Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Abrotanum artemisia

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Main constituents
The composition of the essential oil (0.2%) is reported differently in various sources: Some claim absinthol (a mixture of isomeric thujones also appearing in the related wormwood) as main component; other sources report the heterocyclic sesquiterpenes davanol and davanone besides carlinene. At another place, I have read about 1,8-cineol as the main component.
Among the non-volatile constituents, an alkaloid abrotin and coumarines are reported. Although southernwood contains significant amounts of bitter sesquiterpene lactones (absinthin) and the glycosid rutin, it is still less bitter than its close relative, wormwood.
 
Flowering branches of camphor-scented (left) and lemon-scented (right) southernwood.  

Thujone is also found in southernwood's close relatives mugwort and particularily wormwood, and in unrelated species like thuja or sage. It is rather poisonous and generally held responsible for the toxicity of alcoholics containing wormwood extracts

Phytomedicine. 2004 Jan;11(1):36-42. Related Articles, Links  
Characteristics, clinical effect profile and tolerability of a nasal spray preparation of Artemisia abrotanum L. for allergic rhinitis.
Remberg P, Bjork L, Hedner T, Sterner O.
Department of Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

A nasal spray formulation containing an extract of Artemisia abrotanum L. was developed for therapeutic use in patients with allergic rhinitis and other upper airway disorders. The nasal spray preparation used contains a mixture of essential oils (4 mg/ml) and flavonols (2.5 microg/ml), of which some components have been shown to possess antiinflammatory, expectorant, spasmolytic as well as antiseptic and antimicrobial activities. The most important constituents in the essential oil fraction of the preparation are 1,8-cineole, linalool and davanone, while the flavonol fraction contains centauredin, casticin and quercetin dimethyl-ethers. No trace of thujon was observed in the essential oil of the Artemisia abrotanum L. genotype "Tycho" used for the manufacture of the nasal spray preparation. In 12 patients with diagnoses of allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and/or bronchial obstructive disease, the nasal spray was given immediately after the appearance of characteristic allergic nasal symptoms. In 10 of the 12 patients, allergic rhinitis with nasal congestion, sneezing and rhinorrhea was dominant. After administration of the nasal spray, all patients experienced a rapid and significant symptom relief of nasal symptoms, comparable to the effect of antihistamine and chromoglicate preparations which several of the patients had used previously. The effect was present within 5 minutes after the administration and lasted for several hours. In 7 of the 10 rhinitis patients with concomitant symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, a significant subjective relief of eye symptoms was also experienced. In 3 of the 6 patients who had a history of characteristic symptoms of endogenous, exogenous or exercise induced bronchial obstructive disease, there was a bronchial symptom relief by the nasal spray preparation which was experienced as rapid and clinically significant. It is concluded from the present proof of concept study, that a nasal spray formulation containing an extract characterised by a mixture of essential oils and flavonols from the Artemisia abrotanum L. genotype "Tycho", appears to be clinically useful and suitable for the prophylactic and therapeutic management of patients with allergic rhinitis and adjuvant symptoms.

Planta Med. 1995 Aug;61(4):370-1.  
Spasmolytic flavonols from Artemisia abrotanum.
Bergendorff O, Sterner O.
Four flavonols with spasmolytic activity have been isolated from a methanol extract of Artemisia abrotanum L. (Asteraceae), as the principles primarily responsible for the smooth muscle relaxing activity of this plant. The flavonols show a dose-dependent relaxing effect on the carbacholine-induced contraction of guinea-pig trachea, the EC50 values for compounds 1-3 are 20-30 mumol/l while compound 4 is less active

Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2000 Nov;6(4):176-9.
Moxibustion for breech presentation.
Budd S.
Midwifery Sister/Acupuncturist, Maternity Unit, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, Devon, UK. s.budd@ex.ac.uk
Breech presentation at term is considered a possible obstetric complication, and the management before and during labour remains controversial. A technique called 'moxibustion' is used in traditional Chinese medicine to encourage version of the fetus in breech presentation. It has been used in the maternity unit in Plymouth for 11 years. The results would seem to suggest it may have a positive effect and play a part in reducing the number of breech presentations at term and therefore also a reduction in the number