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02 August 2013

Great Green Allies: Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium)

Wormwood is a wonderful friend. I've used this herb for many years. The most bitter of all the bitter herbs, wormwood is a great digestive healer, especially in situations of extreme stress caused by overeating, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, or in cases where you suspect you may have eaten something bad; wormwood always comes to the rescue right away.  Reported to expel parasites, it is most effective when taken as soon as you suspect you may have consumed them. I wouldn't travel to a foreign land without it. Wormwood is also known to be effective at stopping diarrhea.

Progenitor of the legendary beverage absinthe, wormwood is also a mind-altering herb and a promoter of dreams. 

I've found the herb quite relaxing though some herbal books say it is a stimulant. The plant is anti-inflammatory and allows for complete muscle relaxation, especially at night. I've found it as powerful a sleep aid as any other sleep promoting herb!

The main caution I want to alert you to is not to take wormwood for long periods of time and use only in small doses: I suggest five (5) or ten (10) drops of the tincture made from the fresh flowering plant tops in a small glass of water as needed. You may repeat the dose if you get no relief in a short period of time.

Most herbal books say pregnant women and small children should avoid wormwood. 

Wormwood's mind altering properties are generally mild but intensify if you take the herb for many weeks or months at a time. You want to be careful here because wormwood crazy is really crazy, like, I'm up on the roof naked at 3 am waiting for the alien Mothership to arrive and I just don't understand why they haven't as of yet picked me up crazy. Yeah, that kind of crazy! Remeber when Van Gogh cut off his ear and sent it to a friend? He was drinking way too much absinthe at that point!

Still, all in all, the relief wormwood affords anyone suffering from digestive aliments is so powerful and legendary in herbal lore, you can't help but fall in love with this little bitter friend. The dreams you'll have are spectacular as well, so enjoy wormwood, just not too much!

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