Artemisia absinthium (Wormwood)

What is wormwood? What is wormwood used for?

Artemisia absinthium is shrubby plant; the flowers and leaves are used for medicine and flavoring for alcoholic drinks. Artemisia absinthium oil contains thujones which can stimulate the nervous system. Artemisia absinthium is promoted for treating digestive problems and worm infections. Individuals should consult their doctor before taking Artemisia absinthium compounds.

Is wormwood available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for wormwood?


What are the side effects of wormwood?

Side effects of Artemisia absinthium are nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, seizures, kidney failure, insomnia, hallucinations, and tremors.

What is the dosage for wormwood?

Dosing of Artemisia absinthium is not established; however, oral consumption should be in appropriate amount to avoid harmful adverse effects.

Which drugs or supplements interact with wormwood?

Artemisia absinthium should be used with caution with individuals suffering from seizures or taking seizure medications like phenobarbital, valproic acid (Depakene), primidone (Mysoline), gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), and phenytoin (Dilantin). Artemisia absinthium can cause seizures and lower the effectiveness of seizure medications.


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Is wormwood safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies done on Artemisia absinthium to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

It is not known whether Artemisia absinthium enters breast milk. It is best to avoid it in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about wormwood?

What preparations of wormwood are available?

Artemisia absinthium is available in liquid extract, oil, and powder forms. Artemisia absinthium is also available in certain alcoholic beverages. Concentration of Artemisia absinthium may vary from product-to-product due to multiple manufacturers producing various products.

How should I keep wormwood stored?

Due to multiple manufacturers making different forms of Artemisia absinthium, storage requirements may vary based on individual manufacturer practices.


Artemisia absinthium (Wormwood) is an herb used for flavoring alcohol drinks and for medicine. Artemisia absinthium purport also to treat loss of appetite, indigestion, fever, liver disease, improve sexual desire, and to use topically for wounds and insect bites. Side effects, drug interactions, storage, dosing, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed and consult your doctor prior to taking this supplement.

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Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Wormwood.