Wormwood Facts

Wormwood Facts
Wormwood is herbaceous plant that belongs to the family of daisies. It originates from Europe, Asia and North Africa, but it can be found in temperate regions around the world today. Wormwood grows on fertile soils that are rich in lime. It can be found on the cliffs, near the roads and river banks. People cultivate wormwood mostly in ornamental purposes. Also, wormwood contains compounds that have application in pharmaceutical and medical industry.
Interesting Wormwood Facts:
Wormwood has branched, silver-grey stem that can reach 1 to 3 feet in height.
Wormwood develops several types of leaves. Bottom part of the stem is covered with bipinnate (double pinnate) or tripinnate (triple pinnate) leaves with long petioles. Leaves that grow directly on the stem are smaller, less divided and have shorter petioles. Leaves on top of the plant are simple and often without petioles.
All types of wormwood leaves are greenish-grey on the upper side and silver white on the bottom side (due to white hairs). Leaves are covered with miniature glands that release substance that repels insects.
Wormwood produces yellow, tubular flowers gathered in drooping, multi-branching inflorescence (called panicle). Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (bisexual or hermaphrodite flowers).
Wormwood blooms during the summer and autumn. Flowers are pollinated by wind.
Fruit of wormwood is dry achene filled with miniature seed. Ripe fruit splits to release seed that fall to the ground and germinate near the mother plant.
Wormwood propagates via seed and tissue cuttings.
Wormwood is scientifically known as Artemisia absinthium. Among many other properties, wormwood stimulates menstruation and promotes chastity. Artemis was Greek goddess of birth and chastity, hence the name Artemisia. Absinthium originates from Greek word "absinthion" which means "undrinkable". Name refers to the extremely bitter taste of this plant.
Stem, flowers and leaves of wormwood are used in treatment of gastrointestinal disorders (ulcers, indigestion, gallbladder inflammation, intestinal worms…), muscle pain, irregular menstrual cycles, fever, hepatitis, jaundice, hysteria, convulsions, insomnia, and many other disorders.
Latest medical studies revealed that substances isolated from wormwood have potential to treat various types of cancer.
Wormwood induces severe side effects when consumed in higher dose than recommended. Some of the well known adverse effects include paralysis, renal failure, abnormal respiration, numbness of the legs and arms and delirium.
Wormwood is an ingredient of absinthe. This famous alcoholic drink is banned in most countries of the world due to documented toxicity and ability to produce addiction.
Wormwood is used as flavoring agent of wines, vermouth and bitters.
When mixed with apple cider vinegar, fresh leaves of wormwood can be used as potent insecticide.
Wormwood is perennial plant that can survive from 3 to 10 years in the wild.

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