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Wormwood

Also indexed as:Artemisia absinthium
Wormwood: Main Image© Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Artemisia absinthium

Parts Used & Where Grown

The wormwood shrub grows wild in Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. It is now cultivated in North America as well. The leaves and flowers, and the oil obtained from them, are all used in herbal medicine.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Irritable Bowel Syndrome

(Caraway Seed, Fennel Seed, Peppermint)
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
A combination of peppermint, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, and wormwood was reported to be an effective treatment for upper abdominal complaints in one trial.
Gallbladder Inflammation
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Traditionally, wormwood is regarded as a useful remedy for liver and gallbladder problems. Wormwood contains strong bitter agents known as absinthin and anabsinthin, which stimulate digestive and gallbladder function.
Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Wormwood is believed to stimulate digestion and relieve spasms in the intestinal tract.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome

(Bupleurum, Dan Shen, Ginger, Schisandra)
Take a Chinese herbal formula containing wormwood under the guidance of a qualified practitioner1 star[1 star]
A standardized Chinese herbal combination containing extracts from plants including wormwood, ginger, bupleurum, schisandra, and dan shen reduced IBS symptoms in one study.
Parasites
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Wormwood has been traditionally used for treatment of parasites. Numerous studies have suggested the herb can be helpful for some parasitic infections.
Poor Digestion
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
As a traditional medicine, wormwood was used by herbalists as a bitter to improve digestion.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Wormwood is perhaps best known because of the use of its oil to prepare certain alcoholic beverages, most notably vermouth and absinthe. Absinthe, popular in the 19th century in Europe, caused several cases of brain damage and even death and was banned in most places in the early 20th century.1 Wormwood oil continues to be used as a flavoring agent for foods, although in much smaller amounts than were found in absinthe.

As a traditional medicine, wormwood was used by herbalists as a bitter to improve digestion, to fight worm infestations, and to stimulate menstruation.2 It was also regarded as a useful remedy for liver and gallbladder problems.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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