Variation in the composition of the essential oil of commercial Artemisia absinthium L. herb samples from different countries




Artemisia absinthium L., essential oil, terpenes, chemotypes, (E)-sabinyl acetate, (E)-epoxyocymene, β-thujone


Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L., Asteraceae) is an aromatic bitter herb that contains bitter-tasting metabolites and essential oil. The composition and biological effects of A. absinthium essential oil have been widely studied. However, the data on the content of the individual components vary significantly.

The aim. The aim of the study was to research the compositions of essential oils from A. absinthium herb, which are on the market in various European countries and determine difference in their compositions, possible chemotypes, and compliance of the essential oil samples with the European Pharmacopeia requirements.

Materials and Methods. The composition of 16 essential oil samples of A. absinthium herb from different countries was investigated using the gas chromatography method. Samples were obtained from retail pharmacies in 14 different countries.

Research results. A total of 41 compounds were identified in the studied A. absinthium essential oils. In all the samples, monoterpenes and monoterpenoids dominate (28.0-92.2 %), much less sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpenoids (0-18.9 %). The dominant components among the identified ones were sabinene (traces(tr.)-21,2 %), myrcene (0.1-25.6 %), p-cymene (0.2-6.5 %), 1,8-cineole (0.1-18.0 %), artemisia ketone (tr.-14.9 %), linalool (tr.-10.8 %), β-thujone (0.1-38.7 %), (E)-epoxyocymene (tr.-59.7 %), (E)-verbenol (tr.-7.9 %), borneol (tr.-11.7 %), (E)-sabinyl acetate (tr.-70.5 %), neryl butyrate (0-13.9 %), spathulenol (tr.-9.2 %), caryophyllene oxide (tr.-7.3 %). Both “pure”-chemotypes and “mixed”-chemotypes of A. absinthium have been defined.

Conclusions. Two”pure”-chemotype consist of 70.5 % (E)-sabinyl acetate and 59,2 % (E)-epoxyocymene, respectively. Also, eleven "mixed"-chemotypes of A. absinthium essential oils have been defined. Some correlations were established between the content of terpenes in the A. absinthium essential oils

Author Biographies

Raal Ain, University of Tartu

PhD, Professor

Institute of Pharmacy

Тetiana Ilina, Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University

Doctor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor

Department of Pharmaceutical Management, Drug Technology and Pharmacognosy

Alla Kovaleva, National University of Pharmacy

Doctor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor

Department of Pharmacognosy

Anne Orav, Tallinn University of Technology

PhD, Senior Researcher

Institute of Chemistry

Margit Karileet, University of Tartu

Institute of Pharmacy

Mariana Džaniašvili, University of Tartu

Institute of Pharmacy

Taras Koliadzhyn, Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University

PhD, Associate Professor

Department of Pharmaceutical Management, Drug Technology and Pharmacognosy

Andriy Grytsyk, Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University

Doctor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor, Head of Department

Department of Pharmaceutical Management, Drug Technology and Pharmacognosy

Oleh Koshovyi, National University of Pharmacy

Doctor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor

Department of Pharmacognosy


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Variation in the composition of the essential oil of commercial Artemisia absinthium L. herb samples from different countries




How to Cite

Ain, R., Ilina Т., Kovaleva, A., Orav, A., Karileet, M., Džaniašvili, M., Koliadzhyn, T., Grytsyk, A., & Koshovyi, O. (2024). Variation in the composition of the essential oil of commercial Artemisia absinthium L. herb samples from different countries. ScienceRise: Pharmaceutical Science, (2 (48), 19–28.



Pharmaceutical Science