Culpeper has written a great deal of trash about this Herb; viz. the conference of Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, the Moon, etcetera. about its virtues. To an intelligent mind, such trash is utterly disgusting. I verily believe that the vain old fellow was three fourths drunk when he wrote such rubbish; and it is very strange that persons are still found to print, and credit his astrological foolery. There are three kinds of wormwood. The common wormwood is mostly in use.


Artemisia Absinthium. Commom wormwood is a wild plant growing by way-sides, and on ditch banks. It is a yard high. The stalks are round, striated, white, firm, and branched. The leaves are large, but they are divided into a great number of small parts. They are of a pale whitish green, and stand irregularly on the stalks; many larger, but of the same kind rise from the root. The flowers stand in a kind of loose spikes at the tops of the stalks; they are small and brown. The whole plant is of a very bitter taste.

Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Uses of Wormwood:

The smell of common wormwood is strong and disagreeable, taste intensely bitter, so as to become the foundation of a proverb. The tops of the plants are to be used fresh gathered; very slight infusion of them is excellent for all disorders of the stomach, and will prevent sickness after meals, and create an appetite. Dr. Graham says, "It is a bitter tonic of considerable service in indigestion, and low spirits, and it has also been used with great advantage in ague, gout, and scurvy. It has been reported to have been of great service in epilepsy. Its powers in expelling worms are well ascertained. It will frequently bring away the smaller sorts of worms in great quantities. The dose in powder is from one to two scruples twice or thrice a day. The Infusion is made by pouring a pint of boiling water on an ounce of the plant; of which from an ounce to an ounce and a half may be taken twice or thrice a day."

The juice of the large leaves of wormwood, which grow from the root before the stalk appeals, is good against the dropsy, and jaundice, for it removes obstructions, and works powerfully by urine. Another eminent physician says, "It is used in stomach complaints and is of great service to persons labouring under hypochondria. It is most useful in intermittent fevers, (ague); I have frequently found it so, in cachectic and hydropic affections, and in jaundice. The extract is a pure and simple bitter. The essential oil is of a dark green colour, and contains the whole flavour of the plant. It is stimulating, and a pow­erful antispasmodic, and an thelmintic. Wormwood was formerly much used for the preparation of medicated wine and ales. It forms purl when used with the last, which hard drinkers are in the habit of taking in the morning, to go through their hard day's labours." Haller says that Charles V. used this plant for the gout; and for the same purpose Dr. Thornton employed a decoction of Wormwood with success upon himself, so that he had no return for many years.

SALT OF WORMWOOD, formerly much used medicinally is pure Carbonate of Potass, obtained from the ashes of this and other plants. In small doses, say 8 or 10 grains, dissolved in a little rose-water, and taken twice or thrice a day, is very use­ful in indigestion and billions complaints, attended with acidity in the stomach. It is rendered effervescent by mixing with a little lemon juice.

See also Roman Wormwood and Worm Seed.

Important Disclaimer:   The information contained on this web site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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