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Wormwood

Wormwood is a herb of the genus Artemisia[?], family Compositae. All types have an extremely bitter taste.

Common wormwood or green ginger (Artemisia absinthium L.) was used to repel fleas and moths, and in brewing. It is also used medically as a tonic, stomachic, febrifuge and anthelmintic. It is native to Europe and Siberia and is now widespread in the United States.

Its bitterness also led to its use by wet-nurses[?] for weaning[?] infants from the breast, as in this speech from Romeo and Juliet Act I, Scene 3:

Nurse: ...
And she [Juliet] was wean'd,--I never shall forget it,--
Of all the days of the year, upon that day:
For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
...

Roman wormwood (Artemesia pontica) was the flavouring ingredient for the alcoholic drink absinthe.

Other species of wormwood

  • Sea wormwood (Artemesia maritima)



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