Traditional Uses

The ancient Egyptians were acquainted with wormwood and used it as a medicinal plant, as well as in their religious ceremonies (Rodway, 1979). It is a very old herbal remedy, and is frequently grown in herb gardens. The dried leaves, flowering tops and essential oil of wormwood have traditionally been used as an anthelmintic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, sedative, stimulant, stomachic and tonic (Simon et al., 1984). It was once used for many disorders, but nowadays is usually used on its own, or in tea mixtures, for various digestive disorders. The very bitter essential oil has also found use as a vermifuge. Folk remedies have also mentioned wormwood extracts as being useful against colds, rheumatism, fevers, jaundice, diabetes and arthritis. Artemisia absinthium was used to flavour beer before the common use of hops.

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