WORMWOOD

WORMWOOD, according to most commentators to be identified with the scriptural לַעֲנָה (la'anah). It indicates evil (Deut. 29:17; Amos 5:7; et al.) as does the drinking of the liquid extracted from it (Lam. 3:15; et al.). In Arabic it is called shi'ah and in Syriac shiha. Consequently the opinion has been expressed that the si'aḥ in the phrase עֲלֵי שִׂיחַ in Job 30:4 means "the leaves of the wormwood." The Peshitta identifies aḥad hasiḥim ("one of the shrubs") of the desert under which Hagar cast Ishmael with wormwood (Gen. 21:15). Several species of wormwood grow wild in Israel in the sandy and desert regions. The most common is la'anat hamidbar ("desert wormwood"), the Artemisia herba-alba whose juice has a very bitter taste. It is possible that wormwood juice was extracted from it, as, despite its bitterness, it was regarded by the ancients as having therapeutic qualities. The Romans used to give it (absinthium) to the victors of the chariot races to drink since "health is an honorable prize" (Pliny, Historia Naturalis 27:45–46). In Greek, wormwood is called apsinthion (as the Septuagint translates la'anah). The Talmud (Av. Zar. 30a) mentions "bitter apsintin wine," i.e., wine to which apsinthion (wormwood) was added, not unlike modern vermouth, which is wine to which the species Artemisia absinthium has been added ("wormwood" is probably a corruption of the word vermouth). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Loew, Flora, 1 (1928), 386; H.N. and A.L. Moldenke, Plants of the Bible (1950), index; J. Feliks, Olam ha-Ẓome'aḥ ha-Mikra'i (19682), 180, 200. (Jehuda Feliks)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Wormwood — Worm wood, n. [AS. werm?d, akin to OHG. wermuota, wormuota, G. wermuth, wermut; of uncertain origin.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Bot.) A composite plant ({Artemisia Absinthium}), having a bitter and slightly aromatic taste, formerly used as a tonic and a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

  • wormwood — c.1400, folk etymology of O.E. wermod wormwood, related to VERMOUTH (Cf. vermouth), but the ultimate etymology is unknown. Cf. O.S. wermoda, Du. wermoet, O.H.G. werimuota, Ger. Wermut. Weekley suggests wer man + mod courage, from its early use as …   Etymology dictionary

  • wormwood — [wʉrm′wood΄] n. [ME wormwode, altered by folk etym. (infl. by worm,WORM + wode,WOOD1: from use as a vermifuge) < wermode < OE wermod, akin to Ger wermut (> Fr vermout, vermouth)] 1. any of a number of strong smelling plants (genus… …   English World dictionary

  • wormwood — ► NOUN 1) a woody shrub with a bitter aromatic taste, used as an ingredient of vermouth and absinthe and in medicine. 2) bitterness or grief, or a source of this. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • Wormwood — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Wormwood peut faire référence à : Wormwood, un comics de Ben Templesmith Wormwood, un album du groupe Marduk Wormwood, un titre de l album World of… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wormwood — The essence of absinthe, 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… …   Medical dictionary

  • wormwood — kartusis kietis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Astrinių šeimos prieskoninis, vaistinis nuodingas augalas (Artemisia absinthium), paplitęs Europoje ir Azijoje. Naudojamas maisto priedams (kvėpikliams) gaminti. atitikmenys: lot. Artemisia… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

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