Overview

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is an herb used in the alcoholic drinks vermouth and absinthe. Its oil contains the chemical thujone, which may be poisonous.

The thujone in wormwood oil excites the central nervous system and can cause seizures and other adverse effects. Other chemicals in wormwood might decrease swelling.

People use wormwood for digestion problems, Crohn disease, a kidney disorder called IgA nephropathy, osteoarthritis, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. There is also no good evidence to support using wormwood for COVID-19. Using thujone-containing wormwood products can be unsafe.

Don't confuse wormwood with Artemisia herba-alba, Mugwort, Sweet Annie, Wormseed, or Ginger. These are not the same.

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