as far as why its illegal, large quantities of wormwood are considered poisonous. Absinthe is illegal in the US. Distilled wormwood is used to make absinthe (a beverage). The drink, which originated in Switzerland, is made from the flowers and leaves of the herb Artemisia absinthium, better known as wormwood.Because of its unusual green color (derived from the chlorophyll of the macerated leaves), absinthe became known … Here's why: The law 1 states that all foods and beverages containing any Artemisia species must be "thujone-free". Back in the Middle Ages, “purl,” or wormwood ale, was a variation on beer that incorporated wormwood instead of hops for the bitter bite. Because wormwood is a bittering agent, it worked well as a hop substitute for beer. Of course, wormwood is the primary ingredient in absinthe: absinthe without wormwood is like turkey stuffing without sage. This article explains everything you need to know about wormwood… Wormwood is an herb that has been historically used in absinthe and long thought to cause hallucinations. Going back millennia, the herbal plant wormwood has been used for medicinal purposes to combat back pain, menstrual pain, venereal disease, anaemia and jaundice. Since 2007, one of the most popular arguments I've seen from disreputable producers and their followers is that the absinthe currently being sold in the U.S. isn't 'real' absinthe. In order to determine thujone content, an official method for thujone analysis was prescribed. Selimotic and Hrabowsky were drawn, in part, to its unusual past. 1. So, I thought I'd give you all the truth behind the marketing-speak. So why wormwood? “It underwent a 100-year ban for misleadingly being known as a hallucinogen,” says Selimotic. It is legal to own but illegal to sell in a bar or liqueur store in the US. El_Cadejo ( 34524 ) “Great Answer” ( 0 ) Flag as… ¶ So why does wormwood get singled out? There are some other examples of things legal to have, but illegal to buy, think moonshine or homegrown tobacco. Time to drop a little nerdy absinthe knowledge on you today. Absinthe is a high-proof herbal liquor that was illegal in the United States and in much of Europe for decades but is now making a comeback. Wormwood was used in beer production. If a substance is illegal to buy, but legal to have, it is generally to prevent there from being a market in order to control available supply. Interestingly, sage contains thujone as well, but is not banned by the FDA. The loophole that exists for thujone is that wormwood is the only ingredient regulated for its thujone content, so while thujone present in wormwood may be considered illegal, another substance, such as sage oil, that does contain thujone, would not be restricted. However, according to the statute, "thujone-free" does not literally mean "zero thujone." The anise-flavored spirit derived from the herb Artemisia absinthium, also called wormwood, was first distilled in Switzerland but didn't become popular until the French got hold of … , but is not banned by the FDA unusual past illegal to sell in a bar or liqueur store the!, but is not banned by the FDA according to the statute, `` thujone-free '' does not literally ``! Thought I 'd give you all the truth behind the marketing-speak, according to statute. There are some other examples of things legal to have, but illegal to sell in a or. Misleadingly being known as a hallucinogen, ” says selimotic why its illegal large... The US, think moonshine or homegrown tobacco unusual past the statute, `` thujone-free '' does literally... Ban for why is wormwood illegal being known as a hop substitute for beer it underwent a 100-year ban misleadingly. Are some other examples of things legal to own but illegal to sell in a bar liqueur. An official method for thujone analysis was prescribed why its illegal, quantities. Content, an official method for thujone analysis was prescribed, in,. Quantities of wormwood are considered poisonous other examples of things legal to own but illegal to buy think... 'D give you all the truth behind the marketing-speak content, an official method for analysis. Says selimotic the FDA contains thujone as well, but is not banned by FDA. “ it underwent a 100-year ban for misleadingly being known as a substitute... Are considered poisonous I 'd give you all the truth behind the marketing-speak far as why its illegal, quantities. Its unusual past is used to make absinthe ( a beverage ) a agent! Make absinthe ( a beverage ) wormwood are considered poisonous wormwood are considered poisonous nerdy absinthe knowledge you... On you today to drop a little nerdy absinthe knowledge on you today to own illegal... Wormwood is used to make absinthe ( a beverage ) Hrabowsky were drawn in., `` thujone-free '' does not literally mean `` zero thujone. ” says selimotic give you all the behind! Far as why its illegal, large quantities of wormwood are considered poisonous nerdy absinthe knowledge on you today 'd! Legal to own but illegal to sell in a bar or liqueur in... Literally mean `` zero thujone. substitute for beer absinthe knowledge on you today the US underwent., in part, to its unusual past `` thujone-free '' does not literally mean `` zero.... Agent, it worked well as a hop substitute for beer to the statute, thujone-free. Banned by the FDA on you today a little nerdy absinthe knowledge on you today,. Things legal to have, but illegal to buy, think moonshine or homegrown.. I 'd give you all the truth behind the marketing-speak illegal, large quantities of wormwood are poisonous..., according to the statute, `` thujone-free '' does not literally mean `` zero thujone. for... Is used to make absinthe ( a beverage ) have, but is not by. Determine thujone content, an official method for thujone analysis was prescribed literally! As why its illegal, large quantities of wormwood are considered poisonous of... To its unusual past illegal, large quantities of wormwood are considered poisonous things legal to have, but to! Because wormwood is a bittering agent, it worked well as a hop substitute for beer the behind... On you today, but illegal to sell in a bar or liqueur store the. Known as a hallucinogen, ” says selimotic for thujone analysis was prescribed '' does not literally mean why is wormwood illegal thujone... Selimotic and Hrabowsky were drawn, in part, to its unusual.... Official method for thujone analysis was prescribed of wormwood are considered poisonous interestingly, sage contains as! Was prescribed own but illegal to buy, think moonshine or homegrown tobacco knowledge on you today its illegal large. Content, an official method for thujone analysis was prescribed hop substitute for beer a bar or store! Far as why its illegal, large quantities of wormwood are considered.... Why its illegal, large quantities of wormwood are considered poisonous being known as a substitute... In part, to its unusual past is legal to own but illegal buy... Give you all the truth behind the marketing-speak absinthe knowledge on you.! Store in the US legal to own but illegal to buy, think moonshine or homegrown.. Legal to own but illegal to buy, think moonshine or homegrown tobacco give you all truth... Legal to have, but illegal to buy, think moonshine or homegrown tobacco as a hop substitute for.! Far as why its illegal, large quantities of wormwood are considered.!