Thujone and Absinthe : scientific research

~ Published research into the properties of thujone and its effect in absinthe ~

You’ll find there an ever increasing databank of scientific papers on thujone and the effects of absinthe. The entires are arranged chronologically. Wherever possible the full text of the article is given (generally in Adobe PDF format), but where this is not permitted by licensing restrictions, an abstract or summary is included. Where the article is shown in both text and PDF versions, the illustrations, diagrams, references and acknowledgements have, for reasons of clarity and space, been omitted from the text version, but will all be found in the PDF. For additional reference, a selection of scientific articles from Belle Epoque era journals is included as well. While the science in these has of course long been superseded, they give a flavour of the prevailing conventional wisdom of the day, and help explain the demonization of absinthe at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

Peer-reviewed and other scientific papers on thujone and its role in absinthe:

Published 2000 to 2009

GC-MS rehabilitiert Absinth
by Dirk W. Lachenmeier, Thomas Kuballa
Nachrichten aus der Chimie, Vol 57, April 2009

Long-Term Stability of Thujone, Fenchone, and Pinocamphone in vintage Preban Absinthe
by Dirk W. Lachenmeier, David Nathan-Maister, Theodore A. Breaux and Thomas Kuballa
Published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Volume 57, No 7, 2009

Chemical Composition of Vintage Preban Absinthe with Special Reference to Thujone, Fenchone, Pinocamphone, Methanol, Copper, and Antimony Concentrations
by Dirk W. Lachenmeier, David Nathan-Maister, Theodore A. Breaux, Eva-Maria Sohnius, Kerstin Schoeberl, and Thomas Kuballa
Published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, April 2008

Absinthe—is its history relevant for current public health?
by Martijn Huisman, Johannes Brug and Johan Mackenbach
International Journal of Epidemiology 2007 36(4): 738-744

Absinthe and Tobacco – a new look at an old problem?
Letter to the Editor by Dirk Lachenmeier and David Nathan-Maister
International Journal of Epidemiology 2008 37: 217-219

Absinthism: the fault of doctor Magnan
by Jean-Pierre Luauté
L’Évolution Psychiatrique Volume 72, Issue 3, July-September 2007, Pages 515-530

Systematic Misinformation about Thujone in Pre-ban Absinthe
by Dirk W. Lachenmeier and David Nathan-Maister
Published in Deutsche Lebensmittel-Rundschau, June 2007

Steroid-sparing effect of wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) in Crohn’s disease:
A double-blind placebo-controlled study
by B. Omera, S. Krebsb, H. Omerc, T.O. Noord
Phytomedicine Volume 14, Issues 2-3, 19 February 2007, Pages 87-95

Assessing the authenticity of absinthe using sensory evaluation and HPTLC analysis of the bitter principle absinthin
by Dirk Lachenmeier
Food Research International Volume 40, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 167-175

Absinth: Abschätzung des Thujongehaltes von Absinthgetränken nach historischen Rezepten
by M. Gimpel, Y. Hönersch, H.-J. Altmann, R. Wittkowski and C. Fauhl-Hagssekohn
Published in Deutsche Lebensmittel-Rundschau Vol 10, Nov 2006

Electrocardiographic findings after acute absinthe intoxication
by J . Benezet-Mazuecos , A . de la Fuente
International Journal of Cardiology , Volume 113 , Issue 2 , Pages E48 – E50, 2006

Absinthe – A Review
by Dirk Lachenmeier, Stephan Walch, Stephan Padosch, Lars Kröner
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Vol 46, No. 5, July-Aug 2006, pp. 365-377

Chemical Composition of the Essential Oils of Serbian Wild-Growing Artemisia absinthium and Artemisia vulgaris
by Polina Blagojevi, Niko Radulovi, Radosav Pali, and Gordana Stojanovi
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 54 (13), 4780 – 4789, 2006

Absinthism: a ficticious 19th century syndrome with present impact
by Stephan A. Padosch, Dirk W. Lachenmeier and Lars U. Kroner
Published in Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy, May 2006

Thujone – Cause of absinthism?
by Dirk W. Lachenmeier, J. Emmert, T. Kuballa, G. Sartor
Published in Forensic Science International, May 2005

Authentifizierung von Absinth – Bittere Wahrheit über einer Legende
by Dirk W. Lachenmeier, J. Emmert, and G. Sartor
Published in Deutsche Lebensmittel-Rundschau, Vol 3 2005

Absinth – Kultdrink oder Fusel?
by Dirk W. Lachenmeier
Published in CLB Chemie in Labor und Biotechnik, Vol 1 2005

Absinthe: Attention Performance and Mood under the Influence of Thujone
by A. Dettling, H. Grass, A. Schuff, G. Skopp, P. Strohbeck-Kuehner and H-Th. Haffner
Published in Journal of Studies on Alcohol, September 2004

Determination of α-/β-Thujone and Related Terpenes in Absinthe using Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography
by Joachim Emmert, Günter Sartor, Frank Sporer and Joachim Gummersbach
Published in Deutsche Lebensmittel-Rundschau, Vol 9 2004

Absinth – ein Getränk kommt wieder in Mode: toxikologisch-analytische und lebensmittelrechtliche Bewertungen
by Dirk W. Lachenmeier, W. Frank, C. Athanasakis, S.A. Padosch, B. Madea, M.A. Rothschild, L. Kröner
Published in Deutsche Lebensmittel-Rundschau, Vol 4 2004

Pharmacology and toxicology of absinthe
by Jirí Patocka a and Bohumil Plucarb
Published in Journal of Applied Biomedicine, Vol 1, 2003

Myth, reality and absinthe
by Ian Hutton
Published in Current Drug Discovery, September 2002

