Bitter wormwood: medicinal properties and contraindications, planting and care in the garden

Garden plants

Bitter wormwood (lat.Artemisia absinthium) is a typical species of the genus Wormwood, a silvery perennial herb with a characteristic bitter aroma. Bitter wormwood is one of the oldest medicinal plants and the main component of a drink called absinthe. Wormwood is included in the composition of vermouth ("vermouth" in translation means bitter wormwood). This plant is also popularly called widow's grass. Bitter wormwood comes from the west of Asia, from North Africa and Europe. It is also naturalized in North America.
Bitter wormwood grows along roads, near dwellings, in meadows and vegetable gardens, in field boundaries.

Planting and caring for wormwood

  • Bloom: in June or July.
  • Landing: sowing seeds for seedlings in a semi-warm greenhouse - in April. Planting seedlings in open ground - in mid-May.
  • Lighting: bright sunlight.
  • The soil: poor, well-drained, neutral response.
  • Watering: only during a prolonged drought.
  • Top dressing: does not need fertilizers.
  • Reproduction: seed.
  • Pests and diseases: not amazed.
  • Properties: is a medicinal herb.

Read more about growing wormwood below.

Botanical description

In height, bitter wormwood reaches from 50 cm to 2 m. Sometimes it grows as a shrub with a branched stem root and erect shoots covered with silvery tomentose pubescence. In the upper part, slightly ribbed shoots are branched, and at the base they form sterile shoots. The lower leaves of the plant are twice and three times pinnately dissected, with long petioles. The middle leaves are doubly pinnately dissected, on short petioles, and the upper leaves are twice tripartite or pinnate. Tubular yellow flowers of wormwood are collected in baskets with a diameter of 2.5-3.5 cm. The middle flowers are bisexual, the marginal flowers are pistillate. The baskets, in turn, form one-sided carpal inflorescences, and the brushes are collected in narrow panicles. The plant blooms in June-July. The fruit of bitter wormwood is a pointed achene of brown color about 1 cm long, ripening in late summer or early autumn.

Growing wormwood

How to sow seeds

Since bitter wormwood prefers dry soils, it is sown in a semi-warm greenhouse in dry soil. Better to do this in April. Crops need light and moderate temperatures. At the stage of development at the shoots of the first two leaves, they are planted in 1-2 pieces in pots with a diameter of 7-9 cm. When the threat of recurrent frosts has passed, the seedlings are planted in open ground.

A site for wormwood needs a sunny one, with poor, well-drained neutral soil, into which sand is added for digging for looseness. Seedlings are placed at a distance of 40 cm from each other.

Wormwood has a property to grow rapidly, capturing territories not intended for it. To prevent this from happening, it makes sense to plant wormwood seedlings in deep containers, and then bury them in the garden.

Care rules

Bitter wormwood practically does not need watering, on the contrary, its leaves and shoots can lose their silvery pubescence from moisture, turn green and lose their attractiveness. Therefore, the plant is watered only in prolonged drought.

If you planted bitter wormwood in the ground without restrictive containers, you will have to prune its sprawling rhizomes from time to time, otherwise the decorative well-groomed will turn into a weed that does not allow other crops to develop. If you do not like the way wormwood blooms, you can cut off its many flower stalks.

Collecting wormwood

For medicinal purposes, raw wormwood is collected at the very beginning of flowering in the first year of the growing season. As soon as the baskets begin to open, you need to cut them off with shoots up to 40 cm long, spread them out in a thin layer to dry under a canopy or in a dark room with good ventilation. Wormwood is dried at a temperature of 35 ºC. The finished raw material has a pleasant aroma and a very bitter taste that lasts a very long time in the mouth. Store dry wormwood away from other herbs in an airtight container.

