Artemisia comes from the Greek, artemis, meaning healthy and good.
Its species name is also Greek, apsinthion, which means not liked probably
owing to its bitter taste. The common names it is known by are Absinthe,
Crown for a King, Green Ginger, Old Woman, and Wormwood.
Wormwood is hardy in Zones 3-10 and thrives in partial shade or full
sun in most any type of soil.
The seeds germinate best when planted in the
fall but it is best started in early spring from root divisions.
One can also propagate it by rooting stem cuttings taken in the early summer.
seedlings, rooted stem cuttings or root divisions 1 1/2-2 feet apart. In the
fall cut back the plants in areas where the soil freezes and mulch after the
ground has frozen.
Utilize the cuttings for indoor bouquets or wreaths.
Plant wormwood here and there in the garden and use it in the home for its
ability to repel insects. It is a companion to cabbage and deters the
cabbage moth. Used as a border plant it will aid in keeping animals out of
In ancient times it was believed that wormwood counteracted poisoning
by toadstools, hemlock and bites of the seadragon. Absinthe is highly
revered for use in ancient magical practices. It was utilized by the
Mexicans in a festival wherein the women would wear garlands of wormwood on
their heads. During the middle ages it was used to prevent evil from
entering a house yet at the same time it represented all the sins of the
world. It was strewn in rooms to repel fleas and laid in furs and other
valuables to keep away moths and insects.
Wormwood is one of the bitterest herbs known. In the past it was used
by brewers instead of hops and is the principle ingrediant in Absinthe
liquer. Due to its highly addictive nature though it is now outlawed in most
Spiritual Properties and Uses in Magic
The scent of wormwood increases one's psychic powers and can be burned
as an incense or worn for this purpose.
According to ancient grimoires if
burned with sandalwood in a graveyard it will cause the spirits of the dead
to speak with you. Worn as an amulet it protects against bewitchment and is
used to protect against accidents on treacherous roads.
An infusion of
wormwood will give vitality and enthusiasm and help one overcome moments of
low energy. Utilize this after any difficult task especially when performing
a long ritual.
This tea is also quite useful during a long night of passion.
Placing the herb under the bed will draw a loved one to you.
Healing Properties and Uses
The flowers and leaves of wormwood are used in medicinal remedies but
it must be used with caution. The leaves are a preservative and are a
principle ingrediant in many antiseptics.
This herb has the ability to
stimulate the nervous system, gives vitality to the appetite and aids the
liver and stomach.
Use the leaves and flowers in a light infusion to help
with heartburn, indigestion and flatulence.
A fomentation of wormwood
soothes sprains and bruises and the oil used externally relieves arthritis.
Only use the oil externally.
Prolonged use of wormwood internally can lead to nerve damage.