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Title: Wormwood
True Witchcraft   "W" Herbs
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(Date Posted:01/25/2009 12:06 PM)
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wormwoodWORMWOOD:(Artemisia absinthium) Also known as Absinthe. A Druid sacred herb, Wormwood is very magical and sacred to Moon deities. An accumulative poison if ingested. Wormwood is a bitter herb used to flavor vermouth and the now-banned liqueur absinthe. A leaf and flowering top infusion is a tonic for the digestive system, liver, gallbladder, and blood, reducing inflammation and clearing impurities. The plant treats fever, expels worms, and reduces the toxicity of lead poisoning. As a companion plant, it acts as a deterrent against several insect pests. Toxic in high doses!
The leaves and flowers are used in a light infusion to help digestion, flatulence, and heartburn. Wormwood improves circulation and stimulates the liver. The tea is said to relieve labor pains. Use one teaspoon per cup and steep for twenty minutes; take a quarter cup up to four times a day; or use as a tincture, eight to ten drops in water up to three times a day. A fomentation of the leaves and flowers soothes bruises and sprains. The oil relieves arthritis.
CAUTION: The oil is for external use only! Prolonged use of wormwood can lead to nerve damage.
Parts Used:  Leaf and flower
Magical Uses:   The scent of wormwood is said to increase psychic powers. Burned with incenses on Samhain to aid evocation, divination, scrying and prophecy. Especially good when combined with Mugwort. Strengthens incenses for exorcism and protection. Hung from a rear-view mirror, wormwood protects vehicles from accidents on treacherous roads. Use in spells for: Binding; Psychic Awareness; Evocation; Love; Clairvoyance.

 

wormwood
absinthe

    Wormwood is a plant and an herb. Absinthe is made from wormwood.

botanical information:

    Botanical name: Artemisia absinthium

    Common name: absinthe, wormwood

    Threatened species: Greater wormwood oil is made from Artemisia gracilis, is a rare European alpine plant that is a threatened species. The oil was used as a flavoring for alcoholic beverages and to create the alpine liquer Genipy.

astrological correspondences:

    Astrological planet: Mars

magickal correspondences and uses:

    Magickal uses: absinthe: love, passion

    Mars spells: Wormwood (as an herb) may be used in as an ingredient or substitute for magick spells and formulas related to Mars matters (aggression, courage, defensive magick, exorcism, healing after surgery, hex-breaking, lust, physical strength, politics, protection, sexual energy, sexual potency, and strength). Be careful about substitutions for preparations that will be ingested or come in contact with the skin. These substitutions do not apply to medical uses.

     

Some herbs may be poisonious under some conditions. Exercise appropriate care.

    Wild gathering: Avoid wild gathering. Some plants are endangered species. Some plants can be toxic just by touch. Even experts can make deadly misidentifications of wild plants. Please grow your own herbs in your own  garden (or window boxes).


Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium, also known as Artemisia, Absinthe, Mingwort, Old Woman, Warmot, Absinthium, Madderwort, and Green Ginger) is probably best known for its use in the French liqueur "Absinthe", which was outlawed or made illegal in the U.S. around 1912 when it was discovered how addictive it was and that it could lead to psychosis. Hippocrates sipped Wormwood steeped in wine. Absinthe was once popular among artists and writers such as Van Gogh, Baudelaire, and many more. Absinthe is still available in Spain and reportedly in Denmark and Portugal as well. The web site www.cocktail.com states that "Domestic Ouzo is aged in Wormwood; it can give you hallucinations". The genus is named Artemisia for "Artemis", the Greek name for Diana, a goddess of the Moon. The name "Absinthium" means "without sweetness". Wormwood is a derivation of the German "wermut" or the Anglo-Saxon "wermod". Medicinally it was used to treat worm infestation, especially roundworm and pinworm, thus again the name "Wormwood". It was also used in storage to repel moths and other insects from valuable materials and furs. In "A Modern Herbal" Grieve writes: "According to the Ancients, Wormwood counteracted the effects of poisoning by hemlock, toadstools and the biting of the seadragon. The plant was of some importance among the Mexicans, who celebrated their great festival of the Goddess of Salt by a ceremonial dance of women, who wore on their heads garlands of Wormwood".

