Worm wood or Artemisia Absinthium had been used for centuries as a pesticide, moth repellant, and spray to control certain creatures such as slugs and snails. The spray was also called “tea.” The genus Artemisia has more than 400 plants and it was named after a botanist and medical researcher. Most Artemisia plants have excellent insecticidal properties, but worm wood is by far the most potent.
Worm wood was also used as a remedy to rid the human body of worms (particularly pinworms), to stimulate the appetite, to treat fevers and delayed menses, and to treat liver and gall bladder ailments. It was discovered that certain types of worm wood could be very toxic to the human body, so it is not widely used in the United States anymore. Certain types of worm wood, however, such as Roman worm wood have been used to flavor drinks such as Campari and Vermouth. It is still commonly used in places such as Italy. Worm wood dates back to 1600 B.C.
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Worm wood is still an excellent pesticide and it can be used to create worm wood tea. Worm wood tea is used as an insect spray. It is important to note that you should not use worm wood tea on edible plants. To create your own worm wood tea at home, you will need the following ingredients:
8 ounces wormwood leaves
4 pints of water
1 teaspoon castile soap
First, simmer worm wood leaves in 4 pints of water for one half hour. Stir the mixture for a few minutes, then strain. Leave the mixture out to cool. Once it’s cool, add the castille soap. The mixture is now ready to use as a spray. This worm wood tea mixture is effective against moths, caterpillars, aphids, and flea beetles. To enhance the teas effectiveness, Plant dried sprigs of worm wood with carrots and onions. This will mask their scent and confuse insects. Unfortunately, dried worm wood does not have the same effects on insects, particularly the growth inhibiting effects that the fresh herbs possess.
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If you don’t’ have time to make your own worm wood tea, you can purchase worm wood at natural food stores or online. Simply type “worm wood” or “wormwood” into your favorite search engine to select from hundreds of sellers.