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

Thujone was regarded as much like THC seen in cannabis and Absinthe was alleged to be psychoactive and have psychedelic results causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe had been popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre in Paris and many artists and also writers claimed that Absinthe, the Green Fairy, gave them inspiration and their genius. Famous Absinthe drinkers consist of Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas, Baudelaire and absinthethujone 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, despite the fact that he had consumed a great many other strong alcoholic drinks following the Absinthe.

Prohibition campaigners utilized news of the murder to campaign for the banning of Absinthe and held accountable France’s growing problems of alcohol addiction on the emerald liquor.

Is Absinthe thujone Hazardous?

Today’s research suggests that it was really the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe which was dangerous as opposed to the thujone. Absinthe is doubly strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be taken any time taking in Absinthe. Thujone is just contained in minute quantities and must therefore result in no major negative effects or even health problems. The EU states that alcoholic beverages with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level more than 25% may only contain a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” may contain up to 35mg/kg, it is not totally clear which class Absinthe suits but most brands of Absinthe have much less than 35mg with many being under 10mg/kg. In the US it is just legal to purchase or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone could be dangerous causing convulsions but you would have to drink a great deal of Absinthe to consume that volume of thujone also it would be impossible to drink that amount, you would be comatose from alcohol before then!

Absinthe Ingredients

It is said that Henri-Louis Pernod, who owned the first Absinthe distillery, used the herbs wormwood, aniseed, fennel, lemon balm, hyssop, angelica root, dittany, star anise, nutmeg, juniper and veronica to create his famous Pernod Absinthe. The primary oil from all of these herbs is in charge of La Louche, the clouding which comes about when water is combined with Absinthe. These kinds of herbs especially the aniseed and anise lead to the distinctive aniseed or licorice flavor of Absinthe and wormwood is responsible for the bitter flavor. Absinthe is oftentimes employed as bitters in cocktails.

There are numerous brands of Absinthe or Absinthe substitutes which were developed throughout the bar and so contain no Absinthe thujone or wormwood, but a majority of people would say that Absinthe isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter style of wormwood. If you want real Absinthe search for brands containing wormwood or Absinthe thujone.