Absinthe Thujone

Absinthe thujone is the chemical found in Absinthe’s essential ingredient, the plant called Common Wormwood, or Artemisia Absinthium to give it its organic name. The chemical thujone was to some extent liable for Absinthe being banned during the early 1900s in many countries around the world and thujone is still tightly regulated these days, especially in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was thought to be much like THC present in cannabis and Absinthe had been purported to be psychoactive and have psychedelic effects causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe has been popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre within Paris and lots of artists and writers claimed that Absinthe, the Green Fairy, gave them inspiration and their genius. Famous Absinthe drinkers include Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas, Baudelaire and absinthe thujone Verlaine. Some say that Van Gogh’s madness was brought on 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 ingested a number of other strong alcoholic drinks following the Absinthe.

Prohibition campaigners utilised news of the murder to campaign for the banning of Absinthe and held responsible France’s growing problems of alcohol dependency on the emerald liquor.

Is Absinthe thujone Unsafe?

Today’s studies suggest that it was actually the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe which was dangerous rather than the thujone. Absinthe is two times as strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be taken when taking in Absinthe. Thujone is simply present in minute quantities and should therefore trigger no major side effects or even health issues. The EU states that alcoholic beverages with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level more than 25% may only have a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” can easily contain around 35mg/kg, it is not entirely clear which class Absinthe matches but most brands of Absinthe have much less than 35mg with many being below 10mg/kg. In the US it is simply legal to get or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone may be hazardous causing convulsions but you must drink a great deal of Absinthe to use that quantity of thujone plus it would be impossible to drink that amount, you would be comatose from alcohol before then!

Absinthe Ingredients

It is stated that Henri-Louis Pernod, who owned the first Absinthe distillery, utilized the herbs wormwood, aniseed, fennel, lemon balm, hyssop, angelica root, dittany, star anise, nutmeg, juniper and also veronica to produce his famous Pernod Absinthe. The essential oil from these herbs is responsible for La Louche, the clouding which comes about when water is added to Absinthe. These herbs particularly the aniseed and anise are responsible for the distinctive aniseed or licorice style of Absinthe and wormwood is responsible for the bitter flavor. Absinthe is sometimes utilized as bitters in cocktails.

There are lots of brands of Absinthe or Absinthe alternatives which were developed in the bar and for that reason contain no Absinthe thujone or even wormwood, but a majority of people would say that Absinthe just isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter taste of wormwood. If you would like real Absinthe try to find brands that contains wormwood or Absinthe thujone.