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 organic name. The chemical thujone was partially liable for Absinthe being banned in early 1900s in lots of countries around the globe and thujone is still tightly regulated nowadays, particularly in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was regarded as similar to THC found in cannabis and Absinthe was purported to be psychoactive and have psychedelic effects causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe had been popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre within Paris and several 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 absinthethujone and Verlaine. Some claim 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 many 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 Dangerous?

Today’s research suggests that it was really the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe that was dangerous as opposed to the thujone. Absinthe is twice as strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be taken any time taking in Absinthe. Thujone is only present in minute quantities and must therefore cause no major unwanted effects or even health conditions. The EU states that alcohol based drinks with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level over 25% may only have a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” can easily contain as much as 35mg/kg, it is not completely 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 only legal to get or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone could be dangerous causing convulsions but you would have to drink a large amount of Absinthe to use that amount of thujone also it would be impossible to drink that amount, you’d be comatose from alcohol until then!

Absinthe Elements

It is known that Henri-Louis Pernod, who owned the initial Absinthe distillery, employed 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 primary oil from all of these herbs accounts for La Louche, the clouding which occurs when water is put into Absinthe. These types of herbs specially the aniseed and anise are responsible for the distinctive aniseed or licorice taste of Absinthe and wormwood is liable for the particular bitter flavor. Absinthe is sometimes employed as bitters in cocktails.

There are many brands of Absinthe or Absinthe replacements which were developed during the bar and so contain no Absinthe thujone or even wormwood, but some would say that Absinthe just isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter style of wormwood. If you’d like real Absinthe search for brands containing wormwood or Absinthe thujone.