A status review on the pharmacological implications of Artemisia absinthium: A critically endangered plant

Mubashir Hussain, Naveed Iqbal Raja, Abida Akram, Anam Iftikhar, Danish Ashfaq, Farhat Yasmeen, Roomina Mazhar, Muhammad Imran, Muhammad Iqbal
2017 Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease  
Medicinal plants are the nature's gift for the humanity to treat various diseases and to spend a prosperous healthy life. There are almost 500 species of Artemisia. Among them, Artemisia absinthium (A. absinthium) which is commonly known as wormwood is a well-known herb. It is mentioned in almost all the herbal medicinal books of the Western world. The aim of this review article is to gather information about A. absinthium which is currently scattered in form of various publications. Through
more » ... s review article tried to attract the attention of people for therapeutic potential of A. absinthium. The present review comprises upto date information of active ingredients, up and down in absinthe, controversy, essential oil, traditional uses, in vitro production of secondary metabolites for pharmaceutical, pharmacology such as antitumor, neurotoxic, neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, antimalarial, anthelminitc, antipyretic, antidepressant, antiulcer, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiprotozoal and challenges of A. absinthium. Some progress has been made, but still consistent efforts are required to explore the individual compounds isolated from A. absinthium to validate and understand its traditional uses and clinical practices. This review article provides preliminary information and gives a direction for the basic and clinical research on A. absinthium (wormwood). Essential oils of aromatic plants are frequently used in traditional medicine as antimicrobial agents. These are mixtures of natural volatile compounds mostly isolated by steam distillation. Several essential oils proved to possess significant antimicrobial activity against bacteria, yeasts, dermatophytes plus aspergillus strains. These essential oils have high therapeutic potential, generally in diseases like cutaneous, mucosal and respiratory tract infections. The major constituents of many of these oils are phenolic compounds including terpenoids, phenylpropanoids, thymol, eugenol, and carvacrol [11] . A. absinthium oil is mainly composed of beta-thujonecis-sabinyl acetate (chamazulene, nuciferol butanoate, nuciferol propionate, caryophyllene oxide, beta-ocimene, (Z)-anethole and limonene. Strong inhibitory effects has been observed on the growth of bacteria and fungi. The oil also revealed antioxidant activities [12, 13] . A. absinthium oil is characterized by having high amounts of transsabiny-l-acetate (26.4%), myrcene (10.8%) and trans-thujone (10.1%). Monoterpene esters and sesquiterpenes are also present in A. absinthium oil. The oil yield from the aerial parts of A. absinthium mostly ranges from 0.3% to 0.5%. Pharmacology-Medicinal uses In the middle Ages, this plant is regarded as a broad remedy for all diseases owing to its curative medical powers. The aerial part of A. absinthium possesses strong anti-snake venom activity [14] . Antimalarial and anticancer activities are the most well-known biological effects accounted for different species of the genus Artemisia [15, 16] . This species found its medicinal potential because of its tremendous insecticidal, vermifuge, diuretic, antispasmodic, and trematocidal properties. It proves its effectiveness in curing diarrhoea, cough and common cold [17, 18] . The medical use of absinthism is also proved by the freshly published monograph of the Conclusion The present review article focuses on the phytochemistry, absinthe, controversy, essential oils, toxicological information, traditional uses, pharmacological studies, challenges and sustainable use of A. absinthium. In the recent years main focus is on the phytochemical studies which have attained a considerable attention to get familiar with many unknown and known ingredients of clinical importance that can be screened for their therapeutic potential to treat severe health disorders without any side effects. Therapeutic potential of A. absinthium has been exposed which is crucial for standardization and further consideration as medicine at safer level. However, there is a need to evaluate the therapeutic potential on modern scientific lines through clinical trials, phytochemicals and pharmacological studies. Experimental studies have demonstrated its anticancer/ antitumor, neurotoxic and neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, antimalarial, anthelmintic, antipyretic, antidepressant, antiulcer, antibacterial, antiprotozoal and antioxidant activities. Looking at the broad spectrum of A. absinthium for various purposes, it is useful to cultivate this plant at large scale. A. absinthium is indexed in critically endangered category, so consistent efforts should be made to protect this plant species to become extinct. A multidimensional approach is required to maintain and includes selection of better quality genotype and ex-situ as well in-situ conservation followed by multiplication both by conventional as well as biotechnological methods that could provide solution to the existing problem. Conflict of interest statement We declare that we have no conflict of interest.
doi:10.12980/apjtd.7.2017d6-385 fatcat:pefgdebopvf2rdtalwexywt7fe