Types and varieties

There are not so many decorative varieties of wormwood, and the most famous of them are Silver Frost and Lambrook Silver - silver-colored plants with a height of about 75 cm.As for the types of wormwood, then, in addition to wormwood, others are grown in culture:

  • wormwood louisiana - a plant from North America, reaching a height of 1 m and forming extensive thickets. The flowers of this species are brown and unattractive, so it is best to remove them immediately. The most famous varieties of the species are Silver Kenigin (Silver Queen) and Valerie Finnig;
  • Steller's wormwood - a low-growing species that grows in nature in the Far East, Alaska, Japan and Norway, it also settled in North America. It is a perennial 20-30 cm high with carved silvery-gray leaves. During flowering, the stems can reach 40-50 cm. Wormwood blooms in small yellowish baskets, which are better to cut, since undersized species of wormwood lose their attractiveness during flowering. The most famous variety of this species is Bugton Silver (or Maurice Form) - a plant up to 30 cm high with almost creeping shoots and beautiful, almost white leaves, as if made of felt;
  • wormwood Schmidt also from the Far East. It is found in Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands and Japan. In culture, its form of nana with a height of 25-30 cm is better known with numerous leafy shoots forming openwork bushes, and with pinnately dissected silver-green densely pubescent leaves into narrow lobes. The most popular variety of the species is the Powys Castle hybrid up to 40 cm high with delicate silvery-green leaves.

Cultivated in culture are also Caucasian wormwood, shiny, crowded, cold, Pontic, Pursha, rut-leaved and others.

The properties of wormwood - harm and benefit

Healing properties

The plant contains essential oils, bitterness, malic and succinic organic acids, tannins and resinous substances, anabsintin and absintin glycosides. What are the manifestations useful properties of wormwood? Bitterness stimulates the work of the digestive organs, gives a choleretic effect and promotes the production of pancreatic enzymes. Essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties and stimulates the production of phagocytes, which activate the body's potential to fight against pathogenic microflora.

Wormwood preparations also have tonic and soothing properties, therefore they are used for insomnia, overexcitation and depression. To strengthen the nervous system, baths with bitter wormwood are prescribed. Wormwood is used for female pain in the lower abdomen and in the absence of menstruation. Bitter wormwood is used externally for compresses and lotions for bruises, suppurations, ulcers and swelling, as well as for gargling with sore throat.

Wormwood copes well with helminths, fungi and viruses, therefore it is prescribed for giardiasis, echinococcosis, candidiasis and helminthic invasions. Wormwood decoction is used in the treatment of influenza, paralysis, colds, diarrhea, seizures, gastritis, diseases of the kidneys, liver, gallbladder and pancreas, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, allergic diathesis and agranulocytosis. Bitter wormwood is also effective as a means for losing weight, and in cosmetology it is used to remove warts and papillomas, as well as for seborrhea, dandruff, oily skin and hair loss.


The use of wormwood for a long time or in large doses is unacceptable, since it causes a disorder of the nervous system, intoxication of the body and, as a result, renal failure, which can lead to death. The course of treatment with wormwood should not exceed two, at most four weeks, provided that during this period of time the condition does not worsen. After completing the course, you must take a break for at least a month.

Bitter wormwood is contraindicated for enterocolitis, anemia, bleeding, it is harmful to pregnant women, lactating women and those who have found intolerance to this product. Wormwood preparations are not recommended for those suffering from gastritis with low acidity and stomach ulcers. Asthmatics should be very careful when taking wormwood preparations.


  1. Read the topic on Wikipedia
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The healing properties of wormwood: indications for use, methods of use, contraindications

Our article will tell you about such a perennial as wormwood is bitter for its medicinal properties and contraindications. Due to the content of a large number of useful components, it is positioned as a healing perennial. The name of the herbaceous plant is translated from Greek as "giving health", which fully characterizes it medicinal properties... But despite the wide range of its use in medicine, the medicinal culture has its own contraindications, which must be taken into account when applying.

Description and healing properties

Common wormwood, or, as it is also called, Chernobyl - annual, it grows in central Russia. The plant looks like a tall, up to two meters, pyramidal bush with a high, dark stem. Thanks to the short hairs, the openwork leaves are unusually beautiful, and their color palette is fabulously diverse: silver-gray, silver-blue, grayish-green, steel, they surprise with their diversity and regular outlines.

The description of the plant would not be complete if we did not remember about its smell and bitterness. The plant, or rather its clawed leaves, has a specific aroma, which is enhanced if the leaves are rubbed with your fingers. Annual wormwood has another distinctive feature - incomparable bitterness, therefore its second name is widow's herb. Because of this, cattle bypasses it, and if the cows in early spring accidentally managed to eat it with juicy grass, their milk will not only taste bitter, but also acquire a specific wormwood smell.

Annual wormwood blooms from July to August, fruits appear in October - smooth achenes. The plant tolerates shearing well, but not all varieties have decorative value.

