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WH WO

Wormwood

 
L.Artemisia absinthium
Any of 250 strong-smelling plants with white or yellow flowers that are generally classed as weeds. It's specifically the Eurasian perennial (Artemisia absinthium) that's so notorious in the cocktail world. Artemisia absinthium produces a bitter, dark-green oil once used in making absinthe, vermouth, and other bitters. Hippocrates sipped wormwood steeped in wine for jaundice and rheumatism, and others throughout history have used it as an aphrodisiac. In the early 18th century, however, the Swiss and the French led an anti-absinthe brigade that led to the banning of wormwood in all food and drink. To this day, it's nearly impossible to find anything made with it. Although this herb has been blamed for delirium, mania, and wantonness, scientists have been able to pin only "an epileptic group caused by the combination of wormwood, hyssop, and fennel" on it. Wormwood [image: 71Kbytes .jpg] is a derivation of the German "wermut" or the Anglo-Saxon "wermod," and has a lineage to the word "vermouth." Wormwood has also come to mean a bitter or mortifying experience.
Synonym: Absinthe
Last modified: 5 April 2009
Editors: Nik D
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