Absinthism | definition of absinthism by Medical dictionary
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Poisoning with absinthe, popular in fin-de-siècle France, which had a toxin, thujone, which was extracted from wormwood (Artemisia absinthium pontica), a plant used for de-worming. The neurologic effects of absinthe (with thujone)—mental deterioration, loss of time/space orientation, hallucinations—eventually led to its ban in 1915; consumption of wormwood oil may be linked to rhabdomyolysis and seizures
absinthism (ab′sin-thizm) [ absinthe + -ism]
Deterioration of the nervous system following excessive use of absinthe.
References in periodicals archive
experiments were conducted on guinea pigs that were given concentrated wormwood in sealed glass jars, making the results virtually inapplicable to human drinkers.
In part because a grape bug ravaged many of the vineyards in France, creating a wine shortage and driving up wine prices, the readily available absinthe became a rage in France in the 1880s and 1890s - so much so that the 5 o'clock bell at cafes and cabarets throughout the country became known as l'heure verte (the green hour) and absinthism
became its own sub-category of alcoholism.