Hmmm....

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Dec 2000:Hmmm....
By Admin on Friday, September 29, 2000 - 03:06 pm: Edit

JKK ... time to register :-)

By JKK on Friday, September 29, 2000 - 03:02 pm: Edit

Who the hell is this JKK who posted this interminable message on Tuesday? I've been busy with homework all week, and haven't looked at this forum since last weekend. Can you please find another moniker? You are not at all similar to me.

I don't enjoy playing with computers; reading and contributing to this forum is an exception. I have no background in chemistry or any of the sciences. French was my undergraduate major at UCLA. Now I am studying for a Master's degree in Russian at the U. of Illinois, (What a mistake! Damn the Gourman report!) My interests are in world literature, (mostly 19th century, in any case, before WWII), and film up to c. 1970.

If you don't want to change your handle, I'll use my full name. Anyway, computer freak, please find another way to amuse yourself than by posting fraudulent messages. How about picking up a book? May I suggest Rimbaud or Proust?

By Bob Chong on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 11:16 pm: Edit

Perhaps hmmm should change his handle to ho-hum. Or cut to the chase and go with troll.

BC

By Don Walsh on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 10:33 pm: Edit

That's a snippet from botanical.com

They digitized a moderately ancient (like, 1925) herbal text.

Anyone who has ever done a search on wormwood has seen it.

Once again hmmmm embraces the adage that, as electrons are free, one might as well waste them.

Yawn.

By hmmm on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 07:10 pm: Edit

Botanical: Artemisia Absinthium (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae

Description
Cultivation
Parts Used
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations

---Synonym---Green Ginger.
---Part Used---Whole Herb.
---Habitat---Europe, Siberia, and United States of America.

The Common Wormwood held a high reputation in medicine among the Ancients. Tusser (1577), in July's Husbandry, says:
'While Wormwood hath seed get a handful or twaine
To save against March, to make flea to refraine:
Where chamber is sweeped and Wormwood is strowne,
What saver is better (if physick be true)
For places infected than Wormwood and Rue?
It is a comfort for hart and the braine
And therefore to have it it is not in vaine.'

Besides being strewn in chambers as Tusser recommended, it used to be laid amongstuffs and furs to keep away moths and
insects.

According to the Ancients, Wormwood counteracted the effects of poisoning by hemlock, toadstools and the biting of the
seadragon. The plant was of some importance among the Mexicans, who celebrated their great festival of the Goddess of Salt
by a ceremonial dance of women, who wore on their heads garlands of Wormwood.

With the exception of Rue, Wormwood is the bitterest herb known, but it is very wholesome and used to be in much request
by brewers for use instead of hops. The leaves resist putrefaction, and have been on that account a principal ingredient in
antiseptic fomentations.

An Old Love Charm
'On St. Luke's Day, take marigold flowers, a sprig of marjoram, thyme, and a little Wormwood; dry them before a fire, rub
them to powder; then sift it through a fine piece of lawn, and simmer it over a slow fire, adding a small quantity of virgin honey,
and vinegar. Anoint yourself with this when you go to bed, saying the following lines three times, and you will dream of your
partner "that is to be":
"St. Luke, St. Luke, be kind to me,
In dreams let me my true-love see." '

Culpepper, writing of the three Wormwoods most in use, the Common Wormwood, Sea Wormwood and Roman
Wormwood, tells us: 'Each kind has its particular virtues' . . . the Common Wormwood is 'the strongest,' the Sea Wormwood,
'the second in bitterness,' whereas the Roman Wormwood, 'to be found in botanic gardens' - the first two being wild - 'joins a
great deal of aromatic flavour with but little bitterness.'

The Common Wormwood grows on roadsides and waste places, and is found over the greater part of Europe and Siberia,
having been formerly much cultivated for its qualities. In Britain, it appears to be truly indigenous near the sea and locally in
many other parts of England and Scotland, from Forfar southwards. In Ireland it is a doubtful native. It has become naturalized
in the United States.

[Top] [Top of Wormwood, Common]

---Description---The root is perennial, and from it arise branched, firm, leafy stems, sometimes almost woody at the base. The
flowering stem is 2 to 2 1/2 feet high and whitish, being closely covered with fine silky hairs. The leaves, which are also whitish
on both sides from the same reason, are about 3 inches long by 1 1/2 broad, cut into deeply and repeatedly (about three times
pinnatifid), the segments being narrow (linear) and blunt. The leaf-stalks are slightly winged at the margin. The small, nearly
globular flowerheads are arranged in an erect, leafy panicle, the leaves on the flower-stalks being reduced to three, or even one
linear segment, and the little flowers themselves being pendulous and of a greenish-yellow tint. They bloom from July to
October. The ripe fruits are not crowned by a tuft of hairs, or pappus, as in the majority of the Compositae family.

