wormwoodRecently, a student related a story about using wormwood to treat her son’s case of ring worm. She had tried a number of things – all alternative in nature. Then she tried a combination of colloidal silver and wormwood (she did the combining – they did not come that way). She had been using the colloidal silver and noted some improvement and then with the addition of the wormwood, it disappeared. Now there are only two reasons this can occur. One is that wormwood is an anti-fungal which is what is needed for ringworm. The other reason might be that the ringworm was not ringworm and was parasitical in nature as wormwood is for parasites.

I decided to do some research. And surprisingly there is quite a bit. It has been studied as a tea for treatment of fever and malaria and topically, it has been studied for use in treating fungus in plants, so if you are potato, wormwood is your herb.  I can find sites that discuss it as an anti-fungal for people but no studies with humans. It is certainly worth a try, at least topically.

However, it was the study about using wormwood in place of Prednisone that caught my attention. For those who are not aware, prednisone is a nasty drug. It is a corticosteroid that is used as an anti-inflammatory and can suppress the immune system.  It is commonly used to treat allergies, skin conditions, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, psoriasis, lupus and asthma.

It comes with a laundry list of side effects including headaches, moodiness, depression, rattled breathing,  pounding in the ears, tingling n the legs or arms, alterations in heart rate, swelling of the hands and feet, issues with speech, thinking or walking, backache  and the one that seems to be the most common is weight gain. And it is not any old type of weight gain – it is a puffy weight gain especially in the face. Prednisone also damages the stomach and intestinal lining especially in those taking NSAIDS drugs like naproxen or even aspirin and ibuprofen.  And of course, the lining of the intestinal is critical to the health of the good bacteria, and lack of good bacteria is connected to all the conditions listed above that prednisone is used to treat so it is further compounding the original problem.

The study I found looked at 40 people with Crohn’s Disease (CD), all taking prednisone. They were divided into two groups. One group continued to take the prednisone for two week and then were weaned off prednisone and given wormwood (3 x 500 mg a day) as they weaned down. By week 10 they were all off the steroid drug and were just on the wormwood. The other group followed the same procedure but were given a placebo instead of the wormwood. The wormwood group continued to improve until the study ended at the 20 weeks. The placebo group deteriorated after the tapering off from the steroids and 16 participants had to resume the steroids after week 10.

In another study of 10 participants with Crohn’s, wormwood (3 x 750 mg a day) was administered along with their basic CD therapy for 6 weeks while 10 others were given a placebo. They found that the wormwood inhibited TNF-alpha, an inflammatory chemical that plays a role in Crohn’s Disease.

Both studies found that wormwood also improved mood and quality of life for CD patients.

I pass this along to you for those who may know someone with Chrohn’s (or perhaps want to get off  prednisone). Wormwood could be a helpful addition to their CD protocol and is worth discussing with their health practitioner, especially if it allows them to avoid taking prednisone.

Remember, always consult a doctor, before stopping any medication so that it can be done safely and properly.


Pharmacokinetic study of artemisinin after oral intake of a traditional preparation of Artemisia annua L. (annual wormwood).Räth K1, Taxis K, Walz G, Gleiter CH, Li SM, Heide L, Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2004 Feb;70(2):128-

Steroid-sparing effect of wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) in Crohn’s disease: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Omer B1, Krebs S, Omer H, Noor TO.Phytomedicine. 2007 Feb;14(2-3):87-95. Epub 2007 Jan 19.

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) suppresses tumour necrosis factor alpha and accelerates healing in patients with Crohn’s disease – A controlled clinical trial. Krebs S1, Omer TN, Omer B.Phytomedicine. 2010 Apr;17(5):305-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2009.10.013. Epub 2009 Dec 3.

In vitro growth inhibition of Fusarium solani, the causal agent of potato dry rot by Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) extract, Jafar Nikan, Arezoo Dehghanpour, Journal of Plant and Pest Science, Vol 2, No 1 (2015)