BackgroundWormwood has become a staple anti-parasitic treatment - along with cloves and black walnut hull - thanks to Hulda Clark's parasite cleanse. Treating parasites is often a first step in treating Lyme. These aren't just intestinal worms. In the West we tend to think that we're not at risk from parasites. But common pursuits such as gardening without gloves can leave us at risk of picking up parasites. If we're not doing anything to get rid of them, they're probably going to stick around. Wormwood, black walnut hull and cloves are generally taken in a fairly low dose for a month. After a month off, they are then taken for another month.
Extracts from wormwood (artemisinin and artesunate) are used widely to treat both malaria and borreliosis (Lyme disease). These extracts tend to be from sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua) rather than Artemisia absinthium, perhaps because sweet wormwood, known as Qing Hao, has long been used as an antimalarial treatment in parts of China. In Chinese medicine, the whole herb is used rather than an extract. It's likely that there are many active ingredients that work together. In Western medicine however, it's all about repeatable amounts of measurable active ingredient, which is why the extracts are used. Of course, pharmaceutical companies can't patent a plant, but they can patent an extract or an extraction method.
TheoryWormwood can be useful in several ways when fighting chronic disease:
- As part of the Hulda Clark parasite cleanse, along with black walnut hull and cloves
- As an anti-protozoa treatment (it is used in this way to treat acute malaria
- As a general anti-microbial treatment
- As a treatment for acute psychosis
- Directly on the skin to treat Lyme-related skin conditions, and itching or burning sensations (NOT in sensitive areas)
IdentificationWormwood and sweet wormwood look very similar. They're actually members of the daisy family. You can grow them in your garden, or keep an eye out to find them in the wild. They're most likely to be found in wasteground, as they don't like enriched soils. They are hardy perennials. The easiest way to recognise them is probably the shape of the leaf. If you taste the leaf you will know for sure whether you're right, as wormwood is one of the bitterest plants around.
Both A. absinthium and A. annua can be used to treat chronic disease.
CollectionWormwood flowers in late summer. Pick it as it's coming into flower, or once in flower. To collect sustainably, take no more than three stems from a large bush. Cut the stem with secateurs or similar to avoid damaging the plant. Some sources state that you should wear gloves when collecting it, as the active ingredients can be absorbed through the skin.
PreparationThe choice with wormwood is whether to chop it and turn it into a tincture, or whether to dry it and take it as a tea or infusion.
- Chop finely and put into a jar.
- Cover with 40% vodka or similar.
- Shake every day for a fortnight.
- Strain through a muslin cloth or similar, bottle and date.
- Keep in a cool dark place.
DryingDry on the stem. Hang somewhere warm and airy for around a week. Once dry, separate the flowers and leaves from the stems. Put into an airtight jar and store in a cool, dark place. It is unlikely the wormwood will moulder, as it contains such good anti-fungal chemicals.
DosageIf taking as part of the Hulda Clark parasite cleanse, take 10-15 drops of tincture 3 times a day.
- If taking the higher "acute malaria" dose, take 20-30 drops four times a day for 3-4 days.
- Alternatively, put a teaspoonful of dried wormwood into a cup, pour boiling water over, cover and leave for 5 minutes. Drink. Do this 3-4 times a day.
- If taking to treat psychosis, use as above for "acute malaria".
- If applying directly to skin, first try it on a small area to be sure that the skin can take it. If it can, rub tincture into affected areas (itching, burning, strange skin conditions etc) as and when required.
- An alternative treatment method involves waiting until a particular symptom appears, one that has historically been helped by wormwood. When it does, hit it hard with the wormwood. Dosage may vary, but the acute malaria dose is a good place to start. Do not take wormwood at a high dose for more than a few days. If taking a lower dose, take for no more than a month, and then have a month's break.
WARNINGSDO NOT USE IF PREGNANT - Wormwood has long been used to cause abortions.
DO NOT TAKE FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME - If taking low dose wormwood for the Hulda Clark parasite cleanse, it's OK to take it for a month. If you're taking the higher dose to treat malaria, Lyme or other microbial infection, only take for 3 or 4 days in any week. If it's taken at too high a dose for too long, wormwood can cause permanent harm to the nervous system.
If applying the tincture directly to the skin, try it on a small area to check for sensitivity first. DO NOT use it on sensitive areas.
My ExperienceI originally tried wormwood as part of the Hulda Clark parasite cleanse, as I'd read that when treating Lyme it's important to get rid of any parasites first.
I then took the pharmaceutical antibiotic Cefuroxime, which gets through the blood-brain barrier very well, for three months. When this course came to an end, all hell broke loose in my head. I guess it's because a lot of "hibernating" forms of Borrelia (or whatever else is in there) suddenly realised it was safe to come out again. I lost insight into my condition, and probably went a little crazy.
I don't know why, but I was drawn to the wormwood. I had some tincture left over from the parasite cleanse. I took about 5ml in hot water. Almost immediately I started to feel a lot better, in control of my mind again. I took a similar dose a few hours later, and again, until I was feeling OK.
I subsequently looked into wormwood, and found out about its value as an anti-microbial, in treating malaria. I later cottoned on to the use of artemisinin and artesunate in treating Lyme. Indeed, my LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) suggested I try artesunate, but I've stuck with wormwood. I largely use it as a tincture, but am going to try it as a tea as well. It's become one of my "Big Three" herbs, along with fly agaric and yew.
I sometimes use the wormwood tincture directly on my skin, when I get a sudden outbreak of burning and itching in hands and feet. It does seem to help to take it internally at these times as well.
I've recently found that St John's wort seems to soften the edges of the wormwood, to sooth the nerves somehow, and is a good complement to the wormwood.