Wormwood FLIES off shelves cure Covid? Anti-vaxxers jump on latest 'miracle' cure for the virus

Wormwood FLIES off shelves cure Covid? Anti-vaxxers jump on latest 'miracle' cure for the virus
A wormwood plant (L) and a Covid-19 travel advisory (David Monniaux/Wikimedia Commons and Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Anti-vaxxers are determined to find anything to combat Covid, apart from approved vaccines. The latest fad amongst vocal anti-vaxxers is wormwood, a plant-based compound that is used in medicines, but for a very different purpose. Now doing the rounds on Twitter is a claim that if people can't find Ivermectin, they should use wormwood instead. Similar claims have now made their way to Facebook, and Telegram as well as other alternative social media platforms.

We've extensively reported on the "alternatives" anti-vaxxers have championed over the past year, as they vocally oppose the Covid-19 vaccines. On January 31, Reuters accidentally shared a story claiming Ivermectin could cure Covid, before correcting itself. Nonetheless, Candace Owens and others quickly shared the false story, and slammed the Biden administration. Other cures that have been touted include urine, hydroxychloroquineand weight-loss pills. 


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The CDC and WHO have repeatedly been forced to debunk all these claims, but it appears to have done little to daunt anti-vaxxer's enthusiasm. Wormwood has now become the latest to join the long list of supposed cures. If you are wondering whether it does help, we're sorry to say you might be disappointed.

Does wormwood cure Covid-19?

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is a herb, whose extract can be used as a flavoring agent for liquors such as absinthe and vermouth. It is also a popular medicinal herb and can be used to treat a wide variety of issues from pain-relieving to combating inflammation. It is also a well-known de-wormer that is used to treat parasites, but it is yet to be proven if such properties exist in humans, or if past claims are just anecdotal. 

However, wormwood is not entirely safe either. It was banned in the USA from 1912 until 2007 because of its highly hallucinogenic nature. In high doses, it can also be poisonous. Right now, not enough research has been done on wormwood to fully understand its medicinal benefits. Of particular concern is the compound thujone found in wormwood, which "can become toxic, even in small amounts" according to verywellhealthy.com. For that reason, the FDA classifies wormwood as an "unsafe herb".

While we have anecdotal evidence for curing parasites, wormwood has so far shown no efficiency in curing Covid-19, which is a virus (a different biological species altogether). Needless to say, this appears to be another false claim, with little scientific or medicinal backing. Nonetheless, there's now a chart going viral on social media showing wormwood's benefits for malaria, cancer, parasites, and Crohn's Disease, with one tweet even saying, "If you can’t get Ivermectin, buy Wormwood.(Artemisinin)"



There are currently two studies listed in the United States National Library of Medicine relating to Artemisinin and Covid-19. One, from Mexico, has been terminated and the second from Brazil has not yet begun clinical trials. Its possible wormwood can have some benefits, but until that study provides proof, you are better off not taking the compound. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective, at preventing Covid-19 and are recommended all over the world. In case you have any questions, you should talk to a competent medical professional. 

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