Absinthism is a condition that was believed to be caused by chronic consumption of absinthe, a highly alcoholic beverage that is traditionally made by infusing wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and other herbs in high-proof alcohol. It was believed to be caused by the thujone content in the wormwood, which was thought to have psychoactive effects and lead to symptoms such as hallucinations, tremors, seizures, and even death.
However, modern research has suggested that thujone alone is not responsible for the symptoms associated with absinthism. Instead, it is thought to be caused by the combination of high alcohol content, the presence of other toxic compounds in the beverage, and the effects of chronic alcohol abuse.
The symptoms of absinthism can include:
- Muscle spasms
These symptoms can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
While absinthe is now legal in many countries and is generally considered safe when consumed in moderation, excessive consumption of absinthe or other alcoholic beverages can lead to a variety of health risks, including liver damage, alcohol poisoning, and addiction.
Treatment for absinthism typically involves supportive care, such as hydration, nutritional support, and management of any complications that may arise. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required.
Prevention of absinthism involves limiting alcohol consumption, particularly of high-proof alcoholic beverages, and seeking medical attention for alcohol abuse or addiction. It’s also important to be aware of the potential risks associated with consuming absinthe or other alcoholic beverages and to consume them in moderation.