Absinthe effects are infamous. Absinthe is known throughout the world for its colorful history and the mysterious myths that surround it.
Absinthe was created in Switzerland in the 18th century as an elixir or tonic. Its main ingredient, the herb wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), has been used in medicine since ancient times in the following ways:-
– As a tonic
– To counteract poisoning caused by hemlock and toadstools
– To stimulate digestion
– To treat parasitic intestinal worms.
Absinthe started to be distilled and sold by Pernod at the turn of the 19th century and became famous in La Belle Epoque period and linked with the Bohemian culture of the Montmartre area of Paris – home to many artists and writers. Many famous artists and writers including Van Gogh, Verlaine, Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde and Hemingway relied on the effects of Absinthe saying that it freed their minds and inspired them. Some say that Van Gogh cut off his ear while under the influence of the Green Fairy, Absinthe.
Many people began to think that Absinthe was harmful, claiming that it was psychoactive, an hallucinogen, that it had psychedelic and intoxicating effects and could cause violence and insanity. It was even alleged that a French man had murdered his whole family after drinking Absinthe. In fact, he had consumed a vast amount of other alcoholic beverages after drinking the Absinthe.
The Absinthe effects were blamed on the wormwood extract in the drink which contained a chemical called thujone. Thujone had similarities with TCH, found in the drug cannabis. Absinthe was banned and made illegal in France in 1915 and im many other countries at around the same time. Interestingly, it was never banned in Spain, Portugal, the UK or the Czech Republic.
Many people researched thujone and Absinthe and it was found that drinking Absinthe was just as safe as drinking any strong spirits, and liquor with a high alcohol by volume, and that Absinthe contained only very minute quantities of thujone. Absinthe was, therefore, made legal again in many countries in the 1990s. EU legislation means that bottled Absinthe can only be sold if it contains 10mg/kg or less of thujone and US law only allows the sale of Absinthe with trace amounts of thujone.
The Absinthe ban meant that many new Absinthe-like products had been created to replace Absinthe, such as Pernod Pastis which satisfied people’s appetite for an anise flavored alcoholic beverage. These beverages are still available along with artificial Absinthes which have been created for the US market. If you want real Absinthe you need an Absinthe which contains the vital ingredient, wormwood, which gives Absinthe it’s characteristic bitter flavor. Look for Absinthes which contain real wormwood or buy Absinthe essences which contain wormwood and which can be mixed with vodka or Everclear to produce your very own bottled Absinthe. These essences are used by the Absinthe industry and can be bought online through sites like AbsintheKit.com. They come with instructions on how to use them and are to be used with your Absinthe spoon and glass.
You only need to worry about Absinthe effects if you are going to consume a significant amount of Absinthe. Remember that Absinthe is twice as strong as whisky and drink it in moderation!