Artemisia (Asteraceae) essential oils: compositional variation and mechanisms of its origin, biosynthesis of constituents, correspondence between biological activities and ethnomedicinal usage and repurposement prospects

  • Sushil Kumar NIPGR, New Delhi
  • Richa Goel
  • Vijender Singh
  • Raj Kumari
  • Renu Kumari
  • Suchi Srivastava
  • Gopal Rao Mallavarapu
  • Divya Goel
Keywords: Biosynthetic pathways; Morpho-chemi-genetic variation; Marker volatiles; Essential oil volatiles; Trichomes; Artemisia species diversity


Many species of the genus Artemisia, a taxon in the angiosperm family Asteraceae composed of more than 500 species, are widely used in traditional medicine, on account of the safe multi- curative properties of its secondary metabolites biosynthesized in chloroplasts and cytoplasm of cells, largely in trichomes. The steam distilled Artemisia essential oils, into which the volatile organic metabolites get extracted, have been observed to demonstrate enormous intra- and inter- species variation. This review summarises the nature of compositional variation of the volatiles of Artemisia essential oils, biosynthetic processes of the major classes of Artemisia volatiles, and mechanisms responsible for the variation in the content of volatiles in essential oils in Artemisia species. Further, the relationships between ethnomedicinal uses of various Artemisia species and biological activities detected in the essential oils of different Artemisia species are discussed with reference to the quality of essential oils. Artemisia essential oils offer highly significant repurposement prospects.


Abad M J, Bedoya L M, Apaza L and Bermejo P (2012) The Artemisia L. genus: A review of bioactive essential oils Molecules 17 2542-2566
Abd-Elhady HK (2012) Insecticidal activity and chemical composition of essential oil from Artemisia judiaca L. against Callosobruchus maculatus (F.) (Coleoptera: Bruchidae) J Plant Protect Res 52 347-352
Abdolkarim C, Atri M, Yousefi S and Jalali F (2010) Polyploidy variation in some species of the genus Artemisia L. (Asteraceae) in Iran Caryologia 63 168-175
Abebe D and Ayehu A (1993) Medicinal plants and enigmatic health practices of northern Ethiopia. B.S.P.E. Addis Ababa, 419-431
Abu-Darwish M S, Cabral C, Goncalves M J, Cavaleiro C et al. (2015) Artemisia herba-alba essential oil from Buseirah (South Jordan): Chemical characterization and assessment of safe antifungal and anti-inflammatory doses J Ethnopharmacol 174 153-160
Abu-Darwish M S, Cabral C, Goncalves M J, Cavaleiro C, Cruz M T, Zulfiqar A, Khan I A, Efferth T and Salgueiro L (2016) Chemical composition and biological activities of Artemisia judaica essential oil from southern desert of Jordan J Ethnopharmacol 191 161-168
Adams J D and Garcia C (2009) Healing With Medicinal Plant of the West Abedus Press
Afshaw F H, Delazar A, Janneh O, Nazemiyeh H et al. (2011) Evaluation of antimalarial, free-radical-scavenging and insecticidal activities of Artemisia scoparia and A. spicigera Asteraceae Rev Bras Farmacosm 21 956-990
Aghajani Z, Akbari M and Esmaelli B (2014) Comparative study of antioxidant activity of different extracts and essential oil compositions from Artemisia seiberi Besser using two different methods Orient J Chem 30
Aglarova A M, Zilfikarov I N and Severtseva O V (2008) Biological characteristics and useful properties of tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) Pharmaceut Chem J 42 81-86
Akrout A, Chemli R, Chreif I and Hammami M (2001) Analysis of the essential oil of Artemisia campestris L. Flavour Frag J 16 337-339
Al-Waili NS (1986) Treatment of diabetes mellitus by Artemisia herba-alba extract: preliminary study Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 13 569-573
Aljubory I S, Jasiem T M and Baderden S K (2017) Agriculture, active compounds investigation of cola herb (Artemisia abrotanum L.) recently introduced in Iraq Natl J Physiol Pharm Pharmacol 7 438-441
Allardice P (1993) A-Z of Companion Planting, Cassell Publishers Ltd
Aloui Z, Messaoud C, Haoues M, Neffati N, Jamoussi IB, Essafi-Benkhadir K, Boussaid M, Guizani I and Karoui H (2016) Asteraceae Artemisia campestris and Artemisia herba-alba essential oils trigger apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in Leishmania infantum promastigotes. Evidence-based complement and Alternative Med. Pasteur-01446819. Article ID 9147096, 1-15
Alzweiri M, Sarhan A A, Mansi K, Hudaib M and Aburjai T (2011) Ethnopharmacological survey of medicinal herbs in Jordan, the Northern Badia region J Ethnopharmacol 137 27-35
Amel D, Faiza T, Sabrina B, Mahieddine B, Nacera H-S and Azzedine C (2017) Chemical composition and insecticidal activity of essential oil of Artemisia herba alba (Asteraceae) against Ephestia kuehniella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) Int J Biosci 10 130-137
Amiri H and Goodarzi M (2017) Screening chemical composition of essential oils and antioxidant activities of two Artemisia species from Iran Iran J Plant Physiol 7 2017-2025
Amri I, De Martino L, Marandino A, Lamia H, Mohsen H, Scandolera E, De Feo V and Mancini E (2013) Chemical composition and biological activities of the essential oil from Artemisia herba-alba growing wild in Tunisia Nat Prod Commun 8 407-410
Asghari G, Jalali M and Sadoughi E (2012) Antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of essential oil from seeds of Artemisia aucheri Boiss. Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod 7 11-15
Atazhanova G A, Dembitskii A D, Yakovleva T D, Ishauratova M Y et al. (1999) Composition of the essential oils of Artemisia radicans and A. frigida Chem Nat Compounds 35 427-429
Atri M, Chehregani A, Jalali F and Yousefi S (2009) New chromosome counts in some species of the genus Artemisia L. (Asteraceae) from Iran Cytologia 74 443-448
Ayoughi F, Barzegar M, Sahari M A and Naghdibadi H (2011) Chemical compositions of essential oils of Artemisia dracunculus L. and endemic Matricaria chamomilla L. and an evaluation of their antioxidant effects J Ag Sci Tech 13 79-88.
Azedine A, Belhamel K, Chalchat JC-Del and Figueredo G (2010) Chemical composition of the essential oil from Artemisia arborescens L. growing wild in Algeria, Rec Nat Prod 4 87-89
Badoni R, Semwal D K and Rawat U (2009) Altitudinal variation in the volatile constituents of Artemisia nilagirica Int J Essent Oil Ther 3 66-68
Badoni R, Semwal D K and Rawat U (2010) Composition variation in essential oils of Artemisia nilagirica and Artemisia capillaris, growing in India J Appl Nat Sc 2 30-33
Badr A, Morsy W, Abdelfattah S, Shams A and Shehab A (2012) Genetic diversity in Artemisia monosperma and Artemisia judaica populations in Egypt based on morphological, karyological and molecular variations J Med Plant Res 6 66-78
Review Articles