• Clinical data 90%
  • Efficacy 80%
  • Security 80%
  • Toxicity 20%


Artemisia absinthium L.

Major chemical constituents

The active ingredients are the sesquiterpene lactones, responsible for the bitter taste of the drug, and the essential oil.

– The sesquiterpene lactones (0.15 – 0.4%) are mainly of the guayanolide type. Among them, stands out the absintina (dyed guayanolide, 0.20 – 0.28%), accompanied by artabsina, matricina and anabsintina among others.

– The essential oil (0.2-1.5%) is of variable composition. According to the origin of the drug and the chemotype, the major components, which can reach a percentage higher than 40% of the essence, are: alpha-tuyona (1S, 4R-tuyan-3-one), trans-sabinyl acetate, cis-epoxiocimeno or chrysanthenyl acetate. Other mono- and sesquiterpenes present in lower concentration are: ß-tuyona (1S, 4S-tuyan-3-one) tuyano, tuyol, linalool, 1,8-cineol, β-bisanolol, α-curcumene and spatulenol.

– Other constituents are: flavonoids, acids phenols (caffeic acid), tannins.

Medical uses of Artemisia absinthium

ESCOP approves its use in case of anorexia, for example in the convalescence of diseases, and dyspepsia.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approves traditional use for the treatment of temporary loss of appetite, dyspepsia and other mild gastrointestinal disorders.

Traditionally it has been used as an aromatic bitter in case of: inappetence, anorexia, dyspepsia hiposecretoras, hepatobiliary dyskinesias, gastrointestinal spasms and flatulence, generally associated with other drugs with the same indications, such as: gentian root, angelica root, achillea sumidad , fennel fruit, flowering mint summit, dandelion root, among others.

In folk medicine, it has also been used in the treatment of oxyuriasis, internally, and in joint pain, dermatomycosis, otitis, wounds, burns and dermal ulcerations, topically.

A clinical study has shown that a wormwood extract cream reduces pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis, with an effectiveness similar to that of piroxicam gel.

In preliminary studies, a product based on wormwood, rosehip, cardamom and mastic powder has been shown to be effective in improving the quality of life of patients with Crohn’s disease.


The preparations of the drug administered orally produce an increase in gastric and bile secretions, mainly due to the bitter principles, which stimulate both the bitter taste lingual receptors and those found in the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract. They have appetite stimulating action and favoring digestion.

The essential oil of wormwood has carminative, spasmolytic, antibacterial and antifungal action.


Wormwood preparations are contraindicated in case of hypersensitivity to the drug or other plants of the Asteraceae family. Also, in case of fatty-duodenal ulcers, obstruction of the biliary tract, cholangitis or hepatic disorder.

Side effects

At the recommended therapeutic doses, no undesirable effects have been described if used in the appropriate manner.

Overdose of alcoholic wormwood or pure essential oil preparations may cause CNS disorders, seizures, and, ultimately, coma and death.


Its use is not recommended during pregnancy (it has been described that thujone can exert an activity that stimulates uterine contractions) and breastfeeding.

In case of gallstones or any other biliary disorder, the doctor should be consulted before starting treatment.

Thujone is neurotoxic, which is why the use of wormwood chemotypes with a low content of this compound is preferred. In any case, the daily intake of thujone should not exceed 3 mg.


They have not been described.

More information: https://www.fitoterapia.net/vademecum/plantas/index.html?planta=19&tipo_nombre=2

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