Magickal Uses:

Wormwood is an herb of love and a visionary herb ruled by Mars and Pluto. Wormwood is said to enhance prophecy and divination. Wormwood is a good herb to use to remove anger or inhibit enemies. Wormwood was once burned in all incenses designed to raise spirits, and now is used as incense in exorcisim and protection blends. It is associated with the Lovers card in the Tarot, and also serves as a patron plant of herbalists.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Wormwood contains "thujone" which causes mind-altering changes and can lead to psychosis. It depresses the central nervous system. Some use Wormwood to treat anxiety, for it acts as a mild sedative. It is also used to stimulate the appetite. Wormwood has been used as a flavoring agent in alcoholic beverages, such as Vermouth, bitters, and liqueurs. The essential oil was in great demand for the manufacture of the French liqueur "Absinthe" until it was found to be addictive. In olden days it was traditionally used as an anthelmintic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, to improve blood circulation, as a cardiac stimulant, as a pain reliever for women during labor, as an agent against tumors and cancers, for colds, rheumatism, fevers, jaundice, diabetes, and arthritis. **WC** The tops and leaves should be gathered and dried in July and August, when the plant is still in flower. Do not take if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Wormwood can be habit-forming, and overuse of Wormwood can initiate nervousness, stupor, convulsions, and death. **GT** Wormwood grows well in poor, dry sandy soils in a sunny location.


 
Perennial, found in the wild in wasteland. Greyish, scented leaves, downy underneath, and panicle of small yellow flowers. Grows to about 3 ft (1 m) high. Member of the Daisy family and a traditional herb used in childbirth. Absinthium means "without sweetness" due to its extreme bitterness. The name Wormwood comes from the German "wermut", meaning "preserver of the mind", as the herb was reputed to enhance mental functions and alter mental states. The name Artemesia derives from Artemis, Greek goddess of the moon.

The plant was believed to have originated in the Garden of Eden, where it grew in the wake of the Serpent's trail. The ancient Greeks used it to rid themselves of intestinal worms - hence its name. In fact it is a very ancient herb, references to it appear as far back as 1600 BC in the Ebers Papyrus of Egypt, a medical document that details how the plant was used to expel bodily worms. The ancients also made it into a medicine for the mentally-ill.

One legend tells of the husband of Queen Artemis, King Mausolos, who vanished one day. She sent people out to look for him and he couldn't be found. So she built a monument to him, assuming him dead. However, Mausolos did return and ended up buried there later - hence the names mausoleum and artemesia being associated with grief and absence.

The plant was a useful strewing herb, the leaves and flowers also making a good insecticide. Hung up it will also help to stop flies coming in the house. It was also thought to be good at repelling evil spirits! It the Middle Ages, scribes added it to ink to help prevent mice eating their paper. Believed that if Wormwood was rubbed over a baby's hands before it was 12 weeks old it would never suffer extremes of hot or cold.

Wormwood had other uses throughout history. Medieval medicine used it as an antidote to Hemlock and Toadstool poisoning, and it was placed among furs to deter moths and fleas. It has also been rubbed on the head in infusion form to help reduce hairloss (I don't know how effective this is though!) and has been used as a hair dye. The plant also yields a yellow dye. Alleged the plant will also ward off plague.

In Russia, the Rusalky will tickle you to death if you are caught by them in woods with no Wormwood in your pockets for protection. Russian peasant also believed that the plant's bitter taste was due to its absorption of bitter human suffering. Use in amulets with Betony and Paeony to ward off evil spirits. Put Wormwood in your shoes when running a marathon and this will prevent the legs weakening. Dogs were bathed in Wormwood to get rid of fleas. It was hung in houses as an insect repellent. Christian legend says that Wormwood sprang up in the wake of the serpent's path as it left the Garden of Eden, as a barrier to its return. Similarly, snakes do not enter a garden where Wormwood grows.

It used to be believed that Wormwood would counteract the effects of Hemlock and toadstool poisoning. Women would apply Wormwood to their nipples to encourage the weaning of babies.

