Care, uses and much more of absinthe

Wormwood is a medicinal plant

Image – Wikimedia Commons / MichaelSt

He wormwood It is a herbaceous plant that has been used medicinally for a long, long time. During the time of Ancient Egypt, its medicinal properties were already known, knowledge that the Greeks collected and that they would later transmit to the rest of Europe.

In addition, it is a very grateful plant: does not need much care to be perfectregardless of whether it is grown in a pot or a garden. As long as it is exposed to direct sunlight and receives water from time to time, it is going to be a most interesting crop.

What is absinthe?

Wormwood can be grown in the groundWormwood can be grown in the ground

Image – Flickr / Matt Lavin

El wormwood, whose scientific name is Artemisia absinthiumis a perennial herbaceous flat (that is, it lives several years), native to Europe and North Africa, although in the past it extended from Western Europe to Central Asia. It grows up to 120 centimeters in height, with a minimum of 80 centimeters once it reaches adulthood. The entire plant has a characteristic silvery-green color, although the leaves are whitish on the back and grayish on the front.

The flowers are small, pale yellow in color, and form chapters that in turn are distributed forming panicles. They sprout from early summer to fall, and use the wind to pollination. The fruit is an achene of about 0,5 millimeters, with a cylindrical and glabrous shape.

What does absinthe smell like?

This is a very aromatic plant, with a bitter and intense odor due to absintinwhich is a glycoside capable of repelling slugs, aphids, cabbage flies, and even worms that feed on the fruits.

For this reason, it is not recommended to put on the edge of the roads for example, but it can be very in a sunny corner, with other aromatic plants such as lavender or peppermint.

What other name is absinthe?

Wormwood is an herb that goes by many names. Perhaps the most popular is that of »mother of all herbs», Referring to its medicinal uses. But there are others like bitter artemisia, asensio or holy grass.

What is?

It has several uses, among which the medicinal one stands out. Let’s see in detail what its properties are and much more:

Medicinal use

Is used for relieve colic and stomach pain, as well as snack. In addition, it facilitates the elimination of gases, and makes the liver work better since it increases the secretion of the gallbladder, which helps to better digest fats.

If you are a woman and you usually have irregular periods, taking absinthe can also be very useful, since can help you normalize cycles. But be careful, because the taste is bitter. This is due to one of its components, the absintin, which contains leaves and stems.

Anyway, before you start taking absinthe, and if you have any doubts, it is important to contact a professional.

Adverse effects of wormwood

Like everything in life, do not abuse. Even if we drink more water than we really need, we can have, at the very least, a tremendous stomach ache. But The consequences of drinking too much absinthe tea are far more worrisome than a stomach ache:

  • nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • heartburn (burning sensation from throat to stomach)
  • abdominal pain

To avoid them, it is very important not to exceed 5 grams of absinthe every time we make a tea. And still, it is better to take less, between 2,5 and 3 grams.


Another use that is given is to make alcoholic beverages such as vermouth or absinthe, also known as “green fairy”. The latter is banned in several countries, although in the 1890s it was widely consumed in Europe, South America, and the US.

Finally, we have absinthe as a substitute for spearmint or mint when we want to prepare green tea. This is done a lot in North Africa, but if you ever want to try you’ve run out of mint or spearmint, you know what you can replace them with.

Does absinthe have poison?

In addition to absentin, absinthe has an essential oil that is thujone, in addition to flavonoids. These substances can be toxic to the body, but not poisonous (that is, they can cause discomfort, but not death). Even if its continued use is strongly discouraged. What’s more, absinthe, the beverage just mentioned, was banned in some countries because it could seriously affect the nervous system.

Wormwood care

Wormwood is a fast growing plantWormwood is a fast growing plant

Image – Wikimedia / Niccolò Caranti

How is the “mother of all herbs” to be cared for? Without a doubt, if you want to grow this plant, you have to take into account everything that we are going to tell you below:


Wormwood is a plant that needs a lot of light. For this reason, it must be placed in a sunny area, where it receives light for many hours a day (at least, it should be given five hours / day).

If you are going to plant it in the ground, take into account the adult size that it can have, to put it behind other smaller plants.


It is a plant that grows in well-drained, light and nutrient-rich soils. Therefore, we advise you the following:

  • Flower pot: you can use universal substrate; Now, it is even better to mix it with perlite in equal parts if it is not present, as this ensures that the roots will be able to develop properly.
  • Garden: when planting in the ground, make sure that the soil absorbs and filters the water quickly. In the event that this is not the case, we recommend making a hole of about 50 x 50 centimeters, and filling it with universal substrate.


Irrigation is normally one of the most difficult tasks to control, but this is not the case with absinthe. This is a plant that resists drought well, which will not even be necessary to water if it is in the ground. In fact, it is one of the plants that most fears waterlogging. Thus, It should not be watered more than once or twice a week.


If you want me to grow much healthier and stronger, fertilize your plant with guano (on sale here!) from spring to fall. It is a natural fertilizer very rich in nutrients, which also has a fast effectiveness. But be careful: follow the instructions for use to the letter, because if you exceed the dose you could cause many problems with the absinthe (for example, you would see that the roots would burn, the growth would slow down and / or the leaves would become would turn black).


Wormwood flowers are yellowWormwood flowers are yellow

Image – Flickr / Andreas Rockstein

To multiply absinthe you have to know that You can do it in different methods: seeds or by division of tillers. Let’s see how to proceed:


  1. The first thing to do is to fill a pot or a seedling tray with seedbed substrate.
  2. Next, the substrate must be soaked.
  3. Then, place a couple of seeds in each socket or in each pot, slightly separated from each other.
  4. Finally, cover them with a thin layer of substrate, and place the seedbed (be it a pot or tray with holes) in a sunny place.

As long as they are fresh seeds, they will germinate in about ten days at a temperature between 15 and 25ºC.

Tiller division

It is a faster way to get new copies. As it is a rhizomatous plant, you just have to extract it from the pot, uncover the rhizome and with a serrated knife or disinfected scissors, cut it in half.

If it is in soil, you have to uncover the root loaf first, digging about 10 centimeters from the main stem, and about 30 centimeters deep. Then with a short hand saw.


It is advisable but not mandatory. If you want it to have a compact bearing, you have to trim the stems a little (about 5 to 10 centimeters, depending on the size of your plant) late winter.


Absinthe withstands temperatures down to -12ºC. Of the Artemisia genus, it is one of those that supports the coldest, so just in case the temperature drops further, you will have to protect it with a anti-frost fabric or plastic.

Where to buy?

Get seeds from here:

Care, uses and much more of absinthe

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