Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Day 169 - Wormwood

"Also called shrub wormwood, Artemisia absinthium is a member of the daisy or Asteraceae family. The species name, absinthium, means "without sweetness".

Wormwood is often used as a digestive stimulant. By increasing the production of stomach acids and bile, wormwood can be useful to persons with poor digestion. It helps persons recover after a long illness and improves the uptake of nutrients.

It affects the bitter-sensing taste buds on the tongue that send signals to the brain to stimulate the entire digestive system (salivation, stomach acid production, intestinal tract movement, etc.). It is also helpful in treating infections, and may also protect the liver from harmful chemicals.

Wormwood's unique properties fascinated humanity long before the plant was first used to make absinthe in 1792. Because of its powerful effects on both mind and body, wormwood has been valued as a versatile medicinal plant since at least 1600 B.C.

A favorite liqueur in nineteenth-century France, absinthe was addictive and associated with a collection of serious side effects known as absinthism (irreversible damage to the central nervous system). The toxic component of wormwood that causes absinthism is thujone. Wormwood may contain as much as 0.6% thujone.

This aromatic, bitter substance is believed to induce an inexplicable clarity of thought, increased sense of perception, enhanced creativity, inspiration and the ability to "see beyond" - as all the famous absinthe drinkers amongst nineteenth century poets, writers, painters and other artists discovered.

On the other hand, wormwood soaked in white wine is used to produce the liqueur called vermouth (derived from the German word for wormwood, Wermuth), which contains very little thujone.

To this day, Bedouin Africans sell wormwood in a Cairo market as a remedy for ill health. The Bedouin also burn wormwood leaves as incense around their newborn children to give the child a life of good health.”


Since my last session with the kinesiologist I have been taking wormwood drops. These are made with a woody shrub which has a highly bitter taste, supposedly an important component of its therapeutic effects on stomach ailments. Interestingly, wormwood has long been used as an ingredient of vermouth and absinthe, and is also used in medicine.

It tastes absolutely ghastly, and unfortunately I need to take a high dose of it four times a day. Wormwood is commonly used as an anti-parasitical, and my body seems to be “asking” for a lot of it through muscle testing.

The good news is that my headache seems to be improving. Whether it is the wormwood, the supplements or a mixture between the two I do not know. But I do know that the headache is finally subsiding in strength.

Something to rejoice!

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