The description of representatives of different varieties of wormwood has slight differences.

Contraindications to the use of wormwood

The list of contraindications for wormwood is quite impressive:

- During pregnancy and during breastfeeding, wormwood preparations are not prescribed.
- Reduced acidity of gastric juice is already a contraindication to the use of wormwood.
- A ban on wormwood exists with an exacerbation of the course of gastrointestinal diseases.
- Wormwood belongs to the group of allergens, so it is not recommended to use it in case of individual intolerance.

When treating wormwood preparations, one should not neglect the recommendations of the attending physician, and also overdo it with dosages of medicines.

By the way, the abuse of absinthe can also cause poisoning, symptomatically manifested in the form of tremors of the limbs, severe headaches, muscle cramps, and sometimes loss of consciousness.

What kind of care does culture need?

This fragrant plant hardly gets sick. Pests also rarely attack wormwood.

This decorative culture only needs three steps of care:

  • Watering. For freshly planted shoots to take root, they need to be watered regularly for the first 2 weeks. Further, if it rains from time to time in summer, watering can be stopped completely. Only remove the watering can during the driest periods. This crop does not need spraying.
  • Mulch, loosening the soil. Fluffing the soil will allow air to get to the roots.
  • Pruning. The plant must be tamed often by shortening its shoots so that the flower bed does not turn into a solid gray blot. It will also be useful to remove the peduncles (but this is not necessary).

You do not need to fertilize this plant. Surprisingly, the form and color of the leaves of the silvery wormwood deteriorate from the introduced nourishment.

What plants can you "make friends" with wormwood in a flower bed

Depending on your preferences, on one site Steller can be mixed with both other semi-wild flowers and noble roses:

Also, this plant is used as:

  • border, framing paths and sides of flower beds of a plant
  • "Inhabitant" of rockeries and alpine hills
  • partner of ornamental shrubs (say, barberry).

By the way! In addition to wormwood, there are other cultivated weeds that may interest you. But before planting such a flower on the site, be careful: all these plants (especially goldenrod) are not at all gentlemanly in nature, and if you give them a little will, they will begin to seize the yard ...


Most types of wormwood are very different both externally and for their medicinal and other properties: it is citrine wormwood, lemon, silvery, Taurian (Crimean), arboreal (god's tree, medicinal, paniculate), bitter, ordinary (Chernobyl), Austrian, sea , amber. etc.

Wormwood properties. Bitter wormwood is a very valuable medicinal plant, the history of it goes back far into the past. Among the ancient Slavs, wormwood was considered a cult plant with the ability to cleanse the spiritual and physical world.

Yogis and Buddhists have used wormwood essential oil in meditation as one of the best ways to help them focus. Many people are still confident that the aroma (smell) of wormwood scares away evil spirits, protects from the evil eye and damage. In Latin, wormwood sounds like "Artemisia" - in honor of the famous goddess Artemis, who discovered many of the healing properties of plants.

The most popular among the people for its medicinal, cleansing and cosmetic properties is bitter wormwood. It differs from other types of medicinal properties, as well as outwardly - grayish-silver color. The upper surfaces of the leaves of wormwood are whitish in color, and the stem also looks silky-grayish. And the flower baskets of this plant are yellow or yellow-green.

Wormwood is a wild perennial plant with a characteristic specific aroma and a very bitter taste. The smell of wormwood is quite strong and resembles a bitter-tart taste. It grows almost everywhere, has a straight, up to 1.5 m in height, spreading stem.

Wormwood - a home remedy long tested by our ancestors. For application and treatment, the ground part of the plant is used without the lower lignified parts of the stems, as well as flowers and roots.

Wormwood leaves harvested before flowering, plucking them without petioles. The stems of the plant with the tops are cut at the beginning of flowering. Dry in the shade in a well-ventilated area. The shelf life of harvested herbs is 2 years.

The bitter taste of wormwood stimulates the vital activity of the body, gives an excellent tone, has healing and cleansing properties. The value of wormwood and its use has increased even more with a number of discoveries in the field of microorganisms that inhabit our body. Not all of them appear to be useful to us.

Such of them as Toxoplasma, Chlamydia, Trichomonas, Gonococcus, yeast fungi, viruses, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Gardnerella, etc. slowly but surely destroy the human body, leading it to chronic and serious diseases. As scientific studies have shown, about 90% of the entire population of the planet is affected by parasites, in one degree or another.

