Absinthe thujone

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 during the early 1900s in many countries around the globe and thujone is still tightly regulated nowadays, specifically in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was thought to be just like THC found in cannabis and Absinthe had been alleged to be psychoactive and have psychedelic outcomes causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe had been popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre within Paris and lots of artists absinthe legal and writers claimed that Absinthe, the Green 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 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 eaten a great many other strong alcoholic beverages following the Absinthe.

Prohibition campaigners used 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 which was dangerous instead of the thujone. Absinthe is two times as strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be utilized whenever consuming Absinthe. Thujone is only obtained in minute quantities and should therefore result in no major side effects or even health conditions. The EU stipulates that alcoholic beverages with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level above 25% may only contain a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” may contain up to 35mg/kg, it is not entirely clear which class Absinthe matches but most brands of Absinthe have much less than 35mg with many being beneath 10mg/kg. In the US it is simply legal to purchase or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone can be dangerous causing convulsions but you would have to drink a great deal of Absinthe to take that amount of thujone plus it will be impossible to drink that amount, you would be comatose from alcohol before then!

Absinthe Elements

It is said that Henri-Louis Pernod, who owned the very first Absinthe distillery, employed 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 fundamental oil from these herbs is responsible for La Louche, the clouding which happens when water is put into Absinthe. These kinds of herbs especially the aniseed and anise are responsible for 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 alternatives which were developed throughout the ban and therefore contain no Absinthe thujone or even wormwood, but some would say that Absinthe just isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter flavor of wormwood. If you want real Absinthe search for brands containing wormwood or Absinthe thujone.