Perennial plant, 60-100 cm tall with a short root. The root system is peg-shaped. The stems are erect, woody at the base, branches form in the growing part. The stem and leaves are silvery gray. The flowers are small, collected in small tuberous baskets, placed on small catkins. Each basket contains about 80 small tubular flowers. Fruits - brownish seeds on average 1 mm long. Blooms in June-August. The fruits ripen in August-September.
The plant is characterized by a distinct, strong smell and a very bitter taste.
The basal leaves and leaf shoots are harvested until the plant begins to flower. Inflorescences together with plant stems (20-25cm) are collected during flowering. The plant must be dried in time, if the drying process drags on, then the drug turns brown. Possibilities to dry it are in well-ventilated, shaded rooms or forced dryers not exceeding 45C.
Wormwood contains from 0.12-2% essential oil, flavonoids, tannins, carotene, lignan, organic acids (malic, amber), ascorbic acid, bitter lactonins: absinthin and anabsinthin, coumarin-like substances (esculin, umbelliferone, coumarin), macro and micro elements, phylloquinones, prochamazulenogens, ketolactones, starch, resins, proteins, phytoncides, essential substances that contain thuion, thuion alcohol, hamazulenogen, pinene, phellandrene, cadinene and other substances.
Wormwood preparations increase the secretion of gastric juice, improve appetite, it has choleretic properties.
Wormwood infusion, extract or infusion is useful for stimulating the appetite and improving the functioning of the digestive organs thanks to its bitter substances. By irritating the taste receptors of the oral cavity, the reflectors of the plant's active substance trigger the secretory function of the gastrointestinal tract. Absinthe plays a fundamental role in this phenomenon. It stimulates the secretory glands of the digestive organs, increases the secretion of bile, pancreatic and gastric juices. The effect of bitter substances appears approximately 30 minutes after their use.
When using wormwood preparations, pain disappears, symptoms of dyspepsia disappear, appetite improves, bowel movements normalize, stomach acid content increases, burning sensation disappears, gas production in the intestines decreases.
The healing properties of wormwood in the treatment of the gastrointestinal tract are enhanced by combining it with other medicinal herbs that have a choleretic effect.
The bitter lactones absinthin and anabsinthin produce anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. Triterpene compounds have a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect, stimulate the reticuloendothelial system and phagocytic activity.
Wormwood preparations increase the body's resistance to various adverse factors. Accordingly, wormwood can be safely used after illness, flu, post-infection and post-surgery to alleviate the condition.
The bactericidal and fungicidal effects of the unsaturated hydrocarbons derived from wormwood have been determined. At the same time, the plant also produces an antiseptic and phytoncide effect.
Wormwood can reduce inflammatory processes and successfully heal wounds.
High doses of wormwood produce CNS excitation followed by general depression.
Wormwood is also widely used in folk medicine. In folk medicine, it is used as a choleretic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anthelmintic, anticonvulsant, pain reliever, antimalarial, and mild sedative.
Decoction and infusion are used to treat chronic diseases of the pancreas and biliary tract, dyspepsia, liver and gall bladder diseases, as well as for loss of appetite and disturbed sleep.
In folk medicine, the infusion of wormwood in alcohol (70%) is also popular, which can be stored for a long time and is easier to use. It is usually taken 15-20 minutes before meals to stimulate appetite and improve digestion.
A decoction of wormwood can be used to rinse the mouth to prevent bad breath. Wormwood is one of the main ingredients in tea mixtures intended for the treatment of prostate adenoma, male infertility, frequent pollution.
Wormwood is also used in compresses to reduce the swelling of bruises, to treat ulcers and poorly healing wounds. Wormwood is recognized as particularly effective in cases of sprains and strains.
Wormwood is used to treat prostate adenoma, male "weakness", increased sexual arousal and frequent pollution.