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Artemisia absinthium

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Wormwood (or Absinthe) herb is primarily used as a bitter to stimulate and invigorate the digestion process or to aid in indigestion for those with a deficient quantity of gastric juice. Absinthe (wormwood) is an important ingredient in the liquor absinthe, and also used for flavoring in some other spirits and wines, including bitters, vermouth and pelinkovac. The wormwood plant (grande wormwood that is - not to be confused with petite wormwood or common wormwood or mugwort) is the constituent that pretty much defines absinthe herbal liquor. Grande wormwood has a bitter taste and contains high concentrations of the oily substance called thujone that is responsible for the unusual effects of absinthe. In France, Switzerland and the lands of Bohemia, absinthe was traditionally as an elixir that helped to relieve the stresses of the day.

Wormwood is a wild plant of European origin, although it now grows in many parts of the United States as well. Wormwood has a long medicinal history; it has been used since the times of the Romans to treat a variety of complaints, especially digestive ones. The plant is also known to stimulate appetite. In the middle ages—before there was liquor-based absinthe—wormwood-infused wine was a popular drink.

The Absinthe plant has a characteristic odor can make it useful for making a plant spray against pests. In the practice of companion planting, because of the secretions of its roots, Absinthe exerts an inhibiting effect on the growth of surrounding plants, thus weeds. Absinthe can also be useful to repel insect larvae but it need only be planted on the edge of the area of cultivation. It has also been used to repel fleas and moths indoors. Absinthe is also used medically as a tonic, stomachic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and carminative, cholagogue, febrifuge and anthelmintic and in the Middle Ages it was used to spice mead.

Absinthe illustration
Absinthe (Wormwood)
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 525.

The Absinthe fruit is a small achene; seed dispersal is by gravity. It grows naturally on uncultivated, arid ground, on rocky slopes, and at the edge of footpaths and fields. The Absinthe plant can easily be cultivated in dry soil. Absinthe should be planted under bright exposure in fertile, mid-weight soil and it prefers soil rich in nitrogen. It can be propagated by growth (ripened cuttings taken in March or October in temperate climates) or by seeds in nursery beds. Absinthe is naturalised in some areas away from its native range, including much of North America.

Artemisia absinthium (absinthium, absinthe wormwood, wormwood, common wormwood, or grand wormwood) is a species of wormwood, native to temperate regions of Eurasia and northern Africa. Absinthe flowering is from early summer to early autumn; pollination is anemophilous.

Tarragon is in the family Asteraceae and closely related to wormwood. It is native to a wide area of the Northern Hemisphere from easternmost Europe across central and eastern Asia to India, western North America, and south to northern Mexico. French tarragon is the variety generally considered best for the kitchen and one of the four fines herbes of French cooking, and particularly suitable for chicken, lasagna, fish and egg dishes.

French tarragon is difficult to grow from seed, is best to cultivate by root division and is normally purchased as a plant.

Tarragon available in special reusable collector tin
Dried Tarragon Tin - $3.95

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Original Absinthe carries absinthe thujone, wormwood absinthe plus many different types of absinth. Discover the allure and mystique of absynthe here.