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green ginger
common wormwood
absinthe wormwood
National Herb Garden
National Arboretum
Washington DC
grand wormwood

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Abstinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder – National Arboretum, Washington DC

Abstinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder – National Arboretum, Washington DC
Wormwood leaves were once used in the liqueur called abstinthe which originated in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel.

Absinthe It achieved great popularity as an alcoholic drink in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers who referred to it as the la fée verte (the "green fairy) for its alleged psychoactive properties. Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Aleister Crowley and Alfred Jarry were all known drinkers of absinthe.

Owing in part to its association with bohemian culture, consumption of absinthe was opposed by social conservatives and prohibitionists who portrayed it as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug. The chemical thujone, present in small quantities, was blamed for its alleged harmful effects. By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in most European countries including France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although absinthe was vilified, it has not been shown that it is any more dangerous than ordinary spirits. Its psychoactive properties, apart from those of alcohol, have been much exaggerated.

These days,wormwood is used in small amounts only to flavour such alcoholic drinks as vermouth. The word "wormwood" reflects its traditional use as a cure for intestinal worms. Consumption of the herb is thought by some to help induce lucid dreaming.


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