The leaves and flowers are very bitter, with a characteristic odour, resembling that of thujone. The root has a warm and
aromatic taste.

---Cultivation---Wormwood likes a shady situation, and is easily propagated by division of roots in the autumn, by cuttings, or
by seeds sown in the autumn soon after they are ripe. No further care is needed than to keep free from weeds. Plant about 2
feet apart each way.

[Top] [Top of Wormwood, Common]

---Parts Used---The whole herb - leaves and tops - gathered in July and August, when the plant is in flower and dried.

Collect only on a dry day, after the sun has dried off the dew. Cut off the upper green portion and reject the lower parts of the
stems, together with any discoloured or insect-eaten leaves. Tie loosely in bunches of uniform size and length, about six stalks
to a bunch, and spread out in shape of a fan, so that the air can get to all parts. Hang over strings, in the open, on a fine, sunny,
warm day, but in half-shade, otherwise the leaves will become tindery; the drying must not be done in full sunlight, or the
aromatic properties will be partly lost. Aromatic herbs should be dried at a temperature of about 70 degrees. If no sun is
available, the bunches may be hung over strings in a covered shed, or disused greenhouse, or in a sunny warm attic, provided
there is ample ventilation, so that the moist heated air may escape. The room may also be heated with a coke or anthracite
stove, care being taken that the window is kept open during the day. If after some days the leaves are crisp and the stalks still
damp, hang the bunches over a stove, when the stalks will quickly finish drying. Uniformity in size in the bunches is important, as
it facilitates packing. When the drying process is completed, pack away at once in airtight boxes, as otherwise the herbs will
absorb about 12 per cent moisture from the air. If sold to the wholesale druggists in powdered form, rub through a sieve as
soon as thoroughly dry, before the bunches have had time to absorb any moisture, and pack in tins or bottles at once.

---Constituents---The chief constituent is a volatile oil, of which the herb yields in distillation from 0.5 to 1.0 per cent. It is
usually dark green, or sometimes blue in colour, and has a strong odour and bitter, acrid taste. The oil contains thujone
(absinthol or tenacetone), thujyl alcohol (both free and combined with acetic, isovalerianic, succine and malic acids), cadinene,
phellandrene and pinene. The herb also contains the bitter glucoside absinthin, absinthic acid, together with tannin, resin,
starch, nitrate of potash and other salts.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Tonic, stomachic, febrifuge, anthelmintic.

A nervine tonic, particularly helpful against the falling sickness and for flatulence. It is a good remedy for enfeebled digestion
and debility.

[Top] [Top of Wormwood, Common]

---Preparations---Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Wormwood Tea, made from 1 OZ. of the herb, infused for 10 to 12 minutes
in 1 pint of boiling water, and taken in wineglassful doses, will relieve melancholia and help to dispel the yellow hue of jaundice
from the skin, as well as being a good stomachic, and with the addition of fixed alkaline salt, produced from the burnt plant, is a
powerful diuretic in some dropsical cases. The ashes yield a purer alkaline salt than most other vegetables, except Beanstalks
and Broom.

The juice of the larger leaves which grow from the root before the stalk appears has been used as a remedy for jaundice and
dropsy, but it is intensely nauseous. A light infusion of the tops of the plant, used fresh, is excellent for all disorders of the
stomach, creating an appetite, promoting digestion and preventing sickness after meals, but it is said to produce the contrary
effect if made too strong.

The flowers, dried and powdered, are most effectual as a vermifuge, and used to be considered excellent in agues. The
essential oil of the herb is used as a worm-expeller, the spirituous extract being preferable to that distilled in water. The leaves
give out nearly the whole of their smell and taste both to spirit and water, but the cold water infusions are the least offensive.

