Here is some detailed information
I have found on the ingredients of absinthe.(from "Dick's Encyclopedia of Practical Receipts and Processes", 19th century, as transcribed by Dale Pendell in "Pharmako/Poeia")
The dried and powdered herb is used as a vermifuge.
The oil is poisonous and should only be used externally. It should not
be taken for more than a few weeks. In ancient Mexico, women enacted a
ritual dance to honor of the Goddess of Salt, where they wore garlands
of wormwood in their hair. It depresses the central medullary part of the
brain, which is the area concerned with pain and anxiety. The tea is used
to help alleviate the pain of childbirth. Used occasionally, it will soothe
the nerves and balance the mind. Excessive long-term use of wormwood liqueur
(absinthe) may be habit-forming and cause brain damage.
Common Name: ABSINTHE, OLDMAN, WORMWOOD
Action: analgesic, anthelmintic, antifertility,
antiseptic, antispasmodic, apertif, bitter, carminative, cholagogue, deobstruent,
digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, entheogen, febrifuge, narcotic, stimulant,
Used to Treat: anemia, anxiety, cancer (liver),
childbirth, chlorosis, depression, depurative, fever, flatulence, gastric
pain, gout, gravel, heartburn, indigestion, jaundice, leukemia, liver insufficiency,
melancholy, migraine, nerves, neuralgia, orthopedic ailments, pain, poor
appetite, rheumatism, sclerosis, skin irritation, tremors, wen, worms,
Use: liqueur, poison
8.5 g Hyssop
History and Chemical Composition.?Hyssop inhabits
Europe and this country, being raised principally in gardens. It flowers
in July. The tops and leaves are the medicinal parts; their odor is pleasantly
fragrant, and their taste hot, spicy and somewhat bitter, which properties
are due to a volatile aromatic oil, which rises in distillation both with
water and with alcohol.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.?Stimulant, aromatic,
carminative and tonic. Principally used in quinsy and other sore throats,
as a gargle, combined with sage and alum, in infusion sweetened with honey.
Also recommended in asthma, coughs, and other affections of the chest,
as an expectorant.The leaves, applied to bruises, speedily relieve the
pain, and disperse every spot or mark from the parts affected. The infusion
(herb, iv to aqua Oj) may be given freely; the volatile oil, in doses of
1 or 2 drops.
ALSO SEE: Verbena hastata
Externally, blue vervain tea heals sores and wounds.
Common Name: AMERICAN VERVAIN, BLUE VERVAIN, FALSE
VERVAIN, HYSSOP, INDIAN HYSSOP, PURVAIN, SIMPLER'S-JOY, SIMPLERS JOY, TRAVELERS
JOY, VERVAIN, WILD HYSSOP
Action: anthelmintic, antiperiodic, diaphoretic,
emetic, expectorant, febrifuge, hemostat, sedative, sudorific, tonic, tranquilizer,
Used to Treat: albuminuria, common cold, congestion,
ear ailments, fever, gastro-intestinal disturbances, insomnia, intestinal
worms, nervous problems, sores, stomach ache, urinary ailments, viral infections,
1.8 g Calamus (Sweet Flag)
Calamus Root is considered to have anti-arrhythmic,
hypotensive, vasodilatory, anti-tussive, anti-bacterial and expectorant
properties. Calamus has been used for lack of mental focus, stomach problems,
acidity, and as an aid to quit tobacco smoking.
Calamus has been shown to be of low toxicity in animals, and adverse reactions are rare. Though recent studies have revealed the presence of B-asarone, a carcinogen, the American variety is considered superior to the European because it seems to lack this ingredient. The Native Americans would chew the root while running long distances to increase endurance and stamina. Externally it is added to the bath to quiet the nerves and induce a state of tranquillity. Tincture of Calamus is useful as a parasiticide when directly, and frequently, applied to lice and scabies infestations.
Calamus does have emmanagogic properties and should be avoided during pregnancy.
Calamus also called sweet-flag. The unpeeled dried
rhizome of the perennial herb is used as a carminative, a tonic, and a
stimulant. It can also be taken for coughs and used to scent potpourris.
A bit may be chewed for dyspepsia and to suppress the urge for tobacco.
