Wormwood oil comes from the plant artemesia absinthium. The word wormwood probably comes from the Middle English word wormwode which meant a cure for intestinal worms. The oil is extracted from the leaves and the flowering tops of the plant through the method of steam distillation. The plant originates in Eurasia.
Pure wormwood oil can be poisonous but in small, regulated doses it could be beneficial for many ailments. Wormwood oil is an essential oil in aromatherapy but should be used with great care. It can get toxic and can act even as a neurotoxin.
There have been studies that have shown that certain European wormwood has anti-bacterial properties and these properties are transposed onto the oil too.
The wormwood oil is used to help patients of Lyme’s disease but since it has a high level of toxicity; it should be in small portions and mixed properly.
The health benefits of the oil include pain relief, as an insecticide, digestive and tonic. The oil fortifies the body, by increasing the absorption of nutrients, improves the endocrinal system and tones the nervous system. It, therefore, acts like a tonic to the body.
Wormwood oil gets a lot of attention sometimes due to one of its main ingredients, thujone. Thujone is also present in the drink, absinthe, which is also made from the same plant as wormwood oil. Thujone is a known neurotoxin that is known to cause strange effects hence the warning while using wormwood oil. This high level of thujone also helps the oil to act as a deodorant.
The wormwood oil effects are many. As an essential oil, wormwood oil can play an important role in some homemade remedies. One of the main wormwood oil uses is for quick relief from pain. You could dab a few drops to areas that are painful. It quickly cuts down the pain. This oil can be applied externally to cuts, itching, bruises, and irritation to the skin and muscle sprains. The oil is also used to relieve pain for diseases which typically cause pain like arthritis, rheumatism and tuberculosis.
It is very important to keep in mind that the wormwood oil cannot be ingested, in any form. Even if it is applied in large quantities, because of the ingredient thujone, it can be dangerous. If a dose of more than 5 drops is used, you could have any number of severe reactions including seizures. Wormwood oil is not recommended for pregnant women as it is known to cause miscarriages.
Wormwood essential oil blends well with jasmine, lavender, oak moss and orange.