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The artemisia

Artemisia is a plant known since ancient times for its medicinal properties, there are two species of this plant: one is the Artemisia absintium rich in essential and known oil because it is used in the preparation of wormwood and less valuable Artemisia vulgaris and known. There is talk of Artemisia even in the time of the Hippocrates who advised her to expel the placenta from women after birth. to its use, in the variant artemisia absintium, in the preparation of the powerful absinthe liqueur, called "green fairy" by the current of the cursed poets for its marked alcoholic and hallucinogenic properties. Beyond this use the use of Artemisia as a medicinal plant is very effective and widespread. The major properties are anti-epiretic, vermifuge, tonic, stimulating, anthelmintic, antipyretic. Moreover, the artemisia was already used in ancient times to cause menstruation or induce childbirth thanks to its emmenagogue properties. Only the flower-rich ends of resins and dried leaves are used in a ventilated and shady place because of direct sunlight could weaken the active ingredient. In addition to internal use, the wormwood is suitable as a wound healing and can be useful in the form of ointment or essential oil to combat furunculosis and acne lesions.

Description of the plant

Artemisia is a shrub plant that can reach two meters in height, it is perennial plants, woody at the base with buds placed about 30 centimeters above the ground. The buds differ in position and consistency from species to species. The inflorescence is terminal of the shrub and consists of white flowers called pedunculated heads of 1.5 millimeters. The flower heads are collected in large racemes that form species of small spikes or clusters. These flowers are generally divided between only female flowers and bi-sexual flowers. The smell of these flowers is very characteristic, similar to cedar, with camphor points that make it similar to the smell of vermouth for some. The fruits of the Artemisia are gems called ellipsoid-shaped achene of magnitude less than a millimeter.
Artemisia is a species of plant widespread throughout the continents in dry or semi-dry habitats.

How to use it

The most widespread use of Artemisia is in the form of essential oil and in its reduction in liqueur with Absinthe. It should be noted that the lawlessness of absinthe is not due to the properties of Artemisia but to the addition of laudanum (a doo-based compound) that was made during the 19th century. Therefore the plant in question has no hallucinogenic power.
With the artemisia flowers you can prepare effective decoctions to quell high fever, stimulate the appetite in long-term patients or calm intestinal spasms. With artemisia-based poultices intestinal worms are fought. In the kitchen it is used as an aromatic herb and has a particular bitter and intense taste that goes well with game.
In the form of essential oil the artemisia is effective to neutralize acne lesions and improve the appearance of the skin, its healing power makes it an excellent cure in wounds. One must be careful because an excessive dose of wormwood causes intoxication and it is necessary to protect oneself from consumption during breastfeeding because it makes the milk bitter.


The use of mugwort in large doses is always toxic. It is not recommended even in small doses for those suffering from gastric or duodenal ulcer. Since it is capable of causing labor pains, its consumption is forbidden during pregnancy, during breastfeeding it makes breast milk bitter and can be toxic. In normal and healthy subjects the risks are linked only to overdose with consequent vomiting and diarrhea.


Artemisia was widely used in the preparation of absinthe liqueur during the 19th century. This liqueur was given magical gifts and it was widely consumed in Parisian bistros. He was a source of inspiration for poets like Paul Valery and Baudelaire and for painters like Degas. At the beginning of the 20th century it was banned in many countries because its excessive consumption was becoming a scourge for society and threatened the maintenance of public order. The painting "Absinthe" by Edagr Degas is very famous and is kept at the Orsay museum in Paris. In this painting depicting a man and a woman seated at the cafè table, Pigalle's nouvelle athиnes highlights the dazed expressions caused by the abuse of absinthe. Curious is to know that absinthe is mentioned in the sacred scriptures to symbolize the bitterness and pains of life and its very name derives from the Greek and means "devoid of sweetness"