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Progress in Essential Oils: Armoise Oil

Contact Author Brian Lawrence
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Armoise oil is produced from the thujone chemotype of Artemisia herba-alba Asso. This member of the Asteraceae family, which is also known as Sheeh in Arabic, or desert wormwood in English, is an aromatic dwarf shrub or seimishrub. The distribution of A. herba-alba is from the dry areas of Andalucia, Levante and Aragon (Spain), extending into southern France. It is much more abundant in the Middle East and North Africa, especially Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.

Like many members of the Asteraceae family, chemotypic forms of the essential oils of A. herba-alba are known to exist (Lawrence 1981, 1982, 1994, 2003 and 2009). Ravid et al. (1993) reported that (-)-camphor was the major enantiomer found in A. herba-alba oil.

Five separate A. herba-alba plants (ca. 2009 from each) that were collected in the Southern Negev were immediately subjected to hydrodistillation. Analysis of the oils by Fleisher et al. (2002) using GC-FID and GC/MS revealed that the oils possessed different compositions.

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