Artemisia absinthium (Compositae)
WORMWOOD, GREEN GINGER, ABSINTHE
The leaves and flowering tops are
given by herbalists to stimulate the appetite, and to eradicate worms. Wormwood
has also been used as an insecticide and antiseptic.
An ancient household insecticide against clothes moths, wormwood has also been
employed as a substitute for hops in brewing, as a liqueur, and as an antiseptic.
Native to many parts of Europe, it is now naturalized in North America, growing freely
on roadsides and wasteland. It is a perennial with firm leafy stems and leaves that are
pale from thick downy hairs. Small yellow flowers appear in late summer.
Dried leaves, flowering tops.
Volatile oil containing thujone,
azulene, bisabolene, and pinene; sesquiterpene lactones; flavonoids, including quercetin; phenolic acids; lignans.
Bitter (digestive stimulant); stimulates the stomach; increases the flow of bile;
antiinflammatory; kills and helps expel worms.
Used for parasitic worms, anorexia, and gastritis (stomach inflammation). In Chinese medicine,
a related species (sweet wormwood) is prescribed for summer colds, malaria and chronic dysentery, and is also applied externally for scabies,
abscesses, and eye disorders.