking for cheap and exotic (albeit dangerous) thrills.

Of course, Wormwood also has an ancient history as a sacred herb and powerful medicine. Used appropriately, in the right amounts, it can indeed be very beneficial. In medieval times Wormwood was used as an insect repellent strewing herb. It also produces compounds that suppress plant growth and gardeners sometimes use Wormwood infusion to keep weeds down. However - don't use this around baby plants that you want to encourage, but only near well established plants. This concoction also discourages bugs and slugs.

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