It has a super-good delicious smell, but a somewhat bitter taste. It has
been used medicinally since ancient Greek and Arabian times and is mentioned
in the Old Testament, though in fact it was confused with citronella grass
Roots are collected in late autumn or spring, washed,
voided of root fibers and dried with moderate heat. Root may be chewed
or broken up and boiled as a tea. Root deteriorates with age and is usually
inactive after 1 year. Must be stored closed in cool dry place. A piece
of dried root the thickness of a pencil and about 2 inches long provides
stimulating and buoyant feelings. A piece 10 inches long is reported to
act as a mind alterant and hallucinogen, but will more likely be violently
emetic, especially when mixed with alcohol.
Common Name: CALAMUS, GRASS MYRTLE, MYRTLE FLAG,
RAT ROOT, SWEET FLAG, SWEET GRASS, SWEET MYRTLE, SWEET RUSH
Family: acoraceae, araceae
Contains: asarone, beta asarone, b-asarone
Chemical Composition.?Trommsdorff found it to contain
essential oil, resin, extractive with chloride of potassium, gum with phosphate
of potassium, starchy matter, woody fiber, and water. The oil is lighter
than water, and is pale yellow, very odorous and pungent. Kurbatow (1873)
found this oil to contain a hydrocarbon (C10H16), which, with hydrochloric
acid, formed a crystalline compound, and another hydrocarbon refusing to
combine with this acid (Pharmacographia). Faust (1867) obtained a bitter
glucosid, of a brownish color, and of a semi-fluid consistence, which he
named acorin (C36H60O6). It contains no nitrogen when purified, is insoluble
in water and benzol, but dissolves in alcohol, methylic alcohol, chloroform,
and ether. Flückiger (Pharmacographia), by precipitating a decoction
with tannin, and treating the precipitate with litharge, and exhausting
the residue with chloroform, obtained a minute quantity of a very bitter,
crystalline solid. Thoms (1886) thought to have obtained a crystalline
alkaloid, calamine, which, however, in 1888 he declared to be trimethylamine.
This result is supported by the observation of Kunz (1888) who found choline
to exist in calamus root.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.?The root is carminative,
slightly tonic, and excitant, and forms a useful adjunct to other tonics
and stimulants. It may be used in cases of flatulent colic, atonic dyspepsia,
feebleness of the digestive organs, and to aid the action of cinchona or
quinine in intermittents. It forms an excellent substitute, in syrup, for
Godfrey's cordial. In flatulent colic of infants it is best combined with
magnesia. Externally, it is a valuable application to indolent ulcers,
and to keep up the discharges from blistered surfaces and issues. Dose
of the infusion made by scalding 4 drachms of the root, coarsely bruised,
in 8 fluid ounces of water, from 4 to 6 fluid ounces; of the powdered root,
20 to 40 grains; a tincture may be prepared from 1 part of the root and
5 parts of alcohol. Dose, from 5 to 30 minims
The medicinal part of the plant is its fleshy underground
stem, which stimulates appetite and digestion while combating spasms, relieving
gas, and calming the nerves.
6.0 g Melissa
Melisse, Melissa officinalis
Common Name - BALM MINT, BEE BALM, BLUE BALM, CURE-ALL,
DROPSY PLANT, GARDEN BALM, LEMON BALM, LEMONBALM, MELISSA, SWEET BALM
Used during pregnancy for headaches and dizziness.
The warm infusion of the leaves has diaphoretic effects, and when added
to bath water is also said to promote the onset of menstruation. Use the
crushed leaves as a poultice for sores, tumors, milk-knots, and insect
bites. Balm is also used in herb pillows because of its agreeable odor.
When bruised, the whole plant smells like lemon. It is used to induce copious
Although officially recognized only for its ability
to calm the nerves, Lemon Balm has also been used as a remedy for bloating
and gas, mood disorders, bronchial inflammation, high blood pressure, palpitations,
vomiting, toothache, earache, and headache
Only the plant's leaves are medicinal.
Lemon Balm can be found in the form of dried herb,
herb powder, and liquid or dry extracts, as well as various liquid and
solid commercial preparations.
To make a tea, pour a cup of hot water over 1.5
to 4.5 grams (about one-quarter to 1 teaspoonful) of crushed Lemon Balm,
steep for 10 minutes, and strain.
The usual daily dose of Lemon Balm is 8 to 10 grams
(about 2 teaspoonfuls)
Because the strength of commercial preparations
may vary, follow the manufacturer's instructions whenever available.
Balm is a native of southern France, but is naturalized
in various parts of Europe and the United States. It grows in fields, along
roadsides, and is well-known as a garden plant, flowering from May to August.
The whole plant is medicinal, and should be collected previous to its flowering.
