Economic Botany

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 65–74 | Cite as

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

  • Michael Albert-Puleo


Thujone, C10H16O, is the primary constituent of essential oils derived from a variety of plants, including wormwood, Artemisia absinthium; mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris; sage, Salvia officinalis; clary, Salvia sclarea; tansy, Tanacetum vulgare; and yellow cedar or the tree of life, Thuja occidentalis. While oils derived from the individual species may vary in the modifying constituents which they contain, the pharmacological effects common to thujone–containing plants are generally considered to include the following: 1 ) anthelmintic, 2) psychedelic, 3) uterine, 4) antidote to opium and other central nervous system depressant poisons. The effects delineated by modern experimentation correlate remarkably well with those ascribed to the plants in mythology, folklore, and other pre–contemporary documents.


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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Albert-Puleo
    • 1
  1. 1.Cherry Hill

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