Artemisia absinthium

Artemisia absinthium

Main features of the artemisia absinthium plant

The artemisia absinthium plant is also known by the name of wormwood and is present throughout Europe. Since ancient times it was used for its purifying and tonic properties. It is a perennial bushy shrub of the rhizomatous type. From its roots, the erect stems develop quite slender but rather branched in the apical part. Over time, the stems begin to lignify in the area closest to the ground. The leaves have a green color tending to light gray and are slightly incised. In summer the buds open giving life to small yellow flowers grouped in medium-sized inflorescences. The leaves of mugwort are very fragrant and if chewed, they release a strong bitter taste.

Medicinal and aromatic herb

The Artemisia absinthium plant contains a large amount of active ingredients of various kinds. An essential oil is extracted from the leaves which has been used as an effective antiseptic since ancient times. By changing the way it is taken, it can be used as a digestive but also as an anti-inflammatory. The aroma emanating from the shrub helps to keep unwanted rodents away from the garden. Some active ingredients of the plant are found in some insect repellent products. Excessive consumption of absinthe has side effects that are anything but pleasant. For this reason, the herbal teas and infusions of this plant must be taken sporadically and preferably under the strict supervision of a doctor or an expert herbalist.

True and false

The artemisia absinthium plant is the main ingredient of a liqueur called absinthe. it has an intense green color and a bitter but aromatic flavor. The intake of this drink by some writers and artists who lived at the end of the nineteenth century has led to suppose that it could cause quite strong mental hallucinations. However, this liqueur was taken in large doses by these characters with the addition of sugar to make it more palatable. It was precisely the excesses of the active ingredients contained that triggered the creation of parallel worlds in these characters. Furthermore, the accused liqueur was not prepared only with absinthe but to save on production costs, it was adulterated with herbs that were easier to find.

Artemisia absinthium: How to grow mugwort

Absinthe grows spontaneously throughout the Italian territory. It is grown both as a perennial plant and as an annual herbaceous shrub. The leaves must be harvested before flowering takes place otherwise they lose some of their active ingredients and are less aromatic.The plants prefer sunny areas and drained soils rich in organic substances. The seeds are purchased from well-stocked consortia and can be planted directly in early spring. During the first few weeks, water the soil regularly to facilitate germination. Low temperatures dry out the whole aerial part of the mugwort but the rhizome does not suffer any damage and will germinate again in late February or early March.

Video: WORMWOOD. Artemisia absinthium. Flowering in 2017