Wormwood. Sounds like something off of Harry Potter. In fact, the very first time I ever saw this being sold at a nursery a man mentioned it sounded like something from witchcraft while I was browsing and then promptly refused to shop there. Wormwood can play a pretty big role in homesteading though, mostly as a natural dewormer. Read below to discover its many uses.
Wormwood is an anti-inflammatory, and shows potential to aid in inflammatory bowel conditions. Wormwood is being studied to possibly speed up healing and improve the mood in Crohn’s disease.
When looking at wormwood in an Ayurvedic perspective, wormwood is a warm herb, so people who naturally have a warm constitution may be aggravated by overuse of this herb.
Wormwood is a bitter herb. The bitter taste in an herb or food triggers th vagus nerve to kickstart the digestive flow. This can be especially helpful if you take this about 15-20 minutes before eating a food that’s difficult for you to digest.
Wormwood has a large thujone count. In large quantities, thujone can be toxic. It can cause hyperactivity, excitability, delirium, seizures, and more. So wormwood is an herb you take in lower doses.
Wormwood is a vermifuge and can be helpful in ridding the body of parasites. I have spoken to a few homesteaders who use wormwood mixed with other herbs for deworming.
The bitter properties of wormwood also increase appetite. Wormwood has been used to help with anorexia due to this property.
Absinthe was banned in the United States in 1912. I encourage further independent research if you’re interested, but the ban was put into effect because of wormwood was a main ingredient, containing thujone. There isn’t much evidence I can find to support that there ever were toxic levels of thujone in absinthe. It’s an interesting little bit of information though. The ban was lifted in the U.S. in 2007, so it was quite a lengthy ban. Google provides many articles if you’re interested in learning more.
The use of wormwood should not exceed four weeks, because of thujone. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take wormwood in any form. If you are taking any medications for seizures, you should avoid wormwood.
How to Use
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and steep 1/2-1 teaspoon of dried wormwood for about fifteen minutes. Do not exceed 3 cups a day. 10-20 drops of tincture before meals is okay, too. Again, do not take wormwood over four consecutive weeks.
Want to see what herbs we have in our garden? Take a look here.