Using wormwood for infection has promising effects in treating schistosomiasis, giardiasis, tapeworms, and other intestinal parasites, It also has thujone, which can be toxic in excess. Before going deeper, here is a quick hint on how to use wormwood for parasites.
How to use wormwood for parasites
Wormwood is a bitter herb that has been used for centuries to treat intestinal concerns. It can be taken in pill form or brewed into a bitters recipe. Intake of bitter recipes is an effective way to expel stomach worms and parasites and to improve digestion.
Even in recent times, some still believe that wormwood is hallucinogenic and potentially poisonous. On the contrary, a study  suggested otherwise, pointing out that wormwood is not hallucinogenic. Favorably, several scientific research studies have also noted the effectiveness of using wormwood for infection treatment, as well as in making remedies to treat certain health-related problems. Additionally, recent studies have also pointed out several ways wormwood is beneficial to health [2, 3, 4].
What is Wormwood?
Artemisia absinthium (wormwood) is a herbal plant with green and silver-colored hairy stems, popularly known for its intestine parasites ridding properties. It was named after a Greek goddess, Artemis; the goddess of hunting and childbirth.
Wormwood belongs to the Compositae family of about 180 species of which wormwood is the most potent. It’s a popular belief that Wormwood is indigenous to Europe, whereas research pointed out that it can equally be found in other continents such as Asia, Africa, South America, and the United States.
In case you forgot, the use of Wormwood was banned in the United States, for about 95 years from 1912 until 2007, but was unbanned after a series of scientific research and studies, and currently, it is now accessible in the United States legally.
This brings us to the scientific view on Wormwood for infection, benefits, and side effects is a major topic of today’s discussion.
Before we further our discussion on Wormwood for infection, let us take a quick look at its chemical composition, and why some opinions considered it unsafe  to an extent.
Wormwood nutrients and chemical properties
According to scientific research, an extract made from wormwood contains several plant compounds among which thujone is the most popular [6, 1, 7, 8]. FDC On the other hand noted that 100g or 100ml from values per serving of wormwood extract contains zero (0) grams of Protein, Fat, Carbohydrate, Fiber, and Sugars, Calcium, Calcium, Iron, Sodium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Cholesterol .
Thujone in wormwood
Research shows that thujone is the most prominent component of wormwood extract . It exists in two forms — alpha- and beta-thujone. According to research alpha-thujone which is the active ingredient in wormwood is considered more toxic than beta.
One of the negative aspects of thujone is the gamma-aminobutyric acid-blocking effect. According to Life Sciences Literature, Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter that offers a calming effect on the central nervous system. Recent findings noted that excessive consumption of thujone may cause seizures and even death in the worst case [6, 10, 11, 12, 13].
Wormwood extract has several health benefits, however, be guided! Excessive intake may be toxic and dangerous to health as well.
Wormwood for infection
The use of Wormwood for infection has been noted in several studies. Research and reviews have also noted that wormwood extract contains compounds that can fight parasitic infections.
In case you don’t know, wormwood has already made a name in traditional medicine as far back as ancient Egypt , as an herbal plant with the potential to rid intestine worms such as roundworms and pinworms. Interestingly findings have linked this infection-fighting property of wormwood to its thujone content [15, 6].
It is important to note that the use of Wormwood extract (from leave and stems) should not be limited to treating intestinal parasites, as it can also be used for other health purposes such as wound healing, skin ulcers, blemishes, and insect bites.
Additionally, the Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, in some of their publication has also noted that wormwood extract may play a role in cancer treatment since the herb is believed to have selective toxicity towards cancer cells.
Wormwood against Haemonchus contortus
Wormwood and mallow are effective against Haemonchus contortus, a parasitic nematode that affects sheep and goats. A study evaluated the in vitro anthelminthic effects of different concentrations of the aqueous extracts of these plants.
The results showed that both plants had a strong ovicidal effect on H. contortus, but the effect was not fully confirmed in vivo. The study suggests that wormwood and mallow may be a potential alternative to chemotherapeutics for controlling haemonchosis in ruminants [16, 17].
Wormwood against Eimeria tenella infection.
