Absinthe plant

Origins and cultivation of wormwood plant

Probably the wormwood plant, or Artemisia absinthium, is native to central southern Europe, but is currently cultivated in almost all the temperate regions of the world. It is a perennial semi-shrub, which reaches about one meter in height, and loves sunny soils, no matter whether dry or uncultivated. It also grows in walls and is often found near inhabited centers. Resists well to heat and drought, not so good at low temperatures. The serrated leaves have a characteristic silver gray color, while the flowers are rather insignificant, yellow in color, and appear in August and September. As mentioned, all the parts of the plant are bitter, so much so that the water in which they are left to soak parts of wormwood for a few hours, if sprayed on the crops, is an excellent repellent for snails, caterpillars and other parasites. In the cultivation of gardens and flower beds absinthe is used to create pleasant and particular borders. The sunny and sheltered places are his favorites and he prefers a calcareous or siliceous, medium clayey or medium rich soil, with basic PH, provided it is well drained.

Uses and properties of absinthe

In Italy about thirty different varieties of wormwood grow spontaneously. Despite the bitter taste, indeed thanks to the sesquiterpene lactones that give absinthe its characteristic taste, this plant has multiple virtues and is the essential base of the Vermouth liqueur, conceived in Turin in 1786. The absinthe plant uses the leaves and the flowered tops harvested in the months between July and September, both for medicinal purposes and for culinary uses. These parts of the plant are dried and used for the preparation of liqueurs, drinks, infusions and decoctions. Among the properties recognized to this plant since ancient times, the ability to re-establish the organism after influenza and infection and to strengthen the body stand out. It is also a valid aid against digestive atony, dysmenorrhoea, intestinal worms, muscle spasms; It is anti-inflammatory and febrifuge and facilitates bile secretion. However, it is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women (the bitter taste goes into milk) and to those suffering from gastric or duodenal ulcer.

Other uses of absinthe

The fresh sprouts of the wormwood plant are effective for keeping moths away from cabinets and drawers, but also for removing mice and other unwanted animals. As already mentioned, it is possible to eliminate parasites from the garden by macerating branches and leaves for a few days. absinthe and spraying the solution obtained on the plants. At one time it was believed that it had hallucinogenic effects, but it seems to have been established that the excesses of alcohol, more than those of absinthe, created states of confusion, besides the fact that Absinthe were produced at the time - this is the name of the liqueur absinthe - of poor quality, to save costs. Copper sulfate was added to improve the color of poor products, made with low quality raw materials. In the nineteenth century it was even banned its use for distillates, taken up again using smaller quantities of tuione, the essential oil extracted from the wormwood plant. The anise-flavored drink became the favorite of famous artists, such as Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, Hemingway and Oscar Wilde, and inspired many famous paintings that portray the alleged effects on drinkers.

Absinthe plant: Curiosity about wormwood

It is said that the soldiers of the French troops, upon their return from Algeria, asserted that the fact of drinking infusions made with water and wormwood had preserved them from diseases such as the plague, malaria, dysentery and cholera. To describe the absinthe has been used the definition of "green fairy", attributed because the alcoholic drink obtained with its extracts had this color and it made to enter who consumed it in a somewhat "fairy" atmosphere. But absinthe is also compared to the pains and bitternesses of life, and the classic "bitter as absinthe" is a classic one. When preparing an infusion or a decoction with water and absinthe, do not exceed 10 grams of plant for a daily dose, so as not to risk an overdose that could be toxic. In conclusion, this particular plant with poor cultivation requirements, has certainly many useful properties for the organism and used with care can help to solve small problems, but can even just cheer up the view, if cultivated in gardens and rocky corners.