Wormwood is known for its distinctive aroma and flavor. We can recognize the plant by its shrub-like look, tall gray-green hairy stems, and lobed yellow-green leaves (1). For hundreds of years, all parts of this plant have been used for traditional medicinal practices. It is a well-known herb that helps with various digestive problems including upset stomach, loss of appetite, intestinal spasms, and gall bladder disease as well as to treat fever, liver disease, depression, muscle pain, memory loss, and worm infections (2).
It is one of the most important herbs that has exhibited several pharmacological activities, such as being antimicrobial, insecticidal, antiviral, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective, wound healing, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular diseases. Aside from this, the herb has also shown broad-spectrum antioxidant and anticancer activities (3).
Results of a study showed that the essential oil from the aerial parts of woodworm prevents the growth of a very broad spectrum of tested fungi. Aside from this, essential oil has been found to possess antioxidant properties (4).
In a separate study, researchers have also found that the oil exhibits antimicrobial activity against various bacterial strains including E. coli and salmonella. Salmonella bacterial infection causes gastrointestinal infections with symptoms including vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain (5,6).
In a study designed to investigate the antibacterial properties of wormwood, against surgical wounds infected by Staphylococcus aureus in a rat model, results showed that topical application of wormwood extract on infected wound sites produced significant antibacterial activity (7).
Wormwood contains a compound known as thujone. In large amounts, thujone can cause damage to the nervous system, resulting in convulsions, and loss of muscle control if enough is involved.
Wormwood tea can be used to reap its benefits. When making tea, it’s best if we use its dried form as it contains a little thujone.
In making a tea, simply steep one teaspoon of dried wormwood in one cup of boiling water for five to 15 minutes. Have this tea unsweetened to have its best effect.
Make sure to use no more than one teaspoon of the leaves as they’re very strong and bitter.
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