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Absinthe thujone


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Absinthe thujone is the chemical found in Absinthe’s vital ingredient, the plant called Common Wormwood, or Artemisia Absinthium to give it its botanical name. The chemical thujone was to some extent liable for Absinthe being banned in the early 1900s in lots of countries across the world and thujone is still tightly regulated these days, especially in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was regarded as just like THC seen in cannabis and Absinthe was purported 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 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 www.absinthethujone.com and Verlaine. Some state 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, even though he had consumed a number of other strong alcoholic beverages right after the Absinthe.

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

Is Absinthe thujone Unsafe?

Today’s studies suggest that it was really the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe that was dangerous as opposed to the thujone. Absinthe is doubly strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be taken when taking in Absinthe. Thujone is only present in minute quantities and must therefore trigger no major side effects or health problems. The EU states that alcohol based drinks with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level over 25% may only have a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” can contain up to 35mg/kg, it is not totally clear which class Absinthe matches but most brands of Absinthe have much less 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 hazardous causing convulsions but you would need to drink a lot of Absinthe to consume that quantity of thujone plus it would be impossible to drink that amount, you’d be comatose from alcohol until then!

Absinthe Compounds

It is stated that Henri-Louis Pernod, who owned the first Absinthe distillery, employed the herbs wormwood, aniseed, fennel, lemon balm, hyssop, angelica root, dittany, star anise, nutmeg, juniper and also veronica to produce his famous Pernod Absinthe. The essential oil from all of these herbs accounts for La Louche, the clouding which comes about when water is put into Absinthe. These herbs especially the aniseed and anise lead to the distinctive aniseed or licorice style of Absinthe and wormwood is responsible for the bitter flavor. Absinthe is sometimes employed as bitters in cocktails.

There are lots of brands of Absinthe or Absinthe replacements which were developed throughout the ban and therefore contain no Absinthe thujone or wormwood, but many would say that Absinthe just isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter flavor of wormwood. If you would like real Absinthe look for brands made up of wormwood or Absinthe thujone.