The intensely bitter, tonic and stimulant qualities have caused Wormwood not only to be an ingredient in medicinal preparations,
but also to be used in various liqueurs, of which absinthe is the chief, the basis of absinthe being absinthol, extracted from
Wormwood. Wormwood, as employed in making this liqueur, bears also the name 'Wermuth' - preserver of the mind - from its
medicinal virtues as a nervine and mental restorative. If not taken habitually, it soothes spinal irritability and gives tone to
persons of a highly nervous temperament. Suitable allowances of the diluted liqueur will promote salutary perspiration and may
be given as a vermifuge. Inferior absinthe is generally adulterated with copper, which produces the characteristic green colour.

The drug, absinthium, is rarely employed, but it might be of value in nervous diseases such as neurasthenia, as it stimulates the
cerebral hemispheres, and is a direct stimulant of the cortex cerebri. When taken to excess it produces giddiness and attacks of
epileptiform convulsions. Absinthium occurs in the British Pharmacopoeia in the form of extract, infusion and tincture, and is
directed to be extracted also from A. maritima, the Sea Wormwood, which possesses the same virtues in a less degree, and is
often more used as a stomachic than the Common Wormwood. Commercially this often goes under the name of Roman
Wormwood, though that name really belongs to A. Pontica. All three species were used, as in Culpepper's time.

Dr. John Hill (1772) recommends Common Wormwood in many forms. He says:
'The Leaves have been commonly used, but the flowery tops are the right part. These, made into a light infusion,
strengthen digestion, correct acidities, and supply the place of gall, where, as in many constitutions, that is deficient. One
ounce of the Flowers and Buds should be put into an earthen vessel, and a pint and a half of boiling water poured on
them, and thus to stand all night. In the morning the clear liquor with two spoonfuls of wine should be taken at three
draughts, an hour and a half distance from one another. Whoever will do this regularly for a week, will have no sickness
after meals, will feel none of that fulness so frequent from indigestion, and wind will be no more troublesome; if
afterwards, he will take but a fourth part of this each day, the benefit will be lasting.'

He further tells us that if an ounce of these flowers be put into a pint of brandy and let to stand six weeks, the resultant tincture
will in a great measure prevent the increase of gravel - and give great relief in gout. 'The celebrated Baron Haller has found vast
benefit by this; and myself have very happily followed his example.'

By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 09:04 am: Edit

Don,

As the preceeding snapshot clearly demonstrates, I need to brace my hands on my lower back in order to get the leverage to pull. Otherwise, my head pops back out. I'm just an amateur at this, really. I humbly bow to your clearly superior skills in this area.

K.

By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 08:59 am: Edit

This is as close as I can manage:

me

By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 08:42 am: Edit

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 08:45 pm: Edit

Dear Anatomist

The trick is to get the calculator and both hands up there with your head.

However doing Polish notation in a state of rectal-cranial inversion always gives me vertigo.

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 02:20 pm: Edit

Don,

If I had my head up my ass, how would I be able to operate my pocket calculator?

Oh, and I wish you hadn't scared off Hmmm the red-nosed anarchist. He may have been my last chance to figure out how to get registered...

K.

By Bob Chong on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 01:44 pm: Edit

Peter:

Is that bobsinthe label on the web? If so, please point me to it. Thanks!

BC

By peter marc on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 01:08 pm: Edit

hey
you guys are freaking me out...does anyone want
to have fun with absinthe?
bob chong update...i have seen a vintage label
for "bobsinthe", no joke, with the "o" like the
the diamond in job cigarette papers...amusing, huh?
lighten up everybody, it's starting to become like a san francisco city counsel meeting...

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 11:27 am: Edit

Hey Anatomist: you do us all the courtesy of putting an email address to
your posts, and therefore, you are a stand up guy (which is Italian for mensch).

So you can post whenever you want and whatever you want and I will say,
that's Anatomist and he's OK. Even when you have your head up your ass.

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 11:18 am: Edit

you grossly underestimate the power of magic dust....

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 10:13 am: Edit

Do you think all the other cyber anarchists used to laugh and call him names? Perhaps they never let the poor lad join in any anarchist games?

BTW, no matter how bright rudolph's nose is, it won't help. Check this out:
world's population: 6 billion.
1/3 Christian: 2 billion present recipients.
Average household of 3: 667 million deliveries.
Delivery period: 24 hours.
Average time alottment per delivery: 0.00013 seconds.

In order to pull this off, Santa must be going so close to the speed of light that the photons emanating from Rudolph's nose wouldn't get far enough ahead of the sleigh to make any difference...

By Bob Chong on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 09:36 am: Edit

Don--I think you've found the quote for your sig file:

"You aren't the scarlet fucking pimpernel, and I am not the French frigging revolution."

