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Benefits of Wormwood: The Wonder Healing Plant

The benefits of wormwood are numerous from treating insomnia, jaundice, stomach aches, anorexia, and anemia, to aiding digestion and alleviating pain. It is a wonder healing plant with a long history in traditional medicine for treating various ailments from common health issues to more serious health issues. It has been the go-to herb for skin infections, pain relief, removing intestinal worms, and aiding digestion for centuries.

Today wormwood is available over-the-counter as a natural medicine and herbal remedy for various illnesses and to promote general health. It has abundant health benefits are abundant and it can be taken in a variety of different ways both fresh and dried.

This blog will help you find out more about wormwood, its benefits, and its many uses.

The anti inflammatory compound found in wormwood can reduce pain in knee osteoarthritis.

Three Main Types of Wormwood

Artemisia Absinthium

The ancient Greeks used wormwood shrubs recreationally and medicinally for hundreds of years. It also goes by the name absinthium, mugwort, green ginger, and madderwort to name a few. It is a bitter herb that has an aromatic scent similar to sage and if left in the garden is a natural pesticide.

The active ingredient in wormwood is the chemical thujone. There are two types of thujone – alpha thujone and beta thujone. The former is the more toxic of the two but products made in the United States must contain no thujone or 10 parts per million. Read the labels and make sure the products you are taking adhere to these requirements.

Artemisia Annua

Traditionally used in Chinese medicine for fever due to summer heat, ulcers, tissue generation pain, jaundice, stop bleeding, and malaria. Its modern use is mostly for malaria and bilharzia.

Artemisia Afra

Also known as sweet wormwood and used traditionally in Africa for malaria, coughs, intestinal worms, colds, loss of appetite, earache, fever, headaches, and colic.

Benefits

There are so many positive health benefits of wormwood as it is a very versatile healing plant.  The list of overall health benefits ranges from hormone regulation to liver support, and more!  Many ailments can be treated by using wormwood as either an ointment, tea, tincture, or extract, therefore making it even more versatile as it can be used in multiple ways to treat multiple health issues

Improves the Immune System

Wormwood contains flavonoids, artemisinin compounds, and the antioxidant, chamazulene. Together these three protect the cells against oxidative stress and work together to maintain cell membrane structures. They also protect nerve cells from free radical damage and oxidative stress caused by disease or external factors. This keeps the immune system functioning in a healthy state so that the body’s immune response is working at optimum levels, therefore reducing the risk of a chronic disease occurring

Battles Malaria

Malaria is a deadly parasitic disease that can affect humans by a single mosquito bite. Once bitten by a mosquito infected with malaria, red blood cells within the body are attacked by the infection. The artemisinin compound in wormwood reacts to this invasion by producing free radicals. Those free radicals set out to eliminate the parasite by reacting to the amount of iron found in the parasitic cells. This makes wormwood one of the most used antimalarial herbal drugs in the world. Therefore, it is advised if you are living in, or traveling to an area that is a malaria zone to take wormwood supplements as this could prevent you from contracting this infection.  

Wormwood is used to treat the malaria parasite.

Antibacterial and Antifungal Capabilities

The published journal, Chemical Composition of the Essential Oils of Serbian Wild-Growing Artemisia absinthium and Artemisia vulgaris, stated that certain oral thrushes and yeast infections have been killed using wormwood as well as other fungi and harmful bacteria. There was also a noticeable drop in infection rate from soft tissue and skin infections when using a wormwood extract topically. The wormwood essential oils, in particular, contain antimicrobial abilities against salmonella and E.coli, therefore emphasizing the importance of using wormwood as an antibacterial or antifungal.

Improves Blood Sugar Levels

The natural active compound in wormwood is sesquiterpene lactones. A study found that this compound may regulate blood sugar levels and stimulate the creation of insulin in the body. It might even prevent lipids from forming in the blood. Lipids are a combination of fats that regulate what your cells take in and out. Too much can be harmful resulting in high cholesterol levels.

Relaxes the Nervous System

Wormwood contains antioxidants that, besides helping to fight off disease, also have a calming effect on the nervous system. It aids in concentration and focus, which decreases stress and can provide a feeling of contentment. The calming effects can help bring about relaxation and help lower muscle pain in the body.

According to certain research, wormwood could have a slight uplift in mood. It is thought to influence the brain’s neurotransmitter systems, which may elevate mood and lessen anxiety.  Therefore wormwood does not only help overall relaxation and mood regulation, but it can also greatly reduce the risk of a chronic disease but reducing oxidative stress within the body. 

