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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 botanical name. The chemical thujone was partly accountable for Absinthe being banned in the early 1900s in many countries around the world and thujone is still tightly regulated these days, specifically in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was thought to be just like THC seen in cannabis and Absinthe has been purported to be psychoactive and have psychedelic outcomes causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe was popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre inside Paris and several artists as well as writers claimed that Absinthe, the Green absinthe thujone Fairy, gave them inspiration and their genius. Famous Absinthe drinkers include Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas, Baudelaire and Verlaine. Some state 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 actually the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe that was dangerous rather than the thujone. Absinthe is twice as strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be taken any time ingesting Absinthe. Thujone is only obtained in minute quantities and must therefore result in no major negative effects or even health problems. The EU states that alcoholic beverages with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level over 25% may only contain a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” can contain around 35mg/kg, it is not totally clear which class Absinthe suits but most brands of Absinthe have much less than 35mg with many being below 10mg/kg. In the US it is just legal to purchase or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

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

Absinthe Ingredients

It is stated 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 as well as veronica to produce his famous Pernod Absinthe. The primary oil from all of these herbs is responsible for La Louche, the clouding which occurs when water is combined with Absinthe. These herbs specially the aniseed and anise are responsible for the distinctive aniseed or licorice flavor of Absinthe and wormwood is liable for the particular bitter flavor. Absinthe is oftentimes used as bitters in cocktails.

There are numerous brands of Absinthe or Absinthe replacements which were developed throughout the ban and therefore contain no Absinthe thujone or perhaps wormwood, but many would say that Absinthe is not Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter taste of wormwood. If you would like real Absinthe search for brands made up of wormwood or Absinthe thujone.