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Wormwood


      Wormwood: Wormwood is an effective bug repellent!  It is used in sachets to keep moths away and is planted in gardens to discourage pests.  Tea made of it repels aphids.

The Bible refers to wormwood a dozen times, although it was probably A. judaica or A. herba alba to which it was referring. Again, the symbolism is of bitterness. Proverbs 5:4:

For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
And smoother than oil is her speech;
But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death,
Her steps lay hold of Sheol.

The most well-known reference, though, is in Revelations:  And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;  And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

A Christian legend says that wormwood sprang up in the biblical serpent's trail as he left the Garden of Eden--as a barrier to prevent its return. Consequently, snakes are not supposed to enter a garden where wormwood grows.

The active principle of wormwood is "thujone", which in large amounts is a convulsant poison and narcotic.  Stress caution here!  Though it has been used by herbalists as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, sedative, stomachic, tonic and stimulant it is not an herb to experiment with.  Do not try this herb without professional advise.

It is also used to flavor alcoholic beverages including vermouth and Campari.  It is the most bitter of herbs.



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