In the recent state, it has a lemon-like odor, which is nearly lost by
drying. Boiling water extracts its virtues.
Chemical Composition.?Balm contains a bitter substance,
some tannin., gum, and a peculiar volatile oil, which is yellowish, or
reddish-yellow, very limpid, about 0.89 in density, and possessing the
fragrance of the plant in a very high degree. A stearopten is present in
it (Bizio); the oil is soluble in 5 parts of alcohol. The yield in oil
does not exceed 0.1 per cent. The infusion of balm is incompatible with
nitrate of silver, acetate of lead, and sulphate of iron.
30.0 g Anise Seed
The fruit of Pimpinella Anisum, Linné"?(U.S.P.).
(Anisum vulgare, Moench).
COMMON NAMES: Aniseed, Anise
Digestive, Calming, Relaxing.
Chemical Composition.?A volatile oil is contained
in the external coat of the seeds, while a green-colored, fat oil of a
butyraceous consistency, is obtained by expression of their inclosed substance.
Brandes obtained from the fruit of anise, concrete fixed oil, green fat
oil, resin, nitrogenous matter, sugar, gum, bimalate and binacetate of
calcium, bimalate of potassium, volatile oil, lignin, silicate of iron,
water, gum-resin, phosphate of calcium, extractive with various salts,
The star-anise of cordial manufacturers possesses
a taste and odor similar to the anise, but is procured from the Illicium
Anisatum, Loureiro, a plant growing in Eastern Asia. A volatile oil is
obtained by distillation from its fruit, which is often fraudulently substituted
for the oil of anise; it is called oleum badiani or oil of star anise.
Oil of common anise is sometimes adulterated with spermaceti or camphor,
to promote its solidification; the former may be known by its insolubility
in cold alcohol, the latter by its odor.
Oil of anise yields, upon oxidation, anisic acid
(C8H8O3=C6H4[OCH3]COOH). This acid occurs in the form of colorless crystals,
insoluble in water, but freely soluble in alcohol. It is an oxidation product
of anethol (C10H12O) (the chief principle of the oils of anise [94 per
cent, Flückiger], star anise and fennel), obtained by fractional distillation
of the oil of anise, reserving and purifying that fraction distilling from
230° to 234° C. (446° to 453.2° F.).
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.?A stimulant and
carminative; used in cases of flatulency, flatulent colic of infants, and
to remove nausea. Sometimes added to other medicines to improve their flavor,
correct griping and other disagreeable effects. The dose of aniseed, crushed
or powdered, is from 20 to 40 grains. Infusion, for infants, in doses of
Derivatives.?ANISIC ACID is claimed to be antipyretic
and antiseptic acting very much like salicylic acid, and has been employed
with reputed success in articular rheumatism, and as a topical application
to wounds. For internal use sodium anisate is preferred, the acid being
but little used. Dose of the salt, 15 grains.
25.0 g Fennel Seed
"The fruit of Foeniculum capillaceum, Gilibert"?(U.
S. P.) (Foeniculum vulgare, Gaertner; Foeniculum officinale, Allioni; Anethum
Foeniculum, Linné, Meum Foeniculum, Sprengel).
COMMON NAMES AND SYNONYM: Common fennel, Fennel
fruits, Fennel seeds, Sweet fennel, Roman fennel; Semen foeniculi.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.?Carminative, stimulant,
galactagogue, diuretic, and diaphoretic. Used in flatulent colic, and as
a corrigent of unpleasant medicines. May be used in amenorrhoea and in
suppressed lactation. Dose of powdered seeds, from 10 to 30 grains; infusion
(grs. xl. to aqua Oss), 1 teaspoonful (infants) to wineglassful (adults).
Chemical Composition and Tests.?Oil of fennel contains
from 50 to 60 per cent of anethol (see Oleum Anisi) which crystallizes
out upon cooling, and dextro-fenchone (C10H16O, Wallach and Hartmann, 1890),
an oily, camphoraceous ketone of bitter taste, solidifying above the temperature
of melting ice, boiling at 192° to 193° C. (377.6° to 379.4°
F.) and forming with hydroxylamine a crystallizable oxime (C10H16:N.OH),
characterized by its melting point, 164° to 165° C. (327.2°
to 329° F.). Furthermore, dextro-pinene and dipentene are present.
Tardy (1897) found in a specimen of French fennel oil, in addition, methyl-chavicol
(see Oleum Anisi), and perhaps anise-ketone (C6H4.OCH3.CH2COCH3). The relative
amounts of these constituents vary according to the geographical sources
of the oil; thus, fenchone is entirely absent in sweet or Roman fennel
from southern France and Macedonia, while Sicilian fennel (Foeniculum piperitum,
De Candolle) contains but traces of anethol. Oil of bitter fennel, growing
wild in France, Spain, and Algeria, contains principally dextro-phellandrene,
and traces of fenchone and anethol. According to Gildemeister and Hoffmann
(Die Aetherischen Oele, p. 740), oil of fennel from which part of its anethol
is removed by refrigeration, does not solidify at or above 3° C. (37.4°
F.). An addition of alcohol or oil of turpentine reduces the specific gravity
of the oil. The specific gravities, according to Schimmel and Co. (Report,
April, 1897), range from 0.920 (Spanish fruit) to 0.987 (Asia Minor or
Aleppo fruit). The U. S. P. gives the following tests for the purity of
oil of fennel: "The oil is not colored by the addition of a drop of ferric
chloride T.S. (absence of some foreign oils containing phenols, and of
carbolic acid). If the oil be dropped into water, without agitation, it
should not produce a milky turbidity (absence of alcohol)"?(U. S. P.).
10.0 g Star Anise
The fruit of Illicium verum, Hooker.
COMMON NAMES AND SYNONYMS: Star-anise, Star-anise
fruit, Chinese anise; Semen badiana, Anisi stellata fructus.
Star-anise should not be confounded with the very
similar but poisonous fruit of Illicium anisatum, Linné
The volatile oil (oil of star-anise), amounts to
about 4 to 5 per cent, and is almost identical with oil of anise (from
Pimpinella Anisum, Linné). Star-anise oil (from Chinese fruit) according
to Schimmel and Co.'s Semi-annual Report (October, 1893), has the specific
gravity at 15° C. (59° F.), of 0.980 to 0.990, and its known constituents
are anethol, phellandrene, safrol, and hydro-quinone-ethyl-ether, while
only anethol (C6H4[OCH3][CH:CHCH3]) and pinene ([C10H16]) (Flückiger,
Pharmacognosie, 1891) are given as the constituents of anise oil, which
has the same density as star-anise oil.
Both the seeds and oil of star-anise possess the
stimulant, diuretic, carminative, and slightly anodyne properties of anise.
Locally applied and internally administered, they have been used for abdominal
pains, particularly when associated with flatus, and in bronchitis, and
locally alone in earache and rheumatic complaints. The dose of the powder
is from 10 to 20 grains; of the oil, from 1 to 10 drops. Oil of star-anise
is largely employed to impart a flavor to spirits, especially in France,
Germany and Italy.
3.2 g Coriander Seed
Coriander is a stimulant and carminative, and is
employed in medicine as an adjuvant or corrigent. Its dose is from 20 to
Put the dry herbs in a large jar. Dampen slightly.
Add 800 milliliters of 85-95 percent alcohol. Wine spirits make a better
product than pure grain alcohol. Let steep for several days - a week is
better - shaking occasionally. Then add 600 milliliters of water and let
the whole macerate for another day. Decant off the liquid squeezing
as much from the mass of herb as possible. Wet the herbs with some vodka
and squeeze again. Recipe should give a little over a liter and a half
of green liquor. It must then be distilled.
Color the distillate by again adding:
4.2 g mint
1.1 g melisssa
3.0 g wormwood
1.0 g citron peel
4.2 g liquorice root
Other Plants containing thujone:
Salvia officinalis L. - Sage (Leaf)
Salvia triloba L. - Greek Sage (Plant)
Artemisia dracunculus L. - Tarragon (Shoot)
Mentha x rotundifolia (L.) HUDSON - Applemint (Leaf)
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium SCHRAD. - Slenderleaf Mountain
Mentha pulegium L. - European Pennyroyal (Plant)
Thymus orospedanus H. del VILLAR - Orosped Thyme
Achillea millefolium L. - Yarrow (Plant)
Capsicum frutescens L. - Cayenne (Fruit)
Carum carvi L. - Caraway (Fruit)
Glycyrrhiza glabra L. - Licorice (Root)
Juniperus sabina L. - Sabine (Plant)
Matricaria recutita L. - Annual Chamomile (Plant)
Mentha arvensis L. - Cornmint (Plant)
Sassafras albidum (NUTT.) NEES - Sassafras (Root)
Satureja hortensis L. - Summer Savory (Plant)