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Wormwood or Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), also Bitterer Beifuss or Alsem, is a species of plant in the genus Artemisia, in the daisy family (Asteraceae or formerly Compositae). Wormwood is found in the dry areas of Europe, North and South America and Asia on poor and stony soil. The plant flowers from July to September and can reach a height of more than 1 m.

Wormwood is used to make absinthe and wine aperitifs (vermouth). In the past, it was believed that excessive absinthe abuse led to addiction, which was attributed to the neurotoxin thujone contained in absinthe, which in high doses or ingested over a long period of time causes irreversible nerve and brain damage. In more recent times, however, the corresponding studies from around 1900 have been increasingly questioned and the effect is sometimes simply attributed to the very high alcohol content of absinthe, typically 45% to 74%. Also, chemicals such as methanol, copper sulfate, and zinc sulfate were included in widely available cheap absinthes to improve appearance. They could also have caused the damage. Medicinally, wormwood is used, among other things, to stimulate stomach function. Wormwood tea is used for loss of appetite, stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea.
The English name "wormwood" (lit. "wormwood") is a folk etymological reinterpretation of the Old English name "wermod" and indicates that anti-parasitic properties are ascribed to wormwood. Cf. H. Marzell, "Dictionary of German plant names", s.v. Artemisia Absinthium L.: "[...] the plant [was] formerly (like still the related A. Cina) used against worms (intestinal worms) [...]. Other [name] forms are in turn connected to "warm "Ajar because of the "warming" property of the wormwood decoction." This property makes it not surprising that wormwood was already widely known in biblical times. Wormwood is one of the most bitter of the known herbs. In symbolic or poetic language, the name often also stands for bitterness and sadness (downer). The fact that its bitterness was known suggests that wormwood preparations were nevertheless 'enjoyed' and that some positive effect was expected. In the Middle Ages, Hildegard von Bingen described Wermut as the master of all exhaustion.

Proverbial usage
The phrase "drop of wormwood" alludes to the bitterness of wormwood and describes things or experiences that bring a touch of bitterness (as a synonym for pain or discomfort) to intrinsic beauty, just as a drop of wormwood adds a touch of bitterness to a sweet drink gives.

Name origin
West Germanic word of unknown origin: *wermoda-; ahd. who(i)muota, who(i)muot, ae. wermod as. wermoda
Latin-Greek: absinthium, loan word for Persian sipand.

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