Great stuff. I need to figure out a way to work it into my dissertation.

BC

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 07:30 am: Edit

To be a little less melodramatic (but I was aping your own):

I do my Forum posts up front and in my own name and I have little time for those who do not, although it is allowed.

You want respect on this Forum, stand forward and be recognized. You aren't the scarlet fucking pimpernel, and I am not the French frigging revolution.

You want to play little cyber anarchist games, kindly do so elsewhere. This forum is for grownups.

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 05:30 am: Edit

If life doesn't throw you a M26 frag grenade every now and then, you pathetic coward hiding behind your email-less anonymous handle, well...

By Mr. Wormwood on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 04:56 am: Edit

I always like to answer a question about absinthe on the absithe forum. (For a change)

Martin Sebor
Decinska 23
407 01 Rumburk

Call him and ask him where he is selling it now.

By hmmm on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 04:54 am: Edit

thought you would love something to brighten your moment and dull your senses some more.
If life doesn't throw you a curve ball now and then, I will.

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 04:39 am: Edit

Marc, is the forum now performance art?

If I want to read Burroughs I'll go pick up a copy of Naked Lunch.

Most of what was in that post I've seen before and I suspect so have most of us.

Much of it is contradictory.

Much is irrelevant.

Much is so very old news (to the forum), like the guy talking about steeping absinthium in Pernod. Stop, go back, it's a trap.

So I am asking: was there a point buried in there?

By chris on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 03:28 am: Edit

Excuse me, I know that this is a new topic, but I am trying to use a computer in an internet cafe in the czech republic and it is very difficult to navigate.
I am finding it hard to löcate a bottle of sebors over here, and am wondering if anyone knows of a place in prague that sells it. I have seen hills and schulz all over the place, but I have had hills and it is pathetic compared to the spanish stuff. And I hear that schulz is the same. If anyone has any suggestions for finding Sebors I would really appreciate it. you could post here, or just send me an email. Thanks again.

By Marc on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 03:12 am: Edit

Don,

bullshit or not, it's like a Williams Burrough's riff. The word as virus.

By marc on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 03:09 am: Edit

wow.

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 03:07 am: Edit

Was there a point to all that?

Lots of bogus bullshit in there.

By jkk on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 02:21 am: Edit

More on Absinthe
-----
Dale Kemery wrote
>I've been puzzled by absinthe for a long time. My recent reading has only
intensified my curiosity. Is/was absinthe a true psychedelic beverage? Or
what were/are its effects? For a long time I relied on the traditional
reports about absinthe turning the brain to mush.
>However, considering the hysterical disinformation campaign of Howard
Anslinger aimed against marijuana, I've become very suspicious of any
official strictures. What *is* the story about wormwood/absinthe?
Where can I learn more?

From christopher@gn.apc.org (Christopher Hedley):

This is from R.F.Weiss, Herbal Medicine. Weiss was an MD who taught herbal
medicine in medical schools in Germany, so I suppose he counts as fairly
impartial and reliable:

"The plant contains 0.25-0.5% of a volatile oil the main constituent of
which is thujone as well as bitters. The bitter action predominates.
Wormwood is a typical aromatic bitter. The volatile oil is remarkably
effective against worms. It is however toxic, whilst the bitter principle
is largely non-toxic. Absinthe is made with wormwood oil, but in Germany
its manufacture has been banned since 1923. The usual wormwood preparations
contain so little of the oil that there is no risk of toxic effect. In some
Mediterranean countries, where absinthe is consumed in large quantities,
the seriously damaging effects on the central nervous system which have
given the plant its bad name may develop and even lead to seizures. This
shows that wormwood also has central stimulant properties that are no doubt
of benefit in the small quantities normally used.

Wormwood herb, for tea, 1 teaspoon to a glass of boiling water, leave to
infuse for 10 minutes.

Wormwood tincture. 10-20-30 drops three times daily in water."

Comment; so the story is the same one as coffee, i.e. abuse/ overuse of a
perfectly good and useful herb.

Wormwood is Artemisia absinthium, it is used a lot in aperitif wines and
spirits in Europe, but only in small amounts or it dominates the taste.

It is mostly used for intestinal parasites, 'weak digestion', liver and
gall bladder troubles and as an emmenagogue. I always recommend it as a
prophylactic for folk traveling to hot countries, 15 drops of tincture
three times daily usually does the trick. The American spp of Artemisia,
incl. sagebrush and mugwort, have pretty much the same properties.

