Absinthe thujone

Absinthe thujone is the chemical found in Absinthe's important ingredient, the plant called Common Wormwood, or Artemisia Absinthium to give it its botanical name. The chemical thujone was partly responsible for Absinthe being banned in early 1900s in lots of countries across the world and thujone is still tightly regulated nowadays, especially in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was regarded as much like THC seen in cannabis and Absinthe was speculated to be psychoactive and have psychedelic effects causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe had been popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre within Paris and lots of artists and writers claimed that Absinthe, the Green Fairy, gave them inspiration and their genius. Famous Absinthe drinkers include Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas, Baudelaire absinthethujone.com and Verlaine. Some claim that Van Gogh's madness was caused by Absinthe and that he cut off his ear under its influence. Absinthe was even blamed for a man murdering his family, although he had consumed many other strong alcoholic drinks following the Absinthe.

Prohibition campaigners used news of the murder to campaign for the banning of Absinthe and held responsible France's growing problems of alcohol addiction on the emerald liquor.

Is Absinthe thujone Harmful?

Today's research suggests that it was actually the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe that was dangerous rather than the thujone. Absinthe is two times as strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be utilized any time consuming Absinthe. Thujone is just present in minute quantities and should therefore cause no major side effects or health problems. The EU states that alcoholic beverages with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level above 25% may only contain a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as "bitters" may contain around 35mg/kg, it is not completely clear which class Absinthe suits but most brands of Absinthe have much under 35mg with many being below 10mg/kg. In the US it is just legal to purchase or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone may be harmful causing convulsions but you would need to drink a lot of Absinthe to use that volume of thujone plus it will be impossible to drink that amount, you would be comatose from alcohol before then!

Absinthe Ingredients

It is said that Henri-Louis Pernod, who owned the very first Absinthe distillery, employed the herbs wormwood, aniseed, fennel, lemon balm, hyssop, angelica root, dittany, star anise, nutmeg, juniper and veronica to create his famous Pernod Absinthe. The essential oil from these herbs is responsible for La Louche, the clouding which occurs when water is put into Absinthe. These kinds of herbs especially the aniseed and anise have the effect of the distinctive aniseed or licorice taste of Absinthe and wormwood is responsible for the bitter flavor. Absinthe is oftentimes used as bitters in cocktails.

There are many brands of Absinthe or Absinthe substitutes which were developed during the prohibit and for that reason contain no Absinthe thujone or even wormwood, but some would say that Absinthe is not Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter flavor of wormwood. If you want real Absinthe search for brands containing wormwood or Absinthe thujone.