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.

Medicinal significance

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.

For men

Wormwood is used to treat prostate adenoma, male "weakness", increased sexual arousal and frequent pollution.

Not recommended for use

Despite the large number of valuable properties, wormwood is far from the most harmless herb - the side effects of this herb can be significant. It is understood that it cannot be used by pregnant women, because this plant has an abortifacient effect. It will also not work during lactation, in case of reduced acidity of the body, aggravated diseases of the stomach and intestines. Of course, it should not be used by those who are allergic to this plant. Even if there are no restrictions, wormwood should be used with caution.

Excessive doses of wormwood and uncontrolled treatment with it can cause extremely severe poisoning, accompanied by convulsions, vomiting, fainting, nervous system disorders and hallucinations. Therefore, regardless of what is treated with wormwood, it is not recommended to use it for more than one month. And it is even better to take a break and continue the treatment - divide the entire treatment cycle into several stages.

Importance of food

Wormwood is used mainly as an additive and spice in various dishes. From the Latin name, it is clear that this plant is the main ingredient of absinthe, which is already banned today. Yes, I understand that you can buy absinthe in the store, but it is nowhere near the real absinthe with its true effects. It was banned precisely because of its effects, because many people suffered from nervous system problems - diseases thanks to absinthe. But here and there wormwood is still added to wines and spirits. But always, it should be understood that overdose can cause health problems.

However, using wormwood as a spice, for example, with meat, it will not be possible to overdose. For this purpose, the leaves and flowering tops of the plant are collected, dried and then added to dishes.

Cosmetic significance

For cosmetic purposes, all kinds of wormwood are used, both common wormwood, wormwood, and other less common medicinal plants in Latvia. Wormwood contains one unique compound, artemisinin, which produces antitumor, anthelmintic and antibacterial properties. Of course, these plants also contain organic acids, essential oils, vitamins, macro- and microelements.

Wormwood and common wormwood are most often used in medicinal cosmetics, although it is more commonly found in folk medicine, it is used as infusions and decoctions. Wormwood extract has soothing, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and moisturizing properties and promotes hair growth.

These plants are able to solve many and various aesthetic skin problems. After using wormwood extract, the skin becomes firm and stretched, its texture and color improved.

High concentration extracts are used for washing the head. They regulate the sebaceous glands of the scalp and also improve the blood supply to the hair follicles, which stimulates hair growth. The setting also has a destructive effect on the fungal culture and pathogenic bacteria, due to which dandruff often appears. Due to its anti-itch and wound-healing effect, wormwood preparations can be successfully used to treat seborrhea and fight against dandruff.

Most often, wormwood is used in cosmetics with the following effect:

  • Anti-inflammatory;
  • Antimicrobial;
  • Antioxidant;
  • Protective;
  • Seboregulating.

In dermatology, these plants are used to fight all kinds of skin inflammations and to get rid of various skin defects. Extracts act on irritation, redness, itching and swelling. Wormwood is also great for treating the scalp and fighting hair loss. In addition, wormwood is used in remedies associated with excessive sweating.

Wormwood does not cause any side effects and is safe for external use, except in cases of individual intolerance or allergy to the plant.