- No Artemisias should be taken during pregnancy.

I trust this is useful info. Christopher Hedley

-----
From Howie Brounstein :

>>Be warned - thujone IS dangerous, no matter what that FAQ says.

The reason this line is attached to the Absinthe Pointer is because the
Absinthe FAQ is slanted.

Most sources say that long term use of Absinthe is dangerous and
debilitating. I was under the impression that many people became addicted
to it and suffered mental and physical deterioration, thus it became
outlawed. I would stress that this is long term use. Wormwood, Artemisia
absinthium is pretty nasty stuff, you would have to drink a lot of tea to
feel its narcotic like effects, but by then you'd be retching from its foul
taste. Of course, you could try to hide the flavor with other stuff ...
thus Absinthe.

Personally, I don't like it, don't feel its worth the havoc on your body
for the effect. I like the smell of it, and would keep it around for that.
The Absinthe FAQ, however, takes the point that it may be harmless, that
the debility was caused by alcohol addiction, or Absinthe impurities, and a
marihuana - like political scare tactics. I am not sure what to make of it,
but the warning does remain that thujone is dangerous when taken in large
enough quantities, and that the Absinthe of history did hurt a generation
of people no matter what the specifics.

>If thujone is so dangerous, what are we to make of it as the primary
constituent of Artemisia? Are we endangering ourselves whenever we inhale
it?

Firstly, the chemistries of Artemisia absinthium and Mugwort, Artemisia
vulgaris or douglasiana are different. Some of the contraindications are
different; the uses are different; their histories are different. Also, it
may be a bit premature to say that one chemical, thujone, is THE active
ingredient in either. That would be a bit too reductionist for my tastes.
We can't even assume that because a plant contains some small amount of a
poison, that the plant is poisonous, or we'd have to give up onions,
spinach, mustard. The difference between food and poison is often dosage;
the difference between poison and medicine is dosage. So let's focus on
thujone. A brief list of plants containing thujone includes:

Salvia officinalis L. - Sage (Leaf)
Salvia triloba L. - Greek Sage (Plant)
Artemisia dracunculus L. - Tarragon (Shoot)
Mentha x rotundifolia (L.) HUDSON - Applemint (Leaf)
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium SCHRAD. - Slenderleaf Mountain Mint (Shoot)
Mentha pulegium L. - European Pennyroyal (Plant)
Thymus orospedanus H. del VILLAR - Orosped Thyme (Plant)
Achillea millefolium L. - Yarrow (Plant)
Capsicum frutescens L. - Cayenne (Fruit)
Carum carvi L. - Caraway (Fruit)
Glycyrrhiza glabra L. - Licorice (Root)
Juniperus sabina L. - Sabine (Plant)
Matricaria recutita L. - Annual Chamomile (Plant)
Mentha arvensis L. - Cornmint (Plant)
Sassafras albidum (NUTT.) NEES - Sassafras (Root)
Satureja hortensis L. - Summer Savory (Plant)

This list, and others like it is available free from the Phytochemical
databases (links on my home page
(http://www.teleport.com/~howieb/howie.html) and many other places)

So as you can see, many plants that are very safe (in normal dosages)
contain this chemical. So smell your Mugwort, drink Mugwort tea, smoke it,
smear the juice all over your body on a vision-dream quest, just don't
extract pure thujone from it and snort it.

>Someone on another list suggested smoking Artemisia because there's a
strong connection with marijuana --both affect the same (or similar)
receptors in the brain, and are apparently similar botanically (I don't
know what that means technically). Additionally, a book called *Absinthe,
History in a Bottle* by Barnaby Conrad III mentions thujone-enol's
structural similarity to THC.

Smoking Artemisias? Hmm, for me Mugwort is a flavor, used in small amounts
as not to be too overwhelming. Kind of mentholly. Or perhaps for it's
dreaming effects. But once again folks are implying a generalization: This
one constituent (or group of constituents) is shaped like THC, and perhaps
affects the same receptor sites as THC, so it must make you feel like you
smoked THC. Oops, flawed logic again. Just because the shape of two
molecules are similar doesn't mean that they have similar biological
effects.

They might, but its not guaranteed. My take on this: Ingesting Mugwort, or
any Artemisia I've tasted, does not make you feel like you've ingested
Marihuana.

