Absinthe
Once a major medical hazard, absinthe is an emerald-green liqueur flavored with extracts of the wormwood plant, licorice and aromatic flavorings in a alcohol base. Absinthe was manufactured, commercialized and popularized in France in the late 1700s by Henri-Louis Pernod. It became an extremely popular and addictive drink. Among the famous figures who made absinthe a symbol of decadence were the writer Oscar Wilde, the poet Charles Baudelaire, and the artists Edouard Manet, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso. The first important medical research on absinthe was initiated in 1864 by a psychiatrist, Valentin Jacques Joseph Magnan, who exposed a veritable Noah's arkful of animals to wormwood oil (the essence of absinthe) and alcohol (the base of absinthe). He put cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs under an individual glass case next to a saucer of either wormwood oil or alcohol. The animals that breathed the alcohol fumes became drunk while those that inhaled the vapors of wormwood had epileptic seizures, reported Dr. Magnan in the medical journal The Lancet. Prolonged drinking of absinthe causes convulsions, blindness, hallucinations, and mental deterioration. Absinthe has been banned but something of its taste of absinthe is still available in such drinks as ouzo in Greece and in France, pastis, long considered "the mother's milk of Provence."
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A liqueur consisting of an alcoholic extract of absinthium and other bitter herbs.

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ab·sinthe also ab·sinth 'ab-(.)sin(t)th n
1) WORMWOOD
2) a green liqueur flavored with wormwood or a substitute, anise, and other aromatics

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ab·sinthe (abґsinth) 1. absinthium (def. 1). 2. a liqueur made from an extract of Artemisia absinthium and other bitter herbs; its use has been banned because it contains neurotoxins and prolonged ingestion can cause trismus, amblyopia, optic neuritis, and convulsions.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Absinthe — is traditionally a distilled, highly alcoholic (45% 75% ABV) beverage. It is an anise flavored spirit derived from herbs, including the flowers and leaves of the herb Artemisia absinthium , also called wormwood. Absinthe has a characteristic… …   Wikipedia

  • ABSINTHE — Sa senteur puissante et son amertume extrême ont signalé très tôt l’absinthe (Artemisia absinthium L.) ou les armoises voisines à l’attention de l’homme en quête de remèdes. Mille six cents ans avant notre ère, un papyrus égyptien fait mention… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Absinthe — • Wormwood, known for its repulsive bitterness Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Absinthe     Absinthe     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • absinthe — (n.) also absinth, alcoholic liqueur distilled from wine mixed with wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), 1842, from Fr. absinthe, essence of wormwood, from L. absinthum wormwood, from Gk. apsinthion, perhaps from Persian (Cf. Pers. aspand, of the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • absinthe — ABSINTHE: Poison extra violent : un verre et vous êtes mort. Les journalistes en boivent pendant qu ils écrivent leurs articles. A tué plus de soldats que les Bédouins …   Dictionnaire des idées reçues

  • absinthe — or absinth [ab′sinth΄] n. [ME < OFr < L absinthium < Gr apsinthion] 1. wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) or its essence 2. a) a green, bitter, toxic liqueur made with wormwood oil and anise: now illegal in most countries b) a similar drink …   English World dictionary

  • Absinthe — Reservoirglas mit natürlich gefärbtem Absinth und Absinthlöffel Absinth, auch Absinthe oder Wermutspirituose genannt, ist ein alkoholisches Getränk, das traditionell aus Wermut, Anis, Fenchel sowie einer je nach Rezeptur unterschiedlichen Reihe… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • absinthe — (a bsin t , ou, suivant la prononciation réelle, a psin t ) s. f. 1°   Plante aromatique et très amère. L absinthe se nomme aussi aluine ; le nom scientifique est artemisia absinthium. 2°   Espèce de liqueur faite avec l absinthe. Prendre un… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Absinthe — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « Absinthe », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) Absinthe peut désigner : La grande et la …   Wikipédia en Français

  • absinthe — absinthial, absinthian, adj. /ab sinth/, n. 1. a green, aromatic liqueur that is 68 percent alcohol, is made with wormwood and other herbs, and has a bitter, licorice flavor: now banned in most Western countries. 2. wormwood (def. 2). Also,… …   Universalium

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