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Schwabe News Volume 4 | Issue 2 | February 2013


Known as Common wormwood, it belongs to the family Compositae and botanically known by the names Artemisia absinthium Linn and Absinthium vulgare Lam.  It was introduced in Homoeopathy by Gatchell (HPUS).  It is found in Afghanistan, Algeria, Europe, Kashmir (India), United States, North & South Africa1. In India apart from Kashmir it is also found in other mountainous districts.  It contains essential oils having camphoraceous odour and narcotic properties.  It also contains a bitter tonic absinthin.  In Indian medicine the herb is used for correction at higher faculties of brain concerned with psychical functions2.  It is aromatic perennial bitter herb with greenish stems feathery leaves both covered with fine hairs, reaching upto 3ft high.  Epileptiform seizures are the drug picture.  It has been used in tincture followed by third potency for cure of epilepsy3.  In a lecture on this drug Allen spoke of putting a drop of the tincture on the tongue during epileptic attack to modify the convulsion4.  Allen recommends one to ten drops5.  It is useful in nervous excitement, sleeplessness, hysterical and infantile spasms and spasmodic facial twitching6.  Large doses will cause headache and may produce tremors but small doses act as gentle stimulant7

A homoeopathic tincture is made from leaf and flower8.

Research into this herb has established that a range of constituents contribute to its medical efficacy effecting the bitter taste receptors and stimulating secretions for better digestions, has anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, insecticidal action and brain stimulating action in small doses but is toxic in excess9.

As per reports of 1973, it is also used for brain concussions (BA 1973, 56, 56516).  For information, it contains a few other ingredients, which are of interest.  Artemisetin showed marked anti-tumor activity against melanoma in mice and rats and weak activity against lymphosarcoma (CA 1987 106, 207296d). It is used for feeble memory, incoherent speech, irregular, intermittent spasm without complete loss of consciousness.  Attacks resembling hysteria.  Trembling of limbs, lips and tongue.

Contra-indication:  Alcoholic drinks; is said to cure poisoning of mushrooms10

Schwabe India manufactures and markets its mother tincture and dilutions up to 1M.


  1. P. N. Varma, Indu Vaid, Encyclopaedia of Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia, Updated edition 2007, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
  2. K. M. Nadkarni, Indian Materia Medica, Edited by A. K. Nandkarni, Volume 1, Bombay Popular Prakashan, Mumbai – 34.
  3. J. H. Clarcke, Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, Reprint Edition 1992, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
  4. P. S. Rawat, Select Your Dose & Potency, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi, 2004.
  5. T. F. Allen, Encyclopaedia of Pure Materia Medica, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
  6. W. Boericke, New Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica & Repertory [with Relationship of Remedies], Second Re-Augmented & Revised Edition Based on Ninth Edition, Reprint Edition 2002, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
  7. A. L. Blackwood, A Manual of Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacology, Reprint Edition 1995, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
  8. Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India, Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
  9. Andrew Chevallier, The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, 1st Edition, 1996, Dorling Kindersley, London.
  10. Constantine Hering, The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.