So enjoy the smells, drown your concerns, and a happy, aromatic holiday
season to all you netters out there.

Howie Brounstein
howieb@teleport.com

-----
From Dale Kemery, DalePK@aol.com, to above:

I thought you might be interested in more complete information about
absinthe, wormwood and thujone, after our recent exchange on the subject.
I've come across a comprehensive summary about it in Jonathan Ott's superb
"Pharmacotheon." (Although using his name with any glowing adjective is
redundant because everything I've seen of his is so complete, exhaustive
and thoroughly researched and studied.)

"Absinthe was prepared by distilling alcohol over mashed leaves of
wormwood, and other common ingredients were Angelica root, Acorus calamus
rhizome (which may contain the psychoactive asarones;...), cinnamon, fennel
seed, star anise (both of which contain anethole, another potentially
psychoactive compound...) and other plants. The characteristic and
much-desired green color of the liqueur, which was supposed to whiten when
mixed with water, was sometimes artificially enhanced by addition of indigo
and other plants, or toxic metal salts like copper sulfate and antimony
chloride...

He chronicles the history of the banning of absinthe and a recent renewal
of interest in absinthe, then says:

"It is commonly assumed that the thujones were the neurotoxic principles of
absinthe, although alcohol also is a potent neurotoxin (absinthe contained
from 68-85% alcohol) and significant quantities of copper and antimony
salts used as adulterants (particularly in cheap imitation absinthe for the
poorer classes) may have been present and responsible for the
neurotoxicity...While large doses of injected thujones are unquestionably
toxic, modern toxicological studies of thujones, in the quantities present
in absinthe, without the copper and antimony adulterants, are needed before
concluding that the neurotoxicity associated with absinthism was a
consequence of thujone content. I suspect the copper and antimony salts, as
well as the unusually high alcohol content had more to do with absinthe
toxicity than the thujone content. Non-thujone essential oils commonly
present in absinthe have also been shown to have convulsant properties and
are probably neurotoxic."

The obvious inference is that thujone is unlikely the culprit in
"absinthism." And even though he acknowledges the toxicity of "large doses
of injected thujones," the operative words are "large" and "injected." It
may be assumed (without any evidence to support this statement) that
swallowing thujone in some form (tea, for example) would subject it to the
chemical rigors of digestion, a pathway that is much different from
intravenous or even intramuscular injection. Whether the same can be said
for, say, smoking a thujone-containing plant is another matter since
inhalation effectuates a much more direct transfer into the blood without
the intervention of hydrochloric acid, pepsin and other digestive enzymes.

-----
From christopher@gn.apc.org (Christopher Hedley):

A note.. Sage (Salvia officinalis) essential oil is 30% thujone and good
sage has up to 2.5% essential oil. Wormwood contains 1% essential oil, I
don't have a figure on the % of thujone but if we assume it to be less than
half then it is possible to consume more thujone in Sage tea than in
Wormwood tea and no one has suggested that long term use of sage is toxic.

Distilling alcohol over Wormwood would extract mostly the volatile oil.
Weiss says that the pure volatile oil was also used in the making of
absinthe - this is still an ingrained habit in food and drink manufacture
and one that should be condemned. Flavouring with volatile oils is NOT the
same as flavouring with plants.

Thujone has been given bad press but I still don't think that consuming
large amounts of volatile oil for long periods has anything to recommend
it. Also the thujone has strong stimulating effects, noticeable when
smoking wormwood - which as Howie says is nothing like smoking Mugwort.
Presumably absinthe had the same degree of stimulation and thus people were
encouraged to drink more and abuse it.

The comparison between thujone and THC is an interesting example of just
how far theory can lead people astray. Always try for yourself I say.

----
From Howie Brounstein :

> Also the thujone has strong stimulating effects, noticeable when smoking
wormwood- which as Howie says is nothing like smoking Mugwort. Presumably
absinthe had the same degree of stimulation and thus people were encouraged
to drink more and abuse it.

Hmmm. Did I say that. Oh yes, so I did. It is hard to put into words.
Mugwort can be used like Wormwood for worms, warming, female reproductive
system effects, and it has similar contra-indications. Yet wormwood has
something else, a more overtly drugged feeling it produces that I have
never experienced with other Artemisias. I don't know what chemical is
responsible for it, it may be thujone unrelated, for all I know. But I know
the feeling.

