Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wormwood ~ Useful Bitter Herb

As some of you may know, there are several herbs that fall under the category of "Bitter Herbs":
  • Dandelion
  • Goldenseal
  • Rue
  • Wormwood
  • Chamomile
  • Angelica
  • Horehound
  • Peppermint 
  • Milk Thistle
  • Yarrow
Biblical (Original) Bitter Herbs are: 
  • Wormwood
  • Milk Thistle
  • Chamomile
  • Peppermint 
  • Spearmint
  • Chickory
  • Endive
  • Coriander
  • Sorrel
  • Chicory (a.k.a. Cowboy Coffee)
  • Wild/Romaine Lettuce
  • Horse Radish
Many of these I use in several of my medicinal teas and, as of this date, I have only written about Dandelion but I am seriously considering doing a blog series on Bitter Herbs. :-)

As the name would imply, Wormwood is very popular as a parasitic cleanse. Whether by taking as a capsule, tincture or in a tea, it is very effective and seems to cause the least amount of bowl discomfort. 

This blue-green "weedy" plant is something some of us in the Mid-West and Eastern USA have passed during walks through open fields or seen on rural roadsides; it grows very well here in Ohio but is originally from Europe. It is a perennial, so if you plant this in your herb garden, you will enjoy it for a long time. If undisturbed, it can grow into a bush about 3 ft. high and has a rather "loud" but pleasant fragrance. The leaves (which looks a little like parsley) can be munched when fresh or, preferably, dried along with some of the blossoms and lightly crushed for tea or a tincture. 

If you haven't tried it, by the time you finish reading this you'll wonder why not. Wormwood is good, as mentioned above, as a parasitic cleanse for worms or other parasites, to encourage weak digestion, helps boost energy for those suffering from anemia, encourages a sluggish liver (and can be blended with Milk Thistle for the liver), relieves gas and bloating and even contains cancer fighting Lignans (like flax seeds). 

To use as a tea . . . 

You Will Need:

~1 to 1-1/2 ts dried wormwood


1) put herb in a tea ball/infuser, steep for 10 minutes. 
2) DO NOT add honey or other sweetener. 
3) This tea is meant to be slowly sipped.

**This herb IS bitter, BUT you WANT it to be.**

The bitter taste on your tongue causes a reflex action throughout your digestive system that kicks your digestive juices into action. It stimulates your system into increasing stomach acid and bile which not only improves digestion and assists your gall bladder, but sets the into motion the expelling of any parasites during a parasite cleanse.

For a tincture . . . 

You will need:

~1 qt-sized canning jar w/tight-fitting lid (metal or gasket)
~1 pt OR 1/2 pt-sized canning jar (for a possible container)
~1 amber colored eye-dropper OR dropper-bottles (for a possible container ~~ dropper bottles work better than jars for convenience)
~up to 1 or 1-1/2 c (total) of the herb
~vodka (w/no added sweeteners or flavors)
~vegetable glycerin ~plastic wrap


1) stuff the herbs in the qt-sized canning jar (approximately 3/4 full) and pour in enough vodka to cover the top, preferably about 1" over the top of the herbs **NOTE** most tinctures that are taken orally use 80% glycerin/20% vodka; don't let the vodka "scare" you, it is used the draw the "medicine" from the herbs and self-dilutes, much the same way that beer is merely used as yeast in beer bread. There will be less alcohol in your tincture than in cough syrup. IF you truly have a concern, use 90% glycerin/10% vinegar
2) cover top of canning jar with plastic wrap and then screw on the metal lid or close the gasket lid tightly

3) Shake 30-45 times

4) store the jar in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks

5) **REMEMBER** shake jar for about 30 seconds EACH DAY for 4 weeks 

6) at the end of the 4 weeks, strain the herbs through a fine strainer; press or squeeze the herbs on the strainer to get as much of the liquid as possible for your tincture
7) pour tincture into another canning jar OR into amber dropper-bottles (which ever you choose for your container); store in a cabinet out of the light, tincture should last about 2 years

To Use:
~drop 2 full droppers of the tincture into a cup of cold water and drink once per day as a supplement OR 2-4 times per day during a cleanse. **DO NOT use THIS tincture more than 4-5 weeks at a time.

Such a useful herb

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

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