By Laura Crawley

Artemisia absinthium or wormwood is one of the most bitter herbs known to man. A grey-green perennial, it is native to Europe, Central Asia and parts of North America. Wormwood tea primarily is made for medicinal purposes to cure for rheumatism, gout, and intestinal parasites, especially giardia. It is also a traditional remedy for "furred tongue," and stomach and gallbladder illnesses. You can also drink wormwood tea when you are recovering from a cold or the flu, since it is considered a strengthening, tonic drink. Finally, wormwood tea is sometimes consumed as a narcotic or mental stimulant.

Wormwood leaves can be used to make a bitter, medicinal tea.

Making Wormwood Tea

Step 1

Place 1/2 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon of dried wormwood leaves in a cup or glass. Pour 1 cup of hot water over the leaves. Some recipes call for water that is hot but not boiling, and others specify boiling water. In either case, it is very important that you use no more than one teaspoon of the leaves as they are very strong and bitter.

Step 2

Let the tea mixture steep for several minutes. You may sweeten if you like, but it is so bitter that even sweetening it may not alter the taste very much. You may want to drink wormwood tea after meals, since it will be more easily absorbed and digested on a full stomach.

Step 3

Mix the wormwood tea with another herbal tea, such as peppermint or anise tea, to reduce bitterness. You can steep the leaves in hot or boiling prepared herbal tea.