Wormwood herb is not one of the most well known herbs in use today, so you may be wondering “What is wormwood?”
Wormwood grows wild in Europe and parts of Asia but is a cultivated plant in North America.
It is a pretty plant that is often used in garden design due to its appearance and aroma.
The herb can be administered in a number of ways, including a tea or a tincture from wormwood extract. The plant also produces an essential oil.
The French used to make absinthe from the herb, but the toxic effects of the drink led to it being banned.
There have been no notable studies to confirm the medicinal benefits of wormwood herb, and the side effects of wormwood extract have led to it being categorized as unsafe in a number of countries, though it does have potential health benefits if administered correctly.
Benefits of Wormwood
- Wormwood extract is often used to help rid the body of parasites such as roundworms and pinworms.
- Wormwood has been used to induce menstruation.
- When made into a tea, wormwood can be used to stimulate the appetite, and in this way has sometimes been used to help sufferers of anorexia.
- It can help the digestive function of the body by stimulating the production of bile and gastric juices. This could help those with a weaker digestive system, but should not be taken for more than a few weeks at a time.
- Preparations of wormwood extract blended with peppermint and caraway have been used to treat heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome.
- It is thought that wormwood may help those who have gallbladder problems due to its stimulating effect and its ability to improve digestion.
- Those who suffer from conditions such as jaundice and hepatitis may notice an improvement if using wormwood.
- Some have used it to help prevent liver damage from chemicals.
- Mild forms of depression may benefit from use of the herb, as it has a calming effect on the nervous system. This may also benefit sufferers of epilepsy and muscle spasms.
- Stomach and intestinal infections can be eased with this herb due to its ability to rid the body of foreign substances.
- Wormwood oil or extract can be used to make an insect repellent, which can be used in gardens or on pets.
- Wormwood oil can be diluted and applied to bruises, cuts, and wounds to aid healing. It contains a natural anesthetic, which can help sufferers of arthritis and rheumatism by easing their aches and pains.
Wormwood Herb Side Effects
It is recommended that the herb should not be taken for more than a month at a time. Wormwood oil contains a chemical called thujone, which is similar to one of the constituents of marijuana. There have been reported cases of nerve damage attributed to thujone.
Anyone planning on taking wormwood herb should only do so under medical supervision. Some users may find that the herb causes diarrhea.