Wormwood (Absinthii herba)

Published December 5, 1984.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Absinthii herba, wormwood.

Composition of Drug

Wormwood consists of the fresh or dried upper shoots and leaves, or the fresh or dried basal leaves, or a mixture of the above plant parts from Artemisia absinthium L. [Fam. Asteraceae], harvested during flowering season, as well as its preparations in effective dosage. The herb contains at least 0.3 percent (v/w) volatile oil and has a bitter value of not less than 15,000. The volatile oil contains thujone. Additionally, the herb contains bitter principles of the sesquiterpene lactone type such as absinthin, anabsinthin, artabsin, anabsin, also flavones, ascorbic acid, and tannins.


Loss of appetite, dyspepsia, biliary dyskinesia.


None known.

Side Effects

None known.

Interactions with Other Drugs

None known.


Unless otherwise prescribed:

Daily dosage:

2 - 3 g of herb as water infusion. Mode of Administration Cut herb for infusions and decoctions, herb powder, also extracts and tinctures as liquid or solid forms of medication for oral administration.

Warning: Combinations with other bitters or aromatics may be advantageous. In toxic doses, thujone, the active component of the oil, acts as a convulsant poison. Therefore, the essential oil must not be used except in combinations.


The effectiveness as an aromatic bitter is based on the bitter principles and volatile oil. Useful experimental pharmacological data of recent years are not available.