My childhood memories of this herb are as clear as day. We had a plant in our garden that my mom would harvest and make as a tea and then chill. I was the only one out of my siblings who absolutely loved its bitter taste and I would ask my mom for more. She had to limit me to four drinks a week. It became my new ice tea and you can imagine my excitement years later when I discovered this same plant in my new home’s garden.
The bitter plant I’m talking about is Wormwood. My mom had a herbal medicine handbook that we all consulted before rushing off to the doctor. It was to my delight that I found wormwood to have so many benefits. Furthest from my mind was the healing effects of this bitter herb for your skin. For me I just loved drinking my new ice tea 🙂
Wormwood became popular as it one of the ingredients along with anise and fennel, in a botanical spirit known as absinthe. Many artists such as Vincent van Gogh, indulged in absinthe and it was soon labeled dangerous due the bad side effects such as seizures and convulsions. Not to mention the mind altering state that went along with it. The plant itself doesn’t cause any hallucinations but it was the mixture with alcohol that created this. Wormwood or also known as Artemisia absinthium has many healing properties. Native to Europe and parts of Africa and Asia. In the US you will find it growing wildly.
What you need to know
The entire plant from stem to leaves and flowers can be used for medicinal purposes. It has antibacterial, anti fungal, antiseptic properties and is a powerful blood cleanser. All of these super hero activities works wonders for your skin. You can use it fresh or dried and through distillation you will be able to extract essential oil from its leaves and flowers. The main compound in wormwood known as thujone, is potentially poisonous. Distilling the herb in alcohol increases the thujone concentration, which is what makes absinthe such a questionable liquor of choice.
Oil vs Tea
Because of its powerful compounds, the oil extraction yields almost 99% of the thujone which mentioned earlier is rather toxic. It is recommended that when using the oil it is heavily diluted with a carrier oil / lotion or ointments as the skin could become irritated.
Wormwood stems, leaves, and flowers are usually dried for brewing into a tea. Plus, the herb can sometimes be found in supplement form and herbal blends.
You can purchase dried wormwood as well as capsules, extracts, and tinctures made from it online. You may also purchase the plant or its seeds to grow in your garden.
For a tea its so easy to prepare. Add 1 tsp of dried wormwood leaves preferably in a cup of boiling water and let it stand for 15 min.
Have a look at these oils and other wormwood products here.
I have found that due to its antiseptic and anti fungal agents it does wonders to inflamed and painful skin caused by acne/sores or boils. Just remember to mix the oil with another cream or salve when applying.
The anti -oxidant qualities are more evident when drinking as a tea. It is an amazing blood purifier and you will reap these benefits by drinking at least twice a week. Steep the dried or fresh leaves in boiling water and strain. Can be enjoyed hot or cold. If the bitter taste is not your thing try adding some peppermint drops or even maple syrup. You will soon notice the cleansing happening on the inside will be apparent on your skin, looking more vibrant and refreshed.
For centuries this poor plant has been given a bad rap. I like to focus on the good qualities and use the knowledge of the toxic component thujone to ensure I use it correctly and moderately.
The velvet plant has so many medicinal properties ranging from being a powerful pain & parasite killer to providing the body with much needed energy during illness and fighting off inflammation.
For your skin, this bitter goodness could be just what you need to clear persistent acne and recurring pimples. For best results I would rather encourage you to drink as a tea daily, however try not to overdo it for longer than a month.
There are no clear dosage guidelines but it has been recommended to twice a day for no longer than 4 weeks.
Consult your doctor is you are not sure about this herb or if you would like to try wormwood products have a look at these online.
What are your thoughts on wormwood?
Real Skin Angel
7 replies on “Bitter herb to heal your skin”
This is some very interesting and beneficial information regarding wormwood. I have watched many videos on YouTube where it is utilized in Asian countries during massage and facials and I always wondered exactly how beneficial it is to the skin. It is nice to know that it can not only be applied topically but can also be drank as a tea like you mentioned in the article. Do you believe that four cups a week, your Mother’s limit, to drinking the tea is the appropriate amount or should one drink less or more depending on how their body responds to the herb?
I think the maximum is two cups a day as we need to remember this herb is extremely potent and some of us are more sensitive than others so start off with one cup a day and work it from there. My mom was more concerned that I was a but too young to be indulging in the biter herb as my body still had to develop:)
I am glad I found someone who takes to heart the values thier parents passed on – your mother’s book. A lot of folks neglect their parents values. There are lots of trees and other organic materials like wormwood. I will look for it in my environment and benefit from its advantages.
Thank you so much for your feedback.
Yes , nature is filled with medicine at our fingert tips:)
Some herbalists believe there are risks involved because one can develop poisoning by consuming amounts greater than what would be recommended dosage levels. It’s good that you pointed out that it has been recommended to ONLY use it twice a day for no longer than 4 weeks. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Will check it out on more. 🙂
Sometimes we hear about certain herbs and steer away from it because of misinformation when it can be that very plant that can alleviate and solve the issue of used correctly.
All the best
Wow, I have never heard of wormwood being used in this way and as something that could be safe for children. I have certainly had to deal with skin-related issues over the years, but this is not a treatment that I have come across before. Sadly, I don’t ever recall seeing a place that had these plants for sale (in any form – live or dried). Do you have a good source that you would recommend for purchasing this helpful herb?