Name

Wormwood

Latin

Artemisia absinthium

Secret Meaning

Absence

Alternative Names:

Mugwort, absinthium, absinthe wormwood, bitter wormwood, Green Ginger, Old Woman

Facts & Folkore:

Also known as wormwood, mugwort, absinthium, absinthe wormwood, bitter wormwood, green ginger, and old woman, the name "artemisia" derives from the Greek goddess Artemis. Knowledge of wormwood and its psychoactive properties may be traced back to ancient times. The scientific name Artemisia absinthium stems from the plant’s association with the virgin Greek goddess Artemis, who held this and other species of Artemisia sacred. The name wormwood refers to the historic use of this plant as a cure for intestinal worms. Many species of artemisia have significant medical properties - In 2015, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Youyou Tu, for her novel discovery of Artemisinin, which as significantly reduced the mortality rates for patients suffering from Malaria and other blood parasites. Wormwood is mentioned seven times in the Old Testament, always with the implication of bitterness or the consequences of sin. In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the titular character says "Wormwood, wormwood" to comment on the bitter implications of the Player Queen's lines.

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