The Illness of Vincent van Gogh
by Dietrich Blumer
Published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, April 2002

Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food on Thujone
EU Scientific Committee on Food
Published by European Commission Health & Consumer Protection Directorate-General, February 2002

α-Thujone (the active component of absinthe): γ-Aminobutyric acid type A receptor modulation and metabolic detoxification
by Karin M. Höld, Nilantha s. Sirisoma, Tomoko Ikeda, Toshio Narahashi and John E. Casida
Published in PNAS, April 2000

Absinthe & γ-aminobutyric acid receptors
by Richard W. Olsen
Published in PNAS, April 2000

Published 1990’s

Absinthe: what’s your poison?
by J. Strang, W. Arnold, T. Peters
Published in BMJ, December 1999

Thujone exhibits low affinity for cannabinoid receptors but fails to evoke cannabimimetic responses. ABSTRACT ONLY
by J.P. Meschler, A.C. Howlett
Published in Pharmacol Biochem Behav., March 1999

Poison on Line — Acute Renal Failure Caused by Oil of Wormwood Purchased through the Internet
by Steven D. Weisbord, Jeremy B. Soule, and Paul L. Kimmel.
Published in NEJM, September 1997

HPLC determination of alpha – and beta -thujone, potentially toxic components of natural flavourings, in alcoholic beverages.
by G. Micali, F. Lanuzza
Published in Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 1995

Porphyrogenic properties of the terpenes camphor, pinene, and thujone (with a note on historic implications for absinthe and theillness of Vincent van Gogh). ABSTRACT ONLY
by Bonkovsky HL, Cable EE, Cable JW, Donohue SE, White EC, Greene YJ, Lambrecht RW, Srivastava KK, Arnold WN
Published in Biochem Pharmacol., June 1992

Stability of pulegone and thujone in ethanolic solution
by Otmar Froehlich and Takayuki Shibamoto
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 1990; 38(11) pp 2057 – 2060

Published 1980’s

by Wilfred Niels Arnold
Published in Scientific American, June 1989

Vincent van Gogh and the Thujone Connection
by Wilfred Niels Arnold
Published in JAMA, November 1988

Chemotaxonomy of wormwood (Artemisia absinthum L.)
by Franco Chialva, Peter A. P. Liddle and Giovanni Doglia
Zeitschrift für Lebensmitteluntersuchung und Forschung; Volume 176, Number 5 / Sept 1983

Absinthe: Behind the Emerald Mask
by Donald D. Vogt, Michael Montagne
Published in The International Journal of the Addictions, 1982

Absinthium: a nineteenth-century drug of abuse
by Donald D. Vogt
Published in The Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 1981

Published 1970’s

Molar Volume Relationships and the Specific Inhibition of a Synaptosomal Enzyme by Psychoactive Cannabinoids
By Jeffrey H. Greenberg, Alan Mellors and John C. McGowan
Published in Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 1978, Vol. 21, No. 12

Marijuana, absinthe and the central nervous system.
by J. Del Castillo, M. Anderson, G. M. Rubottom
Published in Nature, January 1975

Published 1930’s – 1960’s

A propos de la thuyone dans les absinthes et ses imitations
by P. Balavoine, Genève
Mitteilungen aus dem Gebiete der Lebensmitteluntersuchung und Hygiene 43: 195-196 1952

Determination of Thujone in Absinth-type Liqueurs
by John B. Wilson
Published in Association of Official Agricultural Chemists, Vol 19, 1936

The effects of absinth on the cat, following bilateral adrenalectomy
by Helen Coombs, Bernard Wortis, Frank Pike
Bulletin of the Neurological Institute of New York 1: 145-151 1931

Belle Epoque era papers on absinthe and absinthism:

The Lancet on Absinthe: 1868 – 1930
by Valentin Magnan et al
Published in The Lancet, 1868 – 1930

The Lancet on Absinthe: 1888
The toxic effects of wormwood.
Published in The Lancet 1888

Fatal Case from an Overdose of Oil of Sage
by Henry Whitling
Published in The Lancet, 1908

Ueber die Dosierung der Absinthessenz beim Hervorrufen von Anfällen experimenteller Epilepsie bei Hunden.
by Prof. W.P. Ossipow
Published in Monatsschr. Psychiatr. Neurol., 1914

Alcoholism and Degeneracy
by Valentin Magnan, A. Fillassier
Published in Problems in Eugenics, 1912

Analyse des absinthes du commerce
by Léon Ronnet
Annales des Falsifications et des Fraudes 3:477-480, 1911

Ueber die Untersuchung und Definition des Absinthliqueurs und seiner Imitationen.
by Prof. Dr F Schaffer and Dr E. Philippe
Published in Mitteilungen aus dem Gebiete der Lebensmitteluntersuchung und Hygiene, Vol 1,1910

Nouvelles Recherches sur la Toxicité Expérimentale des Essences Usuelles
by Charles Lesieur
Archives de Medecine Experimentale et d’Anatomie Pathologique 18: 803-817 1907

The Effects of Absinthe
by Emma E. Walker
Published in The Medical Journal, Oct 1906

A Contribution to the Study of Descending Degenerations in the Brain and Spinal Cord, and of the Seat of Origin and Paths of Conduction of the Fits in Absinthe Epilepsy
by Rubert Boyce
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. B, Vol. 186, pp. 321-381, 1895

Published in Scientific American. New Series, Volume 20, Issue 14, Apr 3, 1869

Experiments and Observations on Absinth and Absinthism
by R. Amory
Published in Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, 1868

Accidents déterminés par l’abus de la liqueur d’absinthe
by Valentin Magnan
L’Union Médicale. No. 92 & No. 94, 1864

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