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Absinthe thujone


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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 the early 1900s in several countries around the world and thujone is still tightly regulated today, specifically in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was thought to be much like THC seen in cannabis and Absinthe has been alleged to be psychoactive and have psychedelic effects causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe was popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre in Paris and several artists and writers claimed that Absinthe, the Green Fairy, gave them inspiration and their genius. Famous Absinthe drinkers consist of Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas, Baudelaire absinthethujone and Verlaine. Some claim that Van Gogh’s madness was brought on by Absinthe and that he cut off his ear under its influence. Absinthe was even blamed for a man murdering his family, despite the fact that he had eaten many other strong alcoholic refreshments after the Absinthe.

Prohibition campaigners utilized news of the murder to campaign for the banning of Absinthe and blamed France’s growing problems of alcoholism on the emerald liquor.

Is Absinthe thujone Hazardous?

Today’s studies suggest that it was really 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 taken when taking in Absinthe. Thujone is just obtained in minute quantities and must therefore trigger no major side effects or even health issues. The EU states that alcohol based drinks with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level over 25% may only consist of a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” can easily contain around 35mg/kg, it is not completely clear which class Absinthe matches but most brands of Absinthe have much lower than 35mg with many being below 10mg/kg. In the US it is simply legal to get or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone can be harmful causing convulsions but you would have to drink a large amount of Absinthe to use that amount of thujone also it will be impossible to drink that amount, you’d be comatose from alcohol before then!

Absinthe Compounds

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

There are many brands of Absinthe or Absinthe alternatives which were developed in the prohibit and so contain no Absinthe thujone or perhaps wormwood, but many would say that Absinthe just isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter taste of wormwood. If you would like real Absinthe search for brands containing wormwood or Absinthe thujone.