Absinthe, due to its high alcohol content, not to mention its thujone component, has earned a bad reputation and has often been associated with illicit behavior.
Absinthe, which originated in Neuchâtel in Switzerland, is also commonly known as the “Green Fairy” because of its emerald green color. It is a very strong alcoholic drink made from, of course, alcohol and distilled herbs which include wormwood, green anise, fennel and hyssop. Absinthe’s high alcohol content is generally in the 55% to 72% range which is 110 to 144 proof. Strong alcoholic drinks, such as whiskey, are usually around 40% or 80 proof. Based on this, you can already tell how strong absinthe is. This is why those who drink it normally dilute it in iced water with sugar with a ratio of about three to five parts water to one part absinthe. So if you have very low alcohol tolerance, absinthe is definitely not the drink for you.
Absinthe as Medicine
Absinthe had many different versions and uses before it became a popular alcoholic beverage. It was used also as an all-purpose remedy for different kinds of illnesses which may be due to the benefits of wormwood and other herbs. It was used as a treatment for epilepsy, colic, gout, kidney stones and many more until it also became an aperitif.
Absinthe Effects on the Mind and Body
During the late 1800’s, absinthe was a very popular drink. It was a regular part of the Parisian night life and famous artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Edgar Degas and writers and poets such as Oscar Wilde, Paul Verlaine, and Ernest Hemmingway, chose to drink absinthe almost all the time. People such as the likes of these wanted to drink absinthe because they claimed that it gave them clear minds, thus enhancing their creativity.
Those who drink absinthe these days say that there is a different effect in drinking absinthe which is way beyond the buzz that you get when you drink other alcoholic beverages. Most drinkers of absinthe relate the different effect to a hallucinogenic drug that lasts for about 20 to 30 minutes after consumption. The effect of the intake of absinthe actually differs probably depending on the one drinking it, since there are some who claim that it gives them the kind of heightened clarity of mind and imagination. Still others compare it to the effect that you get from caffeine and even marijuana.
The chemical Thujone is actually the one responsible for the different effects that absinthe has on those who drink it. Thujone is found in wormwood and it’s a main ingredient in absinthe at less than 10ppm measurement. Given the amount of thujone found in absinthe, the drink can still be purchased legally in the United States. People who want a stronger variety have the option to order it legally from Europe.
Absinthe had many different uses before it became a popular alcoholic beverage. It was used also as an all-purpose remedy for different kinds of illnesses and this may be due to the benefits of wormwood and other herbs. It was used as a treatment for epilepsy, colic, gout, kidney stones and many more until it also became an aperitif. In the year 1910, it was banned from Switzerland and several other countries because of its very strong and supposedly unique effect. But the manufacturing and sales of absinthe was reauthorized by the European Union in 1990 and it once again became a legal drink with quite a few different brands out in the market to this day.