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Absinthe Alcohol

The History And Effects Of Absinthe

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Absinthe Alcohol

The History And Effects Of Absinthe

What Is Absinthe ?

Absinthe is a strong herbal liqueur distilled with a number of herbs like anise, licorice, hyssop, veronica, fennel, lemon balm, angelica and wormwood. Wormwood also known as Absinthe; Absinthium; Green Ginger; or Madderwort, and contains Thujone, an herb that grows wild in Europe and the U.S. It is a silvery-green perennial herb growing up to 1.5 meters tall which contains the volatile oil thujone. Thujone is named after the plant from which it was first extracted, thuja. It is added to distilled ethanol to create absinthe.

It is served with ice water and a cube of sugar. The sugar cube is placed on a slotted absinthe spoon, then water is drizzled over the sugar and into the glass of absinthe. The sugar helps take the bitter taste away from the absinthe. When the water is drizzled into the the liqueur it becomes milky green.

The drink in France is called La Fée Verte, which translates to The Green Fairy.The color comes from the chlorophyll content of the herbs used in the distillation process. Some manufacturers added toxic chemicals to produce the milky green color, which created a toxic liqueur. The drink was very popular in France, and due to the French influence in New Orleans, Louisiana, it was equally popular there.

Wormwood had been used to treat tapeworm. But, people found out they could get high off it, and use it illegally. It is banned in the U.S. since 1912, and is not sold on cruise ship. It is has become popular however on the black market.

The term absinthism, refers to those who consume the product in excess, and there is data that shows heavy usage can cause madness, that results in suicide, addiction, epileptic attacks, delerium, and hallucinations. It is considered similar to opiates. Thujone, found in Absinthe, can be toxic when consumed in very large quantities, But, generally 2 to 3 glasses, will make the drinker drunk.

Thujone is a toxic chemical present in wormwood and has a similar molecular geometry with THC, the active chemical in cannabis. Current versions of Absinthe claim to have heavy concentrations of Thujone. Numerous experiments in smoking dried wormwood leaves, found it had a definite psychoactive effect. Other experiments show an effect, comparable to codeine, when injected subcutaneously in rats.

Thujone is thought to make a person more creative and aware for about 20 minutes after consuming it, and the effects have been documented by those he drank it. According to the Asbinthe website, numerous very famous Europeans drank it. They name them proudly as great creatives who used it, but unless you know your history, the names don't convey the real affect of the drink. Vincent Van Gogh (cut off his ear lobe and gave it to a prostitute) Edourd Manet (1868 attempted suicide), Ernest Hemingway (suicide). Their behavior perhaps speaks for the effects of Thujone.

Many variations are 90% alcohol, which contributes with the quick effects of the drink, and a very quick journey to total intoxication.

Supporting Information & Resources:

  • - Drug or Alcohol Overdose