=====
If you still want to try it here's one how-to, and a vivid description of
the experience:

-----
>Making Absinthe is extremely easy, as long as you don't require the full
alcoholic content. Just take Pernod, pour off about an ounce and cram
wormwood herb in the top. Let it set for a week or two. That's it. Pernod
is Absinthe without the wormwood and about half the alcohol.

From ix@io.com (Lupo LeBoucher):

This is unlikely to absorb much thujone; for a really horrible and
ridiculously potent absinthe, buy a fifth of 100 proof vodka, pour it over
an ounce of wormwood, and a quarter ounce of anise seeds, and let it steep
for a month or two. After straining the liquid, the resulting decoction
will be a horrible looking liquid with approximately the color and
psychoactivity of 1970s gasoline, though gasoline tastes better (long
story).

To ingest (one cannot drink it), pour over a lump of sugar into a strong
mixture of water & lemon juice, hold nose, and swallow before you taste the
bitter horror. Be sure to do this in the vicinity of a sink with running
water; one may need to wash the awful stuff down or provide your absinthe
with a convenient place to rest should it decide to come up for a breather.

Effects reportedly include, audio-visual hallucinations similar to the
opiates, with a bit o nitrous; numb mucus membranes; dizziness, nausea,
picking up the ugliest member of the opposite sex one has ever encountered
and vomiting green bile over oneself while asleep (experts disagree whether
or not the latter was an effect of the previous, rather than an effect of
the thujone - ask Heysoos, I didn't do it).

The above recipe was taken from a book called "The Magical and Ritual Uses
of Herbs" (by Richard Allen Miller) which described Absinthe as "an
excellent after-dinner liqueur" which makes one wonder what types of
dinners Mr. Miller has at his place.

-----
From ix@io.com (Lupo LeBoucher):

>Anise has no effect; the active ingredients in absinthe are just wormwood
and alcohol.

The anise went in the mix in a misguided attempt to kill some of the bitter
flavor (since it was what the standard recipes used). All I succeeded in
doing was killing some of the wormwood "flavor" *retch* upon burping.

>The plain wormwood probably could be swallowed as a tea followed by the
booze as a chaser. The plain infusion used to be prescribed as a "tonic".

I don't know if it would have the same effect; the essential oils in the
wormwood, which contain the active ingredients, are not likely to be water
soluble.

-----
From stygianv@shadow.net (Coyote Osborne):

> Anise has no effect; the active ingredients in absinthe are just wormwood
and alcohol.

Ah, but anise does have an important effect here. It keeps the
wormwood/absinthe from irritating your stomach so much. I would recommend
fennel and perhaps peppermint or basil for this also.

> The plain wormwood probably could be swallowed as a tea followed by the
booze as a chaser. The plain infusion used to be pre-scribed as a "tonic".

Actually, most of the things in wormwood are damaged or destroyed if added
to hot water. Warming it gently (like brandy) works, but not making an
infusion with water that is boiling. I suspect that a good rule of thumb is
that if it is hot enough to destroy alcohol, it is also hot enough to make
the wormwood lose it's efficacy.

>From reading that book or other, somehow I got the idea to make absinthe
by mixing a whole ounce of wormwood in a half fifth of whiskey and
forgetting about it for a few months. That shit is impossibly bitter. It's
one of the most bitter herbal substances you know.

Yes. Not even the worms like it. : )

It does have some interesting properties, though, and prepared properly can
even taste... well I won't say nice... but it will taste such a way that it
is desirable.

Acquired taste perhaps? Good for the sensually indulgent? Weird?

-----
From Stuart Cullen stuartcullen@hotmail.com

Just a little extra info from an experienced Absinthe drinker. I have drunk
three different types of absinthe (two Portugese [50% and 58% alcohol by
volume] and One Czech [55% by volume])on innumerable occasions- usually 4+
European shots a night.

In Portugal, to get its most extreme effect I was told to add sugar to the
shot, light the absinthe, blow it out, drink it through a straw, cup my
hand over the glass and inhale as much of the fumes as I could. I am sure
this would be potent with any alcoholic drink. I have drunk stronger vodka
[63% by volume] yet it has never had the effect of absinthe.

I have experienced one 'hallucination' - I was once positively sure that a
girl was dancing beside me for several minutes when there was no-one there.
I have experienced numerous total blackouts from its usage. I am not an
expert on herbs or a student of any related subject but absinth/e is a drug
NOT an alcoholic drink (believe me)

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