Absinthe Thujone these two words have had a very ambivalent history. Absinthe on the one hand was lovingly called as The Green Fairy, The Green Muse, or even The Green Goddess have also been equally disliked by its detractors and held responsible for moral degeneration and madness.
The original source of absinthe may be traced back in later years of the eighteenth century when a French doctor Dr. Pierre Ordinaire invented a digestive tonic using herbs such as wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), fennel, anise, hyssop and nutmeg. It was considered an herbal remedy during that time. Around 1797 Henri-Louis Pernod absinth liquor started commercial manufacture of absinthe. In 1805 a dedicated distillery for the production of absinthe was set up by Pernod and shortly from then on absinthe had become the national drink of France. It was the most popular alcoholic drink in Europe and at one time absinthe rivaled wine. It’s estimated that in the nineteenth century over 2 million liters each year of absinthe was consumed in France alone. The rich and poor both consumed absinthe.
Absinthe was considered an inspirational consume and lots of great artists as well as writers were regular consumers. Great painters like Vincent Van Gogh were much in love with The Green Fairy that absinthe features in five of his masterpieces. Some other prominent people from the realm of art and literature which includes Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde, and Hemmingway traced their creative genius to absinthe and its magical effects. Nonetheless, by the start of the 20th century alarmed by the growing alcoholism amongst the population and also particular unfounded rumors the demand to ban absinthe started gathering momentum. It was widely thought that thujone a terpene located in the herb wormwood was responsible for the detrimental effects of absinthe. It was widely believed that absinthe contained alarming levels of thujone. This kind of sustained campaign versus absinthe at some point brought about absinthe being banned at the start of the 20th century generally in most of Europe and North America.
With the ban on absinthe, interest in absinthe gradually declined. Having said that in certain parts of Europe absinthe was still being distilled clandestinely and this came into existence generally known as clandestine absinthe. In the year 1975 in a paper published inside a scientific magazine established that thujone’s substance structure is just like THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol which can be present in cannabis and causes convulsions and hallucinations when ingested in large quantity. On the other hand in the year 1999 further evidence proved that thujone has no impact on cannabinoid receptors. The study further proved that thujone in small quantity provides stimulant action, since it is a GABA-A modulator. In the light of this fresh finding many European countries have now lifted the ban on absinthe and it is available these days in Europe. However, it remains banned in the US.
US residents can get absinthe from non-US producers as possession and drinking of absinthe is not illegal in the US. With the fast growth of the world wide web there are lots of online retailers that sell absinthe essence and also other absinthe products. You can now buy absinthe essence on the web and prepare your very own absinthe from home. A note of caution, since absinthe has high alcohol content it is recommended that you drink absinthe sparingly.
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