It is one of the ingredients used in the highly addictive and potentially dangerous drink, Absinthe. So bitter did absinthe taste that, to make it drinkable, a slotted spoon was placed over the mouth of the glass of absinthe and a sugar cube placed on the spoon. Cold water was dripped onto the sugar cube and into the glass. Ornate absinthe spoons were made and absinthe parlours were opened containing huge fountains of dripping water. So dangerous, hallucinogenic and addictive was this drink that the French government banned it in the early 1900's. However, Wormwood is still used today as a drink flavouring in Vermouth. Is also used as an appetite stimulant. The ancients steeped Wormwood in wine and drank it before and after drinking wine to counteract the effects of alcohol.

The compound absinthin is contained within the plant - it is so bitter that one ounce can be detected in 524 gallons of water. His compound can wash off the leaves into the soil and so inhibit the growth of other plants around it.

Place Wormwood under your bed to draw a loved one. Burn with Sandalwood to raise spirits. Carry to protect against evil spells. Burn as an incense in order to develop your psychic powers. It is said that a salve made of Wormwood will drive away goblins. It has been used as an aphrodisiac and to stimulate beard growth.

In animal medicine Wormwood has been used to treat lice, mage, worms, falling hair and ear and eye problems. Food plant of the Wormwood Pug moth.

Plant out after risk of frost is over. Flowers July and August. Cut back hard in spring to 6 ins (15 cm), making the cut just above a leaf joint.

Plant amongst currants to prevent currant rust. Don't plant near Dill or Coriander as it will impair their flavour.

CAUTION - WORMWOOD SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN TO CHILDREN OR PREGNANT WOMEN - IT STIMULATES THE UTERUS. TAKEN HABITUALLY OR in EXCESS IT WILL CAUSE VOMITING, CONVULSIONS AND DELIRIUM

*This sheet is provided for information only and is in no way a prescription for use. Please seek the advice of a qualified herbalist before using*



 

Artemisia Absinthium. The scientific name alone sounds ethereal, and what mystical attributes it has always been given since antiquity. We know it more commonly as Wormwood or older folk-names such as Old Woman or Grown for a King.
There are three types of wormwood, the first being Sea Wormwood. This is almost exclusively grown in England by, of course, the sea. It grows much shorter and is a saltier flavor (because of the sea salts) when added to absinthe. It is also the weakest of the three varieties. The next, Roman Wormwood, is grown atop the mountains of Italy and is a more brash, tree-like herb (though, this variety can be garden grown). The third is called Common Wormwood. This is the type that tends to be readily available and is usually used in any type of absinthe.
Common Wormwood can grow 3 to 4 feet tall; the roots grow deep and resemble the wood of a small tree. It grows long, whitish green, frosty leaves and at the joints toward the tops of the leaves grow little yellow flower buds. All wormwood buds in August, give or take a few weeks, and the leaves and flowers are almost the only part of the plant used. Wormwood belongs to what is called the Compositae family of herbs of which Tarragon and Magwort are also a part.
Ancient physicians like Pythagoras and Hippocrates (the creator of the Hippocratic Oath) both often experimented with wormwood in their medical workings. In old apothecary texts, the virtues of wormwood were praised for its healing qualities in everything from neurological disorders to stomach afflictions to melancholy. Most turned out not only to be true, but to help patients miraculously.
It is a proven fact that if hung in your closets, they will be free of moths and their larvae, and if taken internally, it will dispel parastitic worms (hence it’s name).
Even with all of this talk of its virtues and proven facts, wormwood is one of the only herbs with so much focus on its magickal qualities. First of all, its gender is of a masculine nature, much like spearmint, peppermint, anise and clove. What this means is the flower usually buds small and has strong aromatic conditions, and all these fall under the male aspect of the universe. The planet that rules over wormwood is Mars. Its elemental (or magickal) counterpart is fire and it falls under Scorpio in zodiac correspondences.
Because of the latter, old folk myth holds that wormwood can cure you of scorpion stings!
The Deity most associated with wormwood is Artemis, and can even be found in its species name, Artemisia Absinthium, which is a combination of Artemis and the Greek word Absinthium (which means “undrinkable”). Thus the name absinthe.
In occult books and grimoires, there are many magickal uses of wormwood. For instance, if a sprig is carried on your person, you are protected from bewitchment by others. It also supposedly counteracts the effects of being poisoned by hemlock. Ancient texts say that if it is burned in a graveyard, the spirits of the deceased will come forth and converse with the summoner. To this day, wormwood is still called for in certain love potions. Perhaps that is why absinthe was created, for its addictive and intoxicating effects!
As you can see, Wormwood is some impressive herb, for there are references to it in Egyptian papyri, early Syrian records, and even in Bible. According to myth, wormwood grew along the trail the Serpent made when leaving the Garden of Eden, it also appears in the Revelation of St. John
And the third part of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the waters because they were made bitter.”
Pretty intriguing, how this herb has reappeared throughout the earliest medical and magical, musings of mankind to nowadays.
 
