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Absinthe thujone


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Absinthe thujone is the chemical found in Absinthe’s essential ingredient, the plant called Common Wormwood, or Artemisia Absinthium to give it its organic 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, specifically in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was thought to be much like THC seen in cannabis and Absinthe was speculated to be psychoactive and have psychedelic outcomes causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe has been popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre inside Paris and lots of artists http://absinthelegal.com as well as 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 and Verlaine. Some state that Van Gogh’s madness was due to Absinthe and that he cut off his ear under its influence. Absinthe was even blamed for a man murdering his family, even though he had eaten many other strong alcoholic beverages following the Absinthe.

Prohibition campaigners utilised 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 Dangerous?

Today’s research suggests that it was actually the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe that was dangerous rather than the thujone. Absinthe is doubly strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be taken any time ingesting Absinthe. Thujone is just present in minute quantities and should therefore cause no major side effects or perhaps health problems. The EU stipulates that alcoholic beverages with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level above 25% may only consist of a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” can easily contain up to 35mg/kg, it is not entirely clear which class Absinthe fits into 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 could be harmful causing convulsions but you would have to drink a lot of Absinthe to use that quantity of thujone plus it would be impossible to drink that amount, you would be comatose from alcohol until then!

Absinthe Ingredients

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

There are many brands of Absinthe or Absinthe substitutes which were developed throughout the bar and so contain no Absinthe thujone or even wormwood, but some would say that Absinthe just isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter taste of wormwood. If you want real Absinthe look for brands containing wormwood or Absinthe thujone.