ISSN 1214-0287 (on-line)
ISSN 1214-021X (printed)

Volume 1 (2003), No 4, p 199-205

Pharmacology and toxicology of absinthe

Jiri Patocka, Bohumil Plucar

Address: Jiri Patocka, Department of Toxicology, Military Medical Academy, Simkova 878, 500 01 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

Received 13th May 2003.
Revised 2nd September 2003.
Published online 2nd October 2003.

Full text article (pdf)

Absinthe is a flavoured distilled liquor, emerald green in colour, turning to cloudy, opalescent white when mixed with water. It has inspired many prominent artists, writers and poets - Vincent Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway just to name a few. Absinthe was first produced commercially in 1797 by Henry-Louis Pernod, who purchased the formula from a French exile living in Switzerland. The wormwood, Artemisia absinthium, is the chief flavouring ingredient of absinthe and the presence of monoterpene thujone in this drug was the reason for the prohibition of the production and sale of absinthe in many countries. Thujone is a toxic chemical present in wormwood and is responsible for the pharmacological and toxicological properties of absinthe.

absinthe; thujone; composition; metabolites; detoxification

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