Absinthe is famous for being the hallucinogenic drink that was banned in the early 1900s after it sent people insane and drove men and women to murder and suicide. Seeing that Absinthe has once again been legalized, many people are clearly asking “What are the dangers of Absinthe?”
Absinthe is actually a strong liquor which happens to be distilled at high proof but usually offered diluted with iced water or even in cocktails. It has an anise taste and is also flavored with organic herbs which includes common wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), fennel and aniseed absinthe spoon.
Absinthe carries a very colourful history. It was initially developed as an elixir or medicinal tonic in Switzerland in the late eighteenth century but rapidly came into common use in the period of history known as La Belle Epoque within the nineteenth century. The Green Fairy, as Absinthe was known, was specifically well-known in France and bars even had unique Absinthe hours. Renowned drinkers of Absinthe which includes Van Gogh, Degas, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway all credit Absinthe with offering them their inspiration and being their “muse”.
In addition to being associated with the Golden Age of La Belle Epoque, Absinthe is sad to say associated with “The Great Binge” of 1870-1914, an occasion when cocaine was used in cough drops and beverages and where heroin was created to make children’s cough medicine. Absinthe became connected with these drugs, in particular with cannabis. It was reported that the thujones present in wormwood in Absinthe was similar to THC in cannabis and that thujones were psychoactive and brought on psychedelic effects. Many were convinced that the Green Fairy made you see green fairies, that Absinthe appeared to be an hallucinogen.
The medical occupation and prohibition movement made many claims about the dangers of Absinthe and Absinthism, extented drinking of Absinthe. They supposed that Absinthe contained huge amounts of thujone which triggered:-
– Hallucinations and delirium
– Weakening of the intellect
– Brain damage
It was believed that Absinthe drove Van Gogh to suicide as well as made a man murder his family.
So, are these claims true or could they be urban myths?
These claims have been proven false by recent research and studies. Let’s look at the reality:-
– The man who murdered his family had ingested two glasses of Absinthe earlier in the day and then copious levels of other spirits and liquors. He was a well known alcoholic as well as a violent man.
– Van Gogh was really a troubled individual who had suffered bouts of depression and mental illness since childhood years.
– Thujone just isn’t like THC.
– Thujone could be unhealthy and can act on the GABA receptors of the brain creating spasms as well as convulsions but only when ingested in large quantities.
– Absinthe only features very tiny quantities of thujone, not enough to create any danger. It might be impossible to ingest harmful levels of thujone from commercial Absinthe since you would die of alcohol poisoning to begin with!
What are the dangers of Absinthe then? Well, there isn’t any. Absinthe will get you drunk rapidly because it’s so strong but being intoxicated is incredibly dissimilar to hallucinating! When Absinthe is consumed sparingly, it poses no threat towards your health and wellbeing and has now been made legal in most countries click this link. Take pleasure in bottled Absinthe or try making your own using essences from AbsintheKit.com – it’s fun to do and also very reasonable.