Thanks for starting this thread, GoG as the subject matter follows on from a discussion recently on Henrietta's Hebrlist about using wormwood for headaches and the contraindications for pregnancy.
Thanks for your info too, Debs (nice to se you back!)I did some quick website scanning yesterday, trying to follow up Armenian wormwood, Arabian flora and Arabic uses, with a few detours around the Queen of Sheeba and references towards esoteric, mind altering useage of artemesia. Nothing really helped, until I came across a short paragraph in Rough Guide to Food and Drink in Morocco. They noted that Moroccans added chiba to their mint tea in winter to keep out the cold. They translated chiba as wormwood in English and Absinth in French, so I figured the species they were talking about was artemisia absintia or common wormwood. Since French ch's are often pronounced sh, it's not hard to see how the name of the tea could be transfered to Sheeba, especially since Morocco is probably covered by the ancient kingdom of the same name ruled by Soloman's great love. (aka Michael Wood's research for his Myths and Legends series recently)
Wormwood is a digestive and a powerful bitter. As it's name suggests, it's primary use in the past has been to expel internal parasites and is a purgative. This is where most of the warnings about not taking it if you're pregnant come from, because the last thing you want is a purge, the actions of which might trigger a miscarriage.
Most people will be aware of using wormwood in the making of absinthe. This is now banned in many countries because of the neurodegenerative effects of drinking vast quantities of the alcohol.
Common Wormwood grows quite happily in my garden and is already sending out new silvery green shoots. I can't guarentee they will still be there after all this snow, but we'll see.
For anyone wanting to experiment with Moroccan tea, it would be interesting to taste the difference between adding common wormwood to the infusion and roman wormwood, artemisia pontica, which is a much more delicate and subtle plant. Let us know how you get on!
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