Artemisia absinthium

Aromatic (bitter/sweet), shrubby herbaceous perennial. The stems are numerous and thickly scattered on the lower stems, reducing in size and amount as they reach the top of the stem. The dull, yellow florets are arranged in a panicle. Flowers from January to April.

Family: Asteraceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Wormwood is a key herb in Bio-Live Liver.

Habit and cultivation: Originally from Northern Africa and generally the Northern hemisphere, but now grows in most areas of the world on wasteland, roadside and fields. Likes a sunny position but not prolonged dry weather, and is frost tender.

Actions (known for): Anthelmintic, antiseptic (GIT), bitter tonic, choleretic, expectorant and anti-inflammatory.


The origins Artemisia are from Artemis, the Greek name for Diana. Used as an antidote to poisons by the ancients and during religious celebrations by the Mexicans. It is the second bitterest herb in the plant kingdom, and absinthe is used in the making of vermouth and other spirits. The artist Van Gough is noted for cutting off his ear after an evening of drinking absinthe. In the Middle Ages it was used to spice mead in Morocco, and in a tea called sheeba. Sometimes replaced hops in the making of beer.

Parts used:

Above ground parts.

Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Essential oil: thujone, thujol, isovaleric acid. Bitter sesquiterpenes lactones. Terpenoids. Triterpenoids. Flavonoid glycosides. Hydroxycoumarins. Polyacetylenes. Other constituents are being identified with each new piece of research.

Nutritional constituents:

Vitamins: B-complex and C. Minerals: manganese, calcium, sodium, potassium, silicon, small amounts of tin and cobalt.


Anorexia, malabsorption, indigestion, infestation, delayed menstruation and arthritis.


Liquid extract (1:5): 5-20ml per week. Infusion of dried herb: 1-2g 3 x daily.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Ascaris and Enterobius infestations.

Cautions for therapeutic doses

Contraindicated during pregnancy.

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