 
It is associated with the Lovers card in the Tarot, and also serves as a patron plant of herbalists.
 
This herb is ruled by Mars because of its warming properties, and so Culpeper, the seventeenth-century herbalist, considered it a good treatment for injuries done by "martial creatures" such as wasps, hornets, or scorpions. It is especially connected to snakes: mythology tells that it grew in the tracks of the snake expelled from Eden, for instance, and it was considered a protectant against snake bites. In its association with Mars, wormwood is generally good in protection spells and also a tool for getting vengence through sorcery.  In Russia, wormwood was effective against the green-haired Rusalki, female water spirits who in spring would leave their watery bodies and walk in the woods. In the region of Saratov, Rusalki were frightening creatures ill-disposed towards humans and eager to use their sharp claws. If you had to go into the woods when the Rusalki were about, you were advised to carry a handful a wormwood, which they could not stand.
 

Place Wormwood under your bed to draw a loved one. Burn with Sandalwood to raise spirits. Carry to protect against evil spells. Burn as an incense in order to develop your psychic powers. It is said that a salve made of Wormwood will drive away goblins. It has been used as an aphrodisiac and to stimulate beard growth.

In animal medicine Wormwood has been used to treat lice, mage, worms, falling hair and ear and eye problems. Food plant of the Wormwood Pug moth.

Plant out after risk of frost is over. Flowers July and August. Cut back hard in spring to 6 ins (15 cm), making the cut just above a leaf joint.

Plant amongst currants to prevent currant rust. Don't plant near Dill or Coriander as it will impair their flavour.

CAUTION - WORMWOOD SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN TO CHILDREN OR PREGNANT WOMEN - IT STIMULATES THE UTERUS. TAKEN HABITUALLY OR in EXCESS IT WILL CAUSE VOMITING, CONVULSIONS AND DELIRIUM



Wormwood is burned to gain protection from wandering spirits. Used in divinatory and clairvoyance incenses, initiation rites and tests of courage. Enables the dead to be released from this plane so they my find peace.

Wormwood is used to give energy after a ritual, and is associated with uncrossing, divination, dream magick, love magick, protection, and spirit conjurations.

It is sacred to Samhain, Diana, Iris, and Isis.

Gender: Masculine

Planet:  Mars

Element: Air 


Wormwoods

Botanical: N.O. Compositae

The Wormwoods are members of the great family of Compositae and belong to the genus Artemisia, a group consisting of 180 species, of which we have four growing wild in England, the Common Wormwood, Mugwort, Sea Wormwood and Field Wormwood. In addition, as garden plants, though not native, Tarragon (A. dracunculus) claims a place in every herb-garden, and Southernwood (A. abrotanum), an old-fashioned favourite, is found in many borders, whilst others, such as A. sericea, A. cana and A. alpina, form pretty rockwork shrubs.

The whole family is remarkable for the extreme bitterness of all parts of the plant: 'as bitter as Wormwood' is a very Ancient proverb.

In some of the Western states of North America there are large tracts almost entirely destitute of other vegetation than certain kinds of Artemisia, which cover vast plains. The plants are of no use as forage: and the few wild animals that feed on them are said to have, when eaten, a bitter taste. The Artemisias also abound in the arid soil of the Tartarean steppes and in other similar situations.

The genus is named Artemisia from Artemis, the Greek name for Diana. In an early translation of the Herbarium of Apuleius we find:
'Of these worts that we name Artemisia, it is said that Diana did find them and delivered their powers and leechdom to Chiron the Centaur, who first from these Worts set forth a leechdom, and he named these worts from the name of Diana, Artemis, that is Artemisias.'