The presence of such a pyogenic infection causes metabolic disorders in the body, leads to inflammation of the small intestine, various diseases of the liver and biliary tract, skin diseases (diathesis, allergies, urticaria, eczema, psoriasis, etc.), heart attack, various colds with mucus secretion and pus. Wormwood is one of the most effective, affordable and natural remedies in the fight against these microorganisms.

Cleaning with wormwood... Regular cleansing of the body with a decoction of wormwood, douching with it (1 tsp at boiling water, leave for 10 minutes - in the morning and in the evening) is a very necessary and effective procedure that women need to do periodically. Wormwood is also very valuable in cleansing the body from various types of worms (parasites), both alone and in combination (assembled) with other herbs.

Parasites not only consume all the most valuable and useful from what we eat, but also shit into our body, poisoning it with their waste products. They are dangerous in that they can quietly and imperceptibly kill a person, gradually taking away his strength, and when he weakens, they multiply with even greater intensity.

There were cases when people infected with worms were diagnosed with cancer patients, since they were languishing in front of our eyes, and naturally, they were treated by irradiation and herbal chemistry, and when they died, after an autopsy it turned out that all this was due to a large number of worms.

Here are some effective folk recipes using wormwood to get rid of worms (parasites):

1. Wormwood and cloves (powder): grind wormwood herb, cloves and flax seeds into powder, take half a teaspoon of everything equally and mix. Put the dry mixture in your mouth and wash it down with a glass of carrot juice. This recipe helps to get rid of worms and some other parasites.

Wormwood acts on the intermediate and mature stages of more than 100 parasites, and cloves on their larvae and eggs. These components should always be used together.

2. Tincture of wormwood and pumpkin seeds (recipe from Vanga): mix equal amounts of wormwood leaves and crushed pumpkin seeds, pour this mixture with vodka in a ratio of 1: 3. Insist a week in warmth or in the sun.
Drink the tincture twice a day, one glass on an empty stomach, preferably half an hour before lunch and before dinner. The course of treatment is several weeks until the stomach is completely cleared of worms. Use as a general antihelminthic agent.

3. Cleaning (cleansing) dry wormwood from parasites... We take the harvested dry wormwood and grind it into powder, you need about 100 g. Why dry? The broth, as practice has shown, does not reach the distant parts of the intestine (large intestine), it is absorbed along the way and remains in a non-destructive concentration for worms. It is important that the wormwood passes through the entire digestive tract and heals (cleans) all areas.

First, in the first 3 days and every 2-2.5 hours, we take 1 incomplete teaspoon. dry wormwood: put a portion in your mouth and drink it with water. It turns out 5-6 times a day, then we reduce the number of doses per day to 3-4 times and so we treat for another 4 days! We are not attached to the time of the meal. In general, the course of treatment for this prescription is 1 week!

The whole body is involved in cleansing at once, it is recommended to carry out it 2 times a year - in spring and autumn, and also during cleaning, you must adhere to a vegetarian diet and it is advisable to do wormwood enemas (1 time per day) and douching for women (morning and evening).

As a solution for enemas and douching, use an infusion of wormwood according to this recipe: 1-2 tsp. tablespoons of dry and chopped wormwood herb pour 1 liter of boiling water, insist until it cools (approximately to body temperature), then strain.

During cleaning with dry wormwood, weakness may be observed, aggravation of old diseases for a while (pain in the side, in the joints, when stones move, cutting pains may occur, etc.).

Also, a good effect in cleansing the body of various parasites is given by a triad (three components), this is a mixture of an infusion of walnut peel, dry wormwood and clove seeds. Or V. A. Ivanchenko's Russian trochatka: which includes tansy (flower baskets), wormwood (leaves and young shoots) and powdered cloves (seeds that are used in cooking).

Wormwood and tansy, act on round and tapeworms, bacteria, protozoa, fungi and viruses of many species, and cloves destroy larvae and eggs.
The recipe for making Russian triplets, how to take it - see this page. And here I will just add that it should not be taken by pregnant women, with stomach ulcers and erosive gastritis.

