Many people want to know if Absinthe has any effect on the body and what are the physical effects of Absinthe? Many people have never tried Absinthe because it was banned in the 1900s and was illegal for decades.
Absinthe, also known as the Green Fairy or La Fee Verte, is an anise flavored distilled alcoholic beverage made usually with a wine base and flavored with herbs. The three main herbs used in Absinthe distillation are common wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), aniseed and fennel.
Absinthe was created by a doctor, Dr Pierre Ordinaire, in Couvet, Switzerland in the 18th century. He created it as a tonic or elixir for his patients out of herbs renowned for their medicinal properties. Henri-Louis Pernod managed to get hold of the recipe and started making Absinthe in Couvet and then in Pontarlier, France.
Absinthe became a very popular drink and was used by French soldiers in the 1840s to treat malaria. It soon became popular in France and even took over from wine as the favorite drink of the French in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Absinthe became a “pick me up” used all over France and in many countries – bars even had Absinthe hours or “L’heure verte”.
Absinthe was served with apparel such as a special Absinthe glass, a slotted Absinthe spoon and an Absinthe fountain or carafe of iced water. It was not generally served straight but, instead, diluted with a sugar and water solution.
An article from “Sweat” magazine “Battle Cry” from the 1960s talks of how the medical profession in France were concerned about Absinthism, a “disease” caused by prolonged Absinthe drinking. Doctors claimed that it was far worse than normal alcoholism and had the following symptoms:-
Initial Symptoms after consuming Absinthe:-
– A feeling of exhilaration
– Restless nights with terrible nightmares
– Nausea and vomiting
Symptoms of long term Absinthe abuse:-
– Frothing and convulsions
– Hypersensitivity to pain
– Loss of libido
– Sensitivity to hot and cold
The French Academy of Medicine asked that Absinthe be forbidden in 1900 but their pleas were ignored. It took the murder of a family by an Absinthe drinker in Switzerland in 1905 for governments to act. Switzerland banned Absinthe in 1908, Italy in 1913 and France in 1915.
Thujone, the chemical in wormwood, was blamed for Absinthe’s physical effects. Thujone was said to be psychoactive, a neurotoxin and to act on the GABA receptors in the brain. It was even compared to THC in the drug cannabis.
However, recent research with traditional pre ban Absinthe recipes and gas chromatography tests on vintage bottles of original Absinthe have all shown that, contrary to belief, Absinthe only contained a maximum of 6mg of thujone rather than 350mg which is what people believed it contained. This amount of thujone was nowhere near a harmful level.
Many now believe that Absinthe was unfairly blamed and that Absinthe is no more dangerous than any other strong liquor. It should be consumed with care and in moderation though because it has a high ABV (alcohol by volume), twice as strong as other spirits like whisky and vodka.
What are the Physical Effects of Absinthe Today?
Most believe that Absinthe has no physical effects like causing hallucinations but those who consume bottled Absinthes, or stronger Absinthes made using kits like those available from AbsintheKit.com, and get drunk, talk about a very different drunkenness – a “clear headed” or “lucid” drunkenness. This may be due to Absinthe’s blend of herbs. Some of the herbs act as stimulants and others as sedatives.
So, what are the physical effects of Absinthe? A feeling of pleasure and enjoyment and perhaps a clear headed drunknenness.