Soothes Skin Issues

Wormwood essential oils can be used on psoriasis, acne, eczema, and insect bites to soothe the symptoms of pain and itchiness. Scientific research has also shown that wormwood used topically reduces skin sensitivity and redness. It also repairs the skin barrier and improves damaged skin over time.

The antibacterial qualities of wormwood can aid in the treatment of several bacterial and fungal illnesses. It can be put on external wounds and infections of the skin.

Inflammation and Pain Relief

One of wormwood’s compounds, artemisinin, has potent anti-inflammatory effects. It lowers swelling, pain, warmth, and redness. A randomized double-blind control trial tested the Topical Effects of Artemisia Absinthium Ointment and Liniment in Comparison with Piroxicam Gel in Patients with Knee Joint Osteoarthritis. The trial found that inflammation and pain caused by osteoarthritis were treated and effectively reduced with wormwood ointments applied topically. 

Crohn’s disease occurs when the lining of the digestive tract becomes inflamed causing several issues like abdominal cramps, diarrhea, digestive problems, and fatigue. Studies have shown an array of positive results with using wormwood to treat a gut disorder such as Crohn’s disease. Using a natural and holistic approach to treating this disease could help to reduce the amount of negative side effects caused by the typical treatment of steroids needed to manage the disease.

Due to wormwood’s inflammation and pain relief properties, studies have shown that wormwood has the ability to suppress tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is a cytokine, a type of protein involved in cell signaling in the immune system. It plays a crucial role in inflammation, immune response, and cell death (apoptosis). In certain diseases and conditions, such as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis, TNF-alpha levels are often much higher, contributing to inflammation, increased pain, and tissue damage.

Aids Neurological Disorders

Wormwood can improve cognitive functions and enhance neurotransmitter function, which could help sufferers of Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease with disorientation, confusion, and delirium. Not only can wormwood help ease the symptoms of a neurological disorder, but it can help in reducing the risk of the onset of a neurological disorder, due to its neuroprotective properties. These properties help protect the nerve cells from damage caused by inflammation, oxidative stress, and many other external factors that could contribute to a chronic neurological disorder.  Wormwood could also help with nerve cell regeneration if damage has already occurred.

Antidepressant Properties

Wormwood has a calming effect and can be used as a natural form of therapy to treat depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and insomnia. The depressive symptoms of these mental health conditions are treated by the relaxing effect the herb induces. 

Kill Parasites

The name wormwood comes from its use for treating parasitic infections in the body. Wormwood is well-known for its parasite detox as it contains compounds like sesquiterpene lactones and thujone that have been found to have potent antiparasitic effects. Research suggests that it can react to pathogens, and expel parasites from the body. It is commonly consumed for treating parasites like roundworms, pinworms, and tapeworms. 

Wormwood contains sesquiterpene lactones that have potent antibacterial qualities, such as artemisinin and absinthin. It has been demonstrated that these substances are not only effective against a variety of parasites, such as helminths worms, but also bacteria, and even some types of fungus too!

Improves Digestion

The terpenes in wormwood encourage the production of intestinal secretions, bile, saliva, and stomach mucus. These gastric juices are essential in ensuring that the digestive process runs smoothly. Wormwood can reduce stomach acids (hypoacidity), bringing relief from acid reflux and peptic ulcers. A study showed that it relaxed the intestinal tract and, therefore, decreased spasms. This encouraged better digestion and improved appetite.

Bile is produced in the gallbladder when wormwood is ingested. This aids the digestion process and increases blood flow in the digestive system. In the small intestine, bile is necessary for the breakdown and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Wormwood promotes effective digestion and nutrient absorption by aiding in the breakdown of dietary lipids through an increase in bile synthesis and secretion.

Wormwood prevents constipation and lowers the severity of stomach ailments like diarrhea, nausea, gas, and bloating. This is why it is the preferred remedy for treating gastrointestinal disorders.

Anti-Cancer Properties

The artemisinin in wormwood has antioxidant properties and is used to produce free radicals. A study showed the cytotoxicity of wormwood and how it can target and damage cancer cells whilst leaving other normal cells unharmed. Wormwood has the ability to cause apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancer cells specifically, making it an effective holistic cancer modality without the adverse reactions that other drugs may cause.