Wormwood infusion (recipe): take 1-2 teaspoons of chopped wormwood herb, pour 1 cup boiling water, leave for 20 minutes, then strain. Drink the infusion during the day in 3 doses, one and a half hours before meals.
Wormwood infusion destroys pyogenic microorganisms, helps with insufficient bile secretion, sluggish digestion, a feeling of fullness in the stomach, bloating and gas, cholelithiasis, with jaundice, sand and kidney stones, activates blood circulation and improves metabolism.

Wormwood also helps well with dripping, with anemia, insomnia, relieves pain (with inflammation of the cecum), relieves heartburn, and eliminates bad breath.

Wormwood to improve (stimulate) appetitea: mix 8 parts of wormwood herb and 2 parts of yarrow herb, then take 1 teaspoon of the mixture and brew with 2 cups of boiling water, insisting, take 1/4 cup 3 times a day.

There is another way to use wormwood: roll several flowers of wormwood in bread balls and swallow them.

Wormwood root (decoction): take 2 tbsp. tablespoons of chopped wormwood root (dry), pour 1 cup boiling water and boil for 10 minutes over low heat. To prevent the essential oils from evaporating, we close the dishes with a lid. After cooling - strain, take 2 tbsp. spoons 3 times a day, 20-30 minutes before meals, i.e. in fact, we drink all the prepared broth in a day.

Take a decoction of wormwood root for oncological tumors and stomach cancer, rectal cancer, uterine cancer. In case of uterine cancer, external procedures (daily douching) are additionally made with the same broth, after diluting the resulting 1 glass of broth to 1 liter with boiled water.

Also, the root of wormwood is used for therapeutic baths for gout and neurosis. The course of treatment is 2 weeks.

Wormwood oil... We take fresh wormwood, put it in a jar (from under mayonnaise) to the top, without tamping, fill it with olive oil (you can use corn or linseed oil) and close it tightly so that no air gets inside and leave for 10 days. The oil will turn dark green or pearlescent. Then strain it and store it in the refrigerator or some other cool place.

Wormwood oil is now commercially available. In Ukraine, it is made from Tauric wormwood (Crimean). Used for inflammation of the respiratory tract, flu, cough, bronchitis. Cosmetologists recommend wormwood oil for the care of oily, impure skin, and is also used in aromatherapy.

In case of liver diseases, it is advised to take powder from bitter wormwood and sage, in a ratio of components 1: 5. Take it 0.2-0.5 g 3 times a day.

Also, in addition to the diseases listed above, scrofula and tuberculosis, hemorrhoids and articular rheumatism are treated with wormwood herb, epilepsy is taken with leucorrhoea, insufficient and irregular menstruation.

Wormwood infusion activates blood circulation and improves metabolism. Therefore, it is recommended for obesity and other metabolic disorders.

Wormwood for weight loss... We take the above recipe (wormwood infusion), only take it 1 tablespoon 3 times a day 15 minutes before meals. A mixture of herbs is also effective for losing weight: buckthorn, wormwood, tansy.

With fever and malaria, an infusion or a decoction of wormwood is taken orally.

To expel worms, a decoction with the addition of garlic is used in the form of enemas
(2 cups wormwood decoction and 1 cup decoction from one head of garlic). The presence of azulene in the composition of wormwood justifies its appointment internally for allergic skin diseases.

Outwardly, the juice of wormwood is recommended for calluses (make a bandage), injuries. The juice helps to stop bleeding in case of injuries, it acts as a disinfectant and helps to tighten wounds.

Freshly mashed wormwood herb soothes pain in severe bruises and dislocations, it also works for sprains.

Wormwood infusion is used externally in the treatment of scabies, corns. The drug Kamazulen, isolated from wormwood, has an anti-inflammatory and spasmodic effect and is used for burns with X-rays, for eczema, rheumatism and bronchial asthma.

Diluted with warm boiled water in a ratio of 1:10, tincture of wormwood is used for lotions for inflammation of the eyes, as well as for compresses for inflammation of the periosteum, bruises, articular rheumatism.

Tincture of wormwood in half with water is used to disinfect the gums and oral cavity.

Wormwood, contraindications. Large doses of wormwood or its long-term use (several months) are unacceptable, since it can cause a disorder of the nervous system, intoxication of the body and, as a result, renal failure, which in some cases can end tragically. The course of treatment should not exceed 2 weeks, maximum a month, provided that the state of health is normal.After that, you need to take a break for at least two weeks, and better for a month or more.

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