What Are The Benefits Of Wormwood?

If you have never heard of wormwood, it is likely you might have been introduced to the perennial herb's other aliases. According to Verywell Health, wormwood also goes by the names: absinthe, absinthium, green ginger, madderwort, and mugwort. The name we are using stems from the herb's ability to remove unwanted parasites. Pam Weathers, a biologist at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, has spent a good part of her career studying the effects the wormwood shrub has on patients diagnosed with malaria and schistosomiasis. The latter is a parasite-inflicted disease that runs rampant in many third world countries but has been "neglected" by modern medicine, according to NPR. Weathers' research suggests that wormwood may one day be effective in combatting schistosomiasis, but more research needs to be conducted.

In addition to the plant's ability to kill off potentially deadly parasites, wormwood has been used as a medicine to help treat a slew of other conditions as well.

Wormwood can be a supplement or used topically

According to Verywell Health, studies have shown that patients with Crohn's disease — a painful condition that causes the digestive system to swell — have benefited from taking wormwood as an herbal supplement. Patients in a 2007 study published in Planta Medica who were given 1,500 milligrams of wormwood a day for 8 weeks reported more mild symptoms. They also had to take fewer steroids than the patients who did not receive wormwood. Additionally, the herbal drug has been shown to increase appetite and aid with pain management. It can also help with common digestive issues, such as heartburn, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

We know this herb can be medically beneficial when made into tea and in capsule form. WebMD also states wormwood oil can be used topically and help with bug bites and osteoarthritis. However, like most other medicines, there are side effects to be aware of. Long-term use of wormwood may cause adverse side effects, such as nausea, seizures, and hallucinations, according to Veryeell Health.

If you are considering taking wormwood to help treat an ongoing condition, make an appointment with your doctor first to discuss how much and for how long you should be using this herbal drug.