Absinthe—A Review

  title={Absinthe—A Review},
  author={Dirk W. Lachenmeier and Stephan G. Walch and Stephan A. Padosch and Lars U Kr{\"o}ner},
  journal={Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition},
  pages={365 - 377}
The alcoholic beverage absinthe is recently experiencing a revival after a yearlong prohibition. This review article provides information on all aspects of this bitter spirit and its major components, especially wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L.), which contains the toxic monoterpene thujone. Over 100 references on historic and current literature are provided. The topics comprise the history of the alcoholic drink starting from its invention in the eighteenth century. Historical and modern… 

Estimation of thujone levels in pre-ban absinthe

Objectives: The media coverage about absinthe, a bitter spirit containing wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L.), continues to repeat unsubstantiated myths and legends and the public is systematically

Chemical composition of vintage preban absinthe with special reference to thujone, fenchone, pinocamphone, methanol, copper, and antimony concentrations.

The authors conclude that the thujone concentration of preban absinthe was generally overestimated in the past, disproving the supposition that a fundamental difference exists between preban and modern absinthes manufactured according to historical recipes.

[Thujone-attributable effects of absinthe are only an urban legend--toxicology uncovers alcohol as real cause of absinthism].

In the discussion about thujone as possible toxic constituent of the wormwood-containing alcoholic beverage absinthe, the dose-response-relationship is frequently ignored and scientifically unproven speculations about the influence of certain drinking rituals of absinhe on its toxicity must be rebutted.

Solution to the absinthe challenge

Diluting absinthe with cold water will ensure the stability of the microemulsion whereas use of warm water might cause unpleasant phase-separation effects that could make the absinte drink less enjoyable.

Absinthe, Absinthism and Thujone - New Insight into the Spirit's Impact on Public Health

The interdisciplinary research presented in this paper shows that absinthism cannot be distinguished from common alcoholism in the medical research literature of the time, and that due to the physical chemistry of the distillation process, the thujone content of vintage absinthe was considerably lower than previously estimated and corresponds to levels generally recognized as safe, as proven by analyses of absinthes from the pre-ban era.

Absinthe , epileptic seizures and

Absinthe is an alcoholic liquor containing extracts from the wormwood plant. It was widely consumed in France in the late nineteenth century. Its production was banned in 1915, partly because it was

Absinthe, epileptic seizures and Valentin Magnan.

  • M. Eadie
  • Medicine
    The journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
  • 2009
An examination of Valentin Magnan's published investigations suggests that his science was very adequate by the standards of his time, and that he had shown that an alcohol-soluble component of wormwood did produce lapses of consciousness, myoclonic jerks and tonic-clonic convulsions in animals.


Summary The media coverage about absinthe, a bitter spirit containing wormwood (Artemisia absinthum L.), continues to repeat unsubstantiated myths and legends and the public is systematically



Absinthe: what's your poison?

Having been banned in many countries in the early 20th century, its newly fashionable image, combined with global purchasing opportunities through the internet, has brought its revival in Britain—from bars, stores, and mail order.

Analysis of Absinthin in Absinth Extract Bittering Agent

The constituent" of absinth extract product, a natural bitter fiayoring, were investigated as a part of an ongoing study to evaluate its quality and safety as a food additiye. Two constituents,

Absinthe: return of the Green Fairy.

This paper reviews some of the historical aspects of absinthe and aims to shed light on the mechanism of action and neurotoxicology of this the Green Fairy.

Absinthe: enjoying a new popularity among young people?

Absinthe and gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors.

  • R. Olsen
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2000
Evidence that thujone acts as a γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor chloride channel blocker, much like the plant convulsant picrotoxin, and related synthetic analogs is provided.

Alpha-thujone (the active component of absinthe): gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor modulation and metabolic detoxification.

Alpha-thujone in absinthe and herbal medicines is a rapid-acting and readily detoxified modulator of the GABA-gated chloride channel.

Mythobotany, pharmacology, and chemistry of thujone-containing plants and derivatives

The effects delineated by modern experimentation correlate remarkably well with those ascribed to the plants in mythology, folklore, and other pre–contemporary documents.

Absinthe: attention performance and mood under the influence of thujone.

The results of the present study showed that the simultaneous administration of alcohol containing a high concentration of thujone had a negative effect on attention performance, and the anxiolytic effect of alcohol was temporarily counteracted by a highThujone concentration.

HPLC determination of β‐ and β‐thujone, potentially toxic components of natural flavourings, in alcoholic beverages

An analytical method for the determination of β-plus β-thujone in commercial alcoholic beverages is described. The thujones are potentially toxic compounds present in natural flavourings. The maximum