It has been discovered that wormwood prevents cancer cells from proliferating by obstructing the development of their cell cycle. Wormwood slows down tumor growth by interfering with several signaling pathways that are important in the growth and division of cancer cells.

It battles cancer cells the same way it battles malaria parasites, making it a viable natural remedy treatment for cancer.

Types of Wormwood Products

There are various wormwood products available from fresh wormwood to topical ointment. Wormwood can even be found in alcoholic beverages. It can be ingested as a tea, powder, or tincture (mixed with water), or wormwood can be used as an essential oil.

Wormwood Pills and Capsules

These contain powdered wormwood and may also contain other natural herbs and ingredients that may work synergistically with wormwood. These are mostly used for parasite cleanses.

The Well of Life ParaPurify contains wormwood and other natural ingredients like black walnut hull and mimosa pudica. It was created as a parasite cleanse and to support your body whilst trying to achieve homeostasis.

Contains wormwood extract.

Wormwood Tinctures

Tinctures are made by soaking fresh wormwood leaves and flowers in a solvent like honey, glycerine, or vinegar. This must be left for up to six weeks before being filtered for use. This tincture can be diluted in water when ready to use.

Wormwood Tea

The flowers, stems, and leaves are dried to make tea. You can use half a teaspoon but no more than a full teaspoon as it is very bitter. You can add dried anise or peppermint to improve the flavor. The longer you steep it, the stronger it becomes, therefore steep it based on your strength preference.

Digestion wormwood in tea will have a bitter taste.

How to Make Wormwood Tea

Ingredients

1 cup of boiled water

1 teaspoon of dried wormwood leaves

Method

Boil enough water for one cup of tea. Pour water into the cup and add the wormwood leaves. Cover the top so that the tea seeps. Wait five to 15 minutes then strain the leaves. Let the remainder cool down in the cup before sipping.

For Gallbladder or Gastrointestinal Issues  

Drink one cup after meals to relieve bloating and gas.

For Appetite Stimulation

Drink one cup before meals to encourage your appetite.

For Bruises, Gout, Rheumatism and Arthritis

Make a compress out of wormwood. You do this by making the tea as normal but instead of sipping it, soak a gauze pad in it after it cools down. You can then place this soaked gauze onto the affected areas.

Wormwood Oil or Wormwood Essential Oil

Wormwood oil is made from the leaves and stems. This extraction happens during the plant’s pre-flowering stage through a process called steam distillation. Once the oil is extracted from the wormwood it can be used in ointments and lotions for topical use.

Precautions

Make sure you don’t take wormwood in any form for longer than 4 weeks and never take wormwood oil internally as it is toxic. Always take the correct dosage and avoid wormwood in the following conditions:

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Wormwood may cause miscarriages and it could be harmful to newborns, so it’s best to avoid using it during any of these stages.

Children

Wormwood is too strong for children under six years of age and will be toxic to them.

Porphyria

Disorders that fall under this group could react to the compound called thujone in wormwood. The reaction could make symptoms worse so it’s best to avoid taking it, or only use products that are thujone free.

Epilepsy

The thujone present in wormwood can cause seizures by overstimulating the brain. This is a higher risk in epileptic sufferers and people who have other seizure disorders. It may also hinder seizure medications by inhibiting their effects.

Gallbladder Stones, Blockages, and Cirrhosis of the Liver

Wormwood increases bile which worsens these issues.

Heart Disease

If you have heart disease and take chronic medication containing blood thinners then avoid wormwood. It reacts with blood thinning medication causing intestinal bleeding.

Kidney Disease

People with chronic kidney disease or kidney disorders have a high risk of kidney failure if they use wormwood.

Stomach Ulcers

Wormwood irritates the stomach lining making the symptoms worse.

Allergies

If you are allergic to marigolds and ragweed then you will be allergic to wormwood as they are all in the same Asteraceae family.

You might be allergic to these bitter herbs.

Key Takeaways

Wormwood is a wonder plant for so many ailments from pain relief to lowering inflammation and removing intestinal worms. With so many uses and health benefits, it’s no wonder that this wonder plant benefits overall health and vitality! 

As a natural treatment wormwood comes in several forms (pills, powders, capsules, teas, tinctures, and oils) both dried and fresh. It is advised to schedule an annual wormwood parasite detox to ensure your body is functioning optimally. You have plenty of options to choose from, each one fits a specific purpose depending on your needs. The choice is yours for better health and relief from a range of common and rare ailments!

We sincerely hope we have given you enough information on wormwood to make the right decision for you and your health.

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