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Herbs: Artemesia absinthium- common wormwood

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Forum: HerbsReplies: 14, Views: 710
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Marysville, WA
(Zone 7a)

June 15, 2004
11:54 PM

Post #911344

I haven't been able to find a source for wormwood (A. absinthium) There is a recipe in Jerry Baker's book for a spray to kill caterpillers that requires half a pound of wormwood leaves! I'd like to have some seed, though it might be too late to plant this season.Any help would be appreciated. I guess there was plenty of it in France before absinthe was outlawed.
Franklin, LA
(Zone 9b)

June 20, 2004
10:42 AM

Post #917359

i bought some wormwood seeds from somewhere a few years ago... burpee, i think?
i cant remember.. but they were very fine (almost like dust) and only a few of them grew.. but they didnt make it here in my climate.. one of these days i'll try again
Black Diamond, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 22, 2004
2:16 AM

Post #919834

I have wormwood, could SASE
email me if interested.
Hempstead, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 22, 2004
3:36 AM

Post #920036

please post the recipe.
Marysville, WA
(Zone 7a)

June 25, 2004
3:18 AM

Post #924862

Farmgirl,here 'tis. "Caterpillar killer tonic:
1/2 lb.of wormwood leaves
2 Tbsp. Murphy's Oil Soap
4 cups water
Simmer the wormwood leaves in 2 cups of the water for 30 minutes.Strain,then add the Murphy's Oil Soap and the remaining 2 cups of water.Pour the solution into a 6 gallon sprayer, and spray your plants to the point of run-off.Repeat this treatment until the caterpillars are history."
Somehow using a 6 gallon sprayer for 4 cups of solution seems a bit strange, but if it works, why not. The recipe is from 'Backyard Problem Solver' by Jerry Baker. But how many people have 1/2 lb. of wormwood leaves on hand?? The book is full of great natural solutions which helps me cut back on chemicals.
Hempstead, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 25, 2004
12:09 PM

Post #925101

thanks balvenie, i have wormwood but i do not think i have a 1/2 lb. but dh is good at fixing recipes for me lol.
Gloucester, MA

October 15, 2007
9:43 PM

Post #4086457

Makes good tea and you get really crazy vivid dreams!
Sultan, WA
(Zone 8a)

October 16, 2007
5:18 PM

Post #4089481

Good tea? You've got to be kidding me. It is extremely bitter.
Artemesia absinthium ability to induce any kind of change in perception (besides the desire to throw it all back up) or hallucinatory effect is a myth.
Gloucester, MA

October 21, 2007
12:16 AM

Post #4105520

I know it doesn't make you hallucinate. It was a myth because it was in such a high proof alcohol (absinthe) that you hallucinated. It does however make you feel sleepy and does give you crazy vivid dreams that are easy to recall in the morning.

It also has a similar molecular structure to THC (delta-9-tetrahydracannibol) which made many scientist believe it acted upon the cannabinoid receptors it the brain, which was eventually dis proven.

If anybody makes don't make very often because habitual use is considered toxic. I make about once a week.
Sultan, WA
(Zone 8a)

October 21, 2007
5:16 PM

Post #4107301

That was a wiki article (an easy reference but not a good source for unbiased or concise information) citing a specific study done to disprove Thujone's association with cannabinoid receptors in your brain, casting serious doubt on the idea that Wormword on its own could alter your perception. As you mentioned, it is similar to THC in structure and the jury is still out on the idea. The general consensus at this point is that the toxic nature of concentrated Wormword in combination with large quantities of alcohol and many of the other herbs that absinthe contains and a very suggestive marketing campaign created the effect people look for in absinthe.

You're probably thinking of Mugwort, another species of Artemisia, vulgaris specifically. Contains little Thujone (the chemical that is similar in structure to THC you refer to) and is the herb reputed to help induce sleep and as you said "crazy vivid dreams. The downside is, Mugwort can also cause very realistic nightmares and in some very restless sleep.

In the end, the topic at hand is bug spray and not mind altering drugs. A subject of apparently endless fascination for you that has already cost me an enjoyable and informative thread. Enjoy DG and please stop muddying up threads with inane references to a hobby you really ought to keep to yourself. Or perhaps find a board with like minded individuals who are also into dangerous experimentation. This is a Gardening Board, please keep that in mind.

Gloucester, MA

November 6, 2007
5:29 PM

Post #4164240

Wow, you're smart. Wikipedia is not really very reliable, people with political interest usually like to post their opinion on there.

It does alter perception a little while awake, like hard to concentrate, colors seem a little brighter, not really much.

I remember one crazy dream I had from some mugwort and wormwood tea was I was in a mall finding money all over the floor scattered and I knew I was dreaming so it was pretty cool. Lucid dreaming is weird and fun, you can fly and do anything.

If you're not really into lucid dreaming the tea tastes very good.

Thujone is a GABA antagonist.
Elmira, NY
(Zone 6a)

November 14, 2007
1:57 PM

Post #4191699

It's not a good idea to make a tea of wormwood and spray it on your plants. Wormwood and a bunch of other artemisias are allelopathic. This means that these plants produce chemicals that will harm other plants. I grow my artemisias in their own patch for this reason. Wormwood won't kill nearby plants, but they won't be as big. Do you want to spray something like that on your plants? Don't you wonder why Jerry Baker doesn't know this? It is worth investing a few dollars in the appropriate materials for your garden instead of trying to concoct something that not only won't work but will harm your plants and your soil. If you want to kill caterpillars, Safer insecticidal soap works well. You can get a 32-oz bottle for $6.95, which is less than making Jerry Baker's "recipe" and it won't stunt your plants. You can even get it at big box stores nowadays. And it works on a lot of other bugs. This Jerry Baker guy should be taken out and beaten with a wormwood plant until he has crazy wild dreams.
Santa Fe, NM

November 17, 2007
2:36 AM

Post #4201880

There is an artemisia called "southern wood" that is used in potporri and as a moth repellant. I'm not sure if that is the kind I have but it does certainly smell strong. I can't imagine wanting a tea made from it.
Gloucester, MA

November 19, 2007
2:31 AM

Post #4208454

Oh believe me it is so good! My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it. I usually have it once a week but have been skipping it lately so I don't poison myself. I'm definitely making some next week though.
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 31, 2007
6:44 PM

Post #4344457

I suspect it's the soap in the recipe that does the killing, but who knows.

I tried wormwood tea once, and found out what's behind the biblical saying "as bitter as wormwood."

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