WORMWOOD, COMMON

 
 

Botanical: Artemisia absinthium (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae

---Synonym---Green Ginger.
---Part Used---Whole Herb.
---Habitat---Europe, Siberia, and United States of America.
The Common Wormwood held a high reputation in medicine among the Ancients. Tusser (1577), in July's Husbandry, says:
'While Wormwood hath seed get a handful or twaine
To save against March, to make flea to refraine:
Where chamber is sweeped and Wormwood is strowne,
What saver is better (if physick be true)
For places infected than Wormwood and Rue?
It is a comfort for hart and the braine
And therefore to have it it is not in vaine.'
Besides being strewn in chambers as Tusser recommended, it used to be laid amongstuffs and furs to keep away moths and insects.

According to the Ancients, Wormwood counteracted the effects of poisoning by hemlock, toadstools and the biting of the seadragon. The plant was of some importance among the Mexicans, who celebrated their great festival of the Goddess of Salt by a ceremonial dance of women, who wore on their heads garlands of Wormwood.

With the exception of Rue, Wormwood is the bitterest herb known, but it is very wholesome and used to be in much request by brewers for use instead of hops. The leaves resist putrefaction, and have been on that account a principal ingredient in antiseptic fomentations.

An Old Love Charm
'On St. Luke's Day, take marigold flowers, a sprig of marjoram, thyme, and a little Wormwood; dry them before a fire, rub them to powder; then sift it through a fine piece of lawn, and simmer it over a slow fire, adding a small quantity of virgin honey, and vinegar. Anoint yourself with this when you go to bed, saying the following lines three times, and you will dream of your partner "that is to be":
"St. Luke, St. Luke, be kind to me,
In dreams let me my true-love see." '
Culpepper, writing of the three Wormwoods most in use, the Common Wormwood, Sea Wormwood and Roman Wormwood, tells us: 'Each kind has its particular virtues' . . . the Common Wormwood is 'the strongest,' the Sea Wormwood, 'the second in bitterness,' whereas the Roman Wormwood, 'to be found in botanic gardens' - the first two being wild - 'joins a great deal of aromatic flavour with but little bitterness.'

The Common Wormwood grows on roadsides and waste places, and is found over the greater part of Europe and Siberia, having been formerly much cultivated for its qualities. In Britain, it appears to be truly indigenous near the sea and locally in many other parts of England and Scotland, from Forfar southwards. In Ireland it is a doubtful native. It has become naturalized in the United States.

---Description---The root is perennial, and from it arise branched, firm, leafy stems, sometimes almost woody at the base. The flowering stem is 2 to 2 1/2 feet high and whitish, being closely covered with fine silky hairs. The leaves, which are also whitish on both sides from the same reason, are about 3 inches long by 1 1/2 broad, cut into deeply and repeatedly (about three times pinnatifid), the segments being narrow (linear) and blunt. The leaf-stalks are slightly winged at the margin. The small, nearly globular flowerheads are arranged in an erect, leafy panicle, the leaves on the flower-stalks being reduced to three, or even one linear segment, and the little flowers themselves being pendulous and of a greenish-yellow tint. They bloom from July to October. The ripe fruits are not crowned by a tuft of hairs, or pappus, as in the majority of the Compositae family.

The leaves and flowers are very bitter, with a characteristic odour, resembling that of thujone. The root has a warm and aromatic taste.

---Cultivation---Wormwood likes a shady situation, and is easily propagated by division of roots in the autumn, by cuttings, or by seeds sown in the autumn soon after they are ripe. No further care is needed than to keep free from weeds. Plant about 2 feet apart each way.

---Parts Used---The whole herb - leaves and tops - gathered in July and August, when the plant is in flower and dried.

Collect only on a dry day, after the sun has dried off the dew. Cut off the upper green portion and reject the lower parts of the stems, together with any discoloured or insect-eaten leaves. Tie loosely in bunches of uniform size and length, about six stalks to a bunch, and spread out in shape of a fan, so that the air can get to all parts. Hang over strings, in the open, on a fine, sunny, warm day, but in half-shade, otherwise the leaves will become tindery; the drying must not be done in full sunlight, or the aromatic properties will be pa

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