Wormwood, Artemisia absinthium (Asteraceae) is a commonly found herb in Europe, it generally grows about one meters high and can bloom twice a year in the months July, August and September. The leaves are pale green and silky. The yellow flowers are grouped in small heads.
Wormwood is also called: large absinthe. The genus Artemisia are about three hundred species, including Artemisia dranunculus, which we know as tarragon. For the preparation of liqueurs are used, among others: the little wormwood (Artemisia pontica) and Genepi (small 'Alpine Absinthe': Artemisia Artemisia glacialis or mutellina).
Especially during the early flowering contains the essential oil of wormwood many bitter substances, such absinthine, anabsinthine and artabsine (that the oil has a blue green color). In addition, the oil contains a lot of terpenes, ketones such as in the form of camphor (17%) and thujone (50-60%), in the form of unsaturated hydrocarbons such as pinene and thujeen, and in the form of alcohols as thujol (formed from thujone during the development of the plant). In particular, the constituent thujone (C10H16O) are toxic effects of absinthe attributed. This may be in the isomeric forms ?-and ?-thujone. In particular, the ?-isomer was bioactive.
As a medicinal plant Artemisia absinthium was used in antiquity to combat various ailments such as indigestion and fever. The plant is also used to stimulate blood circulation.
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