Absinthe Alcohol Drinks - Health Article

Absinthe Alcohol Drinks

What is absinthe ?

Absinthe is a liquor based on anise, wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), fennel and some additional seasoning. In Europe it was one of the most popular alcoholic drinks from the late 19th century. Absinthe was in the early 20th century, banned in several European countries, due to the alleged hallucinogenic effects and neurotoxicity of the ingredient thujone, but since the beginning of the 21st century absinthe in many European countries authorized. The concentration of thujone in absinthe in the 19th century drinking has long been much overestimated. The modern absinthe contains thujone similar concentrations, which have now been assessed as safe.

 In Europe it was one of the most popular alcoholic drinks from the late  Absinthe Alcohol Drinks


Absinthe usually has a green or yellow-green tint, but is sometimes as colorless distillate bottled (white absinthe). Absint is placed on the market with varying alcohol content, which is sometimes well above the conventional 40% (60 to 70% or more) can be laid.

Besides the mentioned absinthe contains thujone also various other substances. The green color of absinthe comes from chlorophyll from an extract of leaves of Artemisia pontica, lemon balm, hyssop and sometimes speedwell. Only in rare cases, the green color was obtained by the addition of the toxic copper or indigo. Responsible for the bitter taste of absinthe is the content matter absinthin.

Use of absinthe

Absinthe is sometimes drunk pure. It is more common to add a fixed ritual water and sugar. A absint spoon with a sugar cube is placed on the glass. Cold water is then dripped over the sugar cube and finally stirred well. In a modern version of the absinthe ritual is the sugar cube in absinthe liqueur.

Absinthe history

Absinthe was first produced commercially by Henri-Louis Pernod in 1805. He had the recipe for the beverage previously purchased by the French physician Ordinaire, which horseback through the Swiss Jura retired to spend his panaceas. Although originally a popular beverage, absinthe was in the 19th century especially popular among artists, who nicknamed the Green Fairy gifts. Fairy would be an important source of artistic inspiration. This assumption has undoubtedly contributed to the myth of the psychoactive effects of absinthe. Vincent van Gogh would have to be there to thank yellow period, and Ernest Hemingway would have written For whom the bell tolls under the influence of absinthe.

With the increasing mass consumption of absinthe, developed more and more intense and chronic absinthe user symptoms like seizures, speech and sleep disorders, mental exhaustion and auditory and visual hallucinations. It was thought that this could even lead to death. This collection of symptoms was coupled with the term "absint ism". Modern authors describe this syndrome in 2006 as fictitious. Absint Isme was then further associated with brain damage, gastro-intestinal diseases, psychiatric diseases, and suicide. Also, an increased incidence of esophageal cancer was detected in absinthe drinkers. Conversely ordered other authors of the late 19th century, moderate doses of absinthe just as a remedy for depression.

By far the most serious and the populist medical literature of that time demonized absinthe, however. This was one of the reasons for the anti-absinthe temperance. The definition of absinthe ism as a syndrome to be separate from alcoholism is closely linked to the French physician Valentin Magnan. Between 1864 and 1874 he described visual and auditory hallucinations, associated with changes in consciousness after using absinthe. Others described acute symptoms of absinthe, such as hallucinations, restlessness, confusion, delirium and seizures. Symptomatic differences between the absinthe drinker and ordinary alcoholic were presented at the First International Eugenitica Congress: to absinthism the "hallucination insanity" was described as "more active with sudden attacks of delirium, more terrifying, sometimes dangerous reactions of extreme violence have resulted" .

The clinical descriptions of that time were speculative and a link between consumption of absinthe and such symptoms were not reliably detected. Admittedly experimental study was performed to demonstrate such a link, but such research was always performed with "essence d'absinthe" (pharmaceutical wormwood extract) or pure essential oils of wormwood, however, while the term "absinthe" for these preparations, used. Already in 1869 was criticized such research in the medical journal The Lancet, and the conclusion drawn therefrom by Magnan that absinthe ism would differ from chronic alcoholism. Insomnia, tremors, hallucinations, paralysis and even epileptic seizures are also symptoms of chronic alcoholism. The syndrome absinthe ism is therefore against bility indistinguishable from chronic alcoholism.

Absinthe prohibition

When absinthe consumption assumed at the end of the 19th century enormous proportions, many European countries and the government of the United States, laws which put the production and consumption of absinthe restricted. The reason for the ban was in addition to the fictional syndrome described above, including the tragic case of the Swiss alcoholic Jean Lanfray, after excessive alcohol consumption, including two glasses of absinthe, his family massacred.

As a substitute for the firm Pernod absinthe developed anis, actually an absinthe without wormwood. Other manufacturers entered the market with their pastis, which herbal extracts were obtained by distillation, but by maceration.

After almost 100-year ban, the European Council in 1988 a directive "on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to flavourings for use in foodstuffs and to source materials for their production", thus leaving the possibility arose to wormwood to allow again as an ingredient of alcoholic beverages.

Absinthe could be freely traded in the whole of the European Union. The composition does not differ much with those of the Absinthe ban.

In countries like Germany and France is again Absinthe produced since the 1990s. Other absinthe producer countries, such as Spain and Portugal, have never known a ban on Absinthe. In the sale of absinthe was prohibited in the Netherlands the Dutch Absinthe law was of 1909. This is the Dutch Absinthe law was even older than the opium law from 1919. This was repealed in 2004, followed by Belgium in the same year.

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