White wormwood is a species of Artemisia that is believed can help treat Eimeria tenella infection in poultry birds. A supporting study noted that white wormwood has an anticoccidial activity in broiler chickens.
According to the study that investigated the anticoccidial activity of white wormwood (Artemisia herba-alba Asso) in broiler chickens infected with Eimeria tenella. 120 broiler chicks were divided into four groups: an uninfected untreated group (UIUT), an infected untreated group (IUT), an infected treated group with 0.025 g/l of toltrazuril (ITT), and an infected treated group with 5% dried leaves of white wormwood (ITA).
The results showed that the ITA group had a significantly lower mortality rate (0%) than the IUT (13.79%) and ITT (20.69%) groups. Oocyst shedding was also significantly reduced in the ITA group compared to the IUT group. However, the ITA group had a lower body weight gain than the other groups. This weight loss effect was due to the antinutritional effect of tannins found in the plant .
Wormwood against Hymenolepis Nana
More evidence of the infection-fighting property of wormwood is confirmed in a test tube study which noted the effectiveness of wormwood extract in paralyzing the tapeworm called (Hymenolepis nana) which resulted in their death. Hymenolepis nana — a species of tapeworm most common in the temperate zone .
Wormwood and Moringa against trypanosomosis
Still on the infection-fighting effect of wormwood. In one of the [post] earlier, I pointed out that the reason to combine herbal extract when treating certain health conditions, especially infection cases is because:
- Herbs complement one another.
- The medicinal properties of some herbs overlaps.
- Some herbal remedies may be able to help with underlying medical issues.
Favorably, there is evidence that wormwood may equally be combined with a herb like Moringa to be more effective in treating infections like trypanosomosis. Supporting this, a 25 days study on mice infected with Trypanosoma congolense noted that the crude extracts of Moringa and wormwood demonstrated antitrypanosomal effect against Trypanosoma Congolense  by curbing the impact of the parasitemia, as well prolonging the lives of infected mice .
How to use wormwood for infection
To use wormwood for infections or other health concerns, you can opt for any of the options below.
- Wormwood supplement
Wormwood extract can be made into a supplement, alone or with other herbs blended. You can equally purchase the supplement form and herbal capsules, extracts, and tinctures from an online store.
- Wormwood Essential oil
Wormwood Essential oil should be used externally as ointment, or lotion. Before use, it’s recommended that you first dilute it with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. Findings have noted that applying wormwood essential oils directly on your skill without diluting it first may result in skin burn .
- Wormwood herbal tea
Wormwood can be made into herbal tea by brewing the dried stems, leaves, and flowers, it can also be made into a tincture.
How to make wormwood tea
To make a cup of wormwood tea, add half to one teaspoon of dried or fresh wormwood leaves to one cup of boiling water. Steep for 5-15 minutes, or until the desired bitterness is reached. Be careful not to steep for too long, as this will make the tea too bitter.
Keep in mind that there is no regulation in place to checkmate the dose for the herbal tea, however, before use please seek a healthcare provider for advice and guidance
Wormwood side effects
Wormwood is a herb that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. However, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects of wormwood, especially when taken in high doses or for extended periods.
It contains a compound called thujone, which can be toxic. Thujone can cause a variety of side effects, including nausea, vomiting, restlessness, insomnia, vertigo, tremors, and seizures. In high doses, thujone can even be fatal.
For this reason, it is important to use wormwood in moderation and to consult with a doctor before taking it, especially if you have any underlying health conditions. Wormwood should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with porphyria, epilepsy, or kidney disorders.
In addition, wormwood can interact with certain medications, so it is important to be aware of these interactions before taking it. For example, wormwood can decrease the effectiveness of anticonvulsant medications.
Although the evidence of parasitic infection-fighting the property of wormwood is promising, and effective in treating schistosomiasis, giardiasis, and tapeworms. However, it is important to note that these studies were small and more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of wormwood for parasites in humans.
Additionally, wormwood can have side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and seizures. It is important to talk to your doctor before using wormwood, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking other medications.
JC is passionate about finding the impact of foods (feeding habits) on human fertility and reproductive health and a way to improve fertility.