Are You Legal Drinking Age In Your Country?

By entering this site you agree to our Privacy Policy and Legal Disclaimer.

Science Articles

Rapid Determination of Total Thujone in Absinthe Using 1H NMR Spectroscopy

Abstract 1H NMR spectroscopy is utilized to quantify total thujone (sum of 𝛼 – and 𝛽 -isomers) in absinthe. For sample preparation, a simple dilution with buffer is required. Thujone produces a distinct peak of the CH2 group in the cyclopentanone moiety in the 2.13–2.11 ppm range. No overlap with other typical constituents such as anethole […]

Systematic Misinformation about Thujone in Pre-ban Absinthe

Systematic Misinformation about Thujone in Pre-ban Absinthe 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 misinformed. Especially, the theory about a significant thujone content in absinthe must be put into perspective … Summary The media coverage about […]

Tourist in a taste lab – taste research

Tourist in a taste lab – taste research A fascinating account of the genetic science behind why some people abhor sugar in their absinthe, and why others can’t drink it without. THE BRAIN IS THE MASTERMIND OF FLAVOR BUT TONGUES ARE WHERE IT STARTS-AND SOME ARE FAR MORE SENSITIVE THAN OTHERS. A GROUP OF US, […]

The Illness of Vincent van Gogh

The Illness of Vincent van Gogh Published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, April 2002 Abstract Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) had an eccentric personality and unstable moods, suffered from recurrent psychotic episodes during the last 2 years of his extraordinary life, and committed suicide at the age of 37. Despite limited evidence, well over 150 […]

Behaviour of thujone during distillation

Behaviour of thujone during distillation and possible concentration ranges in pre-ban absinthe.

The Taxonomy of “Wormwoods” and related Artemisia Species

Here is a partial list of the many species, subspecies and varieties in the genus Artemisia, which will illustrate just how large the genus is, and how many of the plants are known as “wormwoods”.  Only one however, Artemisia absinthium, is the plant which qualifies a spirit to be the drink we know as absinthe. […]

The Shaky History of Thujone

A comprehensive look at the science behind thujone and its role in the absinthe phenomenon.

The Life of an Anise-Flavored Alcoholic Beverage

  The Life of an Anise-Flavored Alcoholic Beverage:  Does Its Stability Cloud or Confirm Theory? Elke Scholten,†§ Erik van der Linden,*† and HerveThis‡ Food Physics Group, Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences, Wageningen University, Bomenweg 2, 6703 HD Wageningen, The Netherlands, and INRA Group of Molecular Gastronomy, Laboratory of Chemistry, UMR 214 INRA/AgroParisTech, 16 rue Claude Bernard, 75005 Paris, France […]

Screening of Distilled Spirits for Thujone by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

Thujone is a monoterpenoid ketone consisting of two isomers, alpha and beta, that exist in varying ratios in different plants.  Plants such as cedar leaf, sage, tansy, thyme, rosemary and wormwood (an ingredient found in certain flavored distilled spirits such as absinthe) are known to contain thujone.  According to the FDA, alcoholic beverages must be […]

Systematic Misinformation about Thujone in Pre-ban Absinthe

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 misinformed. Especially, the theory about a significant thujone content in absinthe must be put into perspective …

Behaviour of thujone during distillation

Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe, Weißenburger Str. 3, D-76187 Karlsruhe, Germany Abstract A discrepancy in the magnitude of thujone concentrations in distilled pre-ban absinthe has existed until now. Concentrations of 260 mg L-1 were derived at by theoretical calculations. Tests of authentic pre-ban absinthes and studies concerning absinthes produced according to historic recipes found concentrations […]

AOAC Official Thujone Detection Method

Pursuant to CFR 21 172.510, the Federal Food and Drug Administration requires that foods and beverages offered for sale for human consumption in the United States be thujone free “as determined by using the method (or, in other than alcoholic beverages, a suitable adaptation thereof) in section 9.129 of the “Official Methods of Analysis of […]

General misconceptions about the wormwood-flavoured spirit absinthe

“During our research on absinthe, we discovered that there is a general misunderstanding amongst the public, as well as in the scientific community, about the properties of absinthe in general, and the thujone content in particular. It is remarkable that, even in peer-reviewed journals, unsubstantiated myths and legends are continually repeated.”

