ABSINTHE’S Mind-Altering Mystery Solved?

April 29, 2008

Source: Yahoo

Some highlights from a new article.

The culprit seems plain and simple: The century-old absinthe contained about 70 percent alcohol, giving it a 140-proof kick. In comparison, most gins, vodkas and whiskeys are just 80- to 100-proof.

In recent years, the psychedelic nature of absinthe has been hotly debated. Absinthe was notorious among 19th-century and early 20th-century bohemian artists as “the Green Fairy” that expanded the mind. After it became infamous for madness and toxic side effects among drinkers, it was widely banned.

The modern scientific consensus is that absinthe’s reputation could simply be traced back to alcoholism, or perhaps toxic compounds that leaked in during faulty distillation. Still, others have pointed at a chemical named thujone in wormwood, one of the herbs used to prepare absinthe and the one that gives the drink its green color. Thujone was blamed for “absinthe madness” and “absinthism,” a collection of symptoms including hallucinations, facial tics, numbness and dementia.

Read the entire article HERE.



  1. “Based on what we’ve discovered, large consumption of old absinthe would have greatly disrupted the nervous system,” said scientist John Casida, professor of environmental chemistry and toxicology. “Our findings could explain many of the symptoms described in the literature.”
    Casida said it was not previously known how the neurotoxin alpha-thujone, found not only in absinthe but also in many popular herbal medicines, acted on the body to bring about poisoning or whether the mechanism could account for strange behaviors noted in many 19th century absinthe drinkers. Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Baudelaire were among them.
    The Berkeley researchers discovered that alpha-thujone acts on the same brain receptor responsible for a form of epilepsy. The receptor controls the chloride channel that regulates excitation and keeps neurons under control.
    “Basically, alpha-thujone blocks the channel and allows the neurons to fire too easily,” said postdoctoral researcher Karin Höld, co-author of the study along with Casida; fellow postdoc Nilantha Sirisoma; and two collaborators at Northwestern University Medical School, Tomoko Ikeda and Toshio Narahashi.
    “In light of the findings on how alpha-thujone works, it’s not surprising that absinthe had such a remarkable effect,” Casida said.


    If ‘they found relatively small concentrations of thujone in that absinthe’ I think they should test on AbsintheX ( 111mg of thujone) and ‘DIY Absinthe’ or to stop drinking, and to change the sponsor…

    Personally I recommend:

    – Benzene in soft drinks: E211 + E300 + E212 or E 213 – maybe not ‘greatly disrupted the nervous system’ but cancer is guaranteed,
    – Amanita muscaria (not apply: Siberian, ancient Indian and Scandinavian cultures) or Amanita phalloides: 100% natural,
    – and Absolutely Perfect an Altered State of Mind the Most Powerful Generator: the .44 Magnum…

    Drugs are for the people without imagination. And I’ll never understand why so many people prefer ‘the Easy Way’ when it’s just as easy to be like a Child.

  2. BTW I don’t know why most people think that ‘if you see/feel/think/create or doing something different than me for sure you are drunk/drug/madman or you eat too little or too much at dinner.’
    Every one see the world and other people the way they learned to see them.

  3. lol thanks for the alternative suggestions. I’ll stick with beer *winks*

  4. I remember when they were first introducing Jagermeister in The U.S. It was getting the same hype that Absinthe is now. All the talk about opium and such. Not really a hard alcohol drinker and I wouldn’t be interested in a hallucinogen.

    From my experience, you drink enough of anything you’re guaranteed to see something.

  5. its afucken mazinge drink ):

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