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 in early 1900s in many countries around the world and thujone is still tightly regulated nowadays, especially in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was considered to be much like THC present in cannabis and Absinthe was alleged to be psychoactive and have psychedelic absinthe spoons results causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe has been popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre inside Paris and many artists as well as 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 Verlaine. Some state 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, even though he had ingested many other strong alcoholic refreshments 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 addiction on the emerald liquor.

Is Absinthe thujone Unsafe?

Today's research suggests that it was really the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe that was dangerous rather than the thujone. Absinthe is twice as strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be utilized when ingesting Absinthe. Thujone is only present in minute quantities and must therefore result in no major unwanted effects or even health problems. The EU states that alcoholic beverages 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 up to 35mg/kg, it is not totally 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 just legal to buy or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone can be dangerous causing convulsions but you would need to drink a lot of Absinthe to take that volume of thujone also it will be impossible to drink that amount, you'd be comatose from alcohol before then!

Absinthe Components

It is said that Henri-Louis Pernod, who owned the very first Absinthe distillery, utilized the herbs wormwood, aniseed, fennel, lemon balm, hyssop, angelica root, dittany, star anise, nutmeg, juniper and also veronica to create his famous Pernod Absinthe. The fundamental oil from these herbs is responsible for La Louche, the clouding which happens when water is added to Absinthe. These types of herbs especially the aniseed and anise are responsible for the distinctive aniseed or licorice style of Absinthe and wormwood is liable for the particular bitter flavor. Absinthe is sometimes employed as bitters in cocktails.

There are lots of brands of Absinthe or Absinthe alternatives which were developed in the bar and therefore contain no Absinthe thujone or perhaps wormwood, but a majority of people would say that Absinthe is not Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter style of wormwood. If you want real Absinthe try to find brands made up of wormwood or Absinthe thujone.