Absinthe – A Review

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 […]

Absinthism: fictitious 19th century syndrome

Abstract Absinthe, a bitter spirit containing wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L.), was banned at the beginning of the 20th century as consequence of its supposed unique adverse effects. After nearly centurylong prohibition, absinthe has seen a resurgence after recent de-restriction in many European countries. This review provides information on the history of absinthe and one of […]

Absinthe: Attention Performance and Mood under the Influence of Thujone

A. DETTLING, M.D., H. GRASS, M.D.,† A. SCHUFF, M.D., G. SKOPP, PH.D., P. STROHBECK-KUEHNER, PH.D., ABSTRACT. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether the impacts of absinthe on attention performance and mood were different from those experienced with beverages that contain only alcohol. The ingredient causing absinthe’s toxicity is believed to be […]

EUROPEAN COMMISSION – Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food on Thujone

The Committee is asked to advise the Commission on substances used as flavouring substances or present in flavourings or present in other food ingredients with flavouring properties for which existing toxicological data indicate that restrictions of use or presence might be necessary to ensure safety for human health. In particular the Committee is asked to […]

Myth, Reality and Absinthe – The Truth about Thujone

Absinthe has always had an ambivalent history, on one hand it was praised as ‘The Green Muse’ by its devotees, and on the other it was condemned by it detractors as a cause of madness and moral degeneracy. But is there any scientific or medical basis for either position? Evidence for mind-altering effects is largely […]

Tourist in a taste lab – taste research

A fascinating account of the genetic science behind why some people abhor sugar in their absinthe, and why others can’t drink it without.

Absinthe and γ-aminobutyric acid receptors

  Fig. 1 Absinthe is an emerald-green liqueur that achieved fantastic popularity at the close of the 19th century. It was associated with the Bohemian lifestyle and was credited with the inspiration of famous artists and poets (1, 2). Because of its widespread abuse and the associated toxicity of its content of oil of wormwood, […]

α-Thujone: γ-Aminobutyric acid type A receptor modulation

Karin M. Höld, et al. “α-Thujone is the toxic agent in absinthe, a liqueur popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries that has adverse health effects. It is also the active ingredient of wormwood oil and some other herbal medicines and is reported to have antinociceptive, insecticidal, and anthelmintic activity.  This study elucidates the […]

Absinthe – W. Arnold, Scientific American

Published in Scientific American. Evidence of the pale-green liqueur’€™s toxicity eventually extinguished the fin-de-siècle infatuation with absinthe. The drink’€™s history began, however, long before the 19th century. Vincent van Gogh shot himself on the afternoon of July 27, 1890, in Auvers-sur-Oise, France; he died in the early morning two days later. Paul F. Gachet, the […]

Vincent van Gogh and the Thujone Connection

During his last two years Vincent van Gogh experienced fits with hallucinations that have been attributed to a congenital psychosis. But the artist admitted to episodes of heavy drinking that were amply confirmed by colleagues and there is good evidence to indicate that addiction to absinthe exacerbated his illness. Absinthe was distilled from an alcoholic steep […]

Absinthium: a nineteenth-century drug of abuse

College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky. Lexington, Kentucky 40506 (U.S.A.) / (Received May 12,1980; accepted February 28, 1981) The 1850s and 1860s in France have been described as a “gilded age”. “It was a parvenu period: get rich quick, show off, enjoy. Gamblers, profiteers, and demimondaines held the center of the stage…. It was then […]

The Effects of Absinthe

By Emma E. Walker, M.D., New YorkMEDICAL RECORD, VOLUME 70, Oct. 13, 1906 “France as a nation has become so roused to the danger of alcohol and the essences, especially absinthe, which are in such common use in that country, that on December 29, 1900, the French government requested the Academy of Medicine to determine […]

Absinthe

Scientific American. New Series, Volume 20, Issue 14, Apr 3, 1869 It appears that until 1864 the belief that there was nothing injurious in absinthe except the alcohol, was general enough. In that year, however, a mad doctor named Marce, communicated a paper to the Academy of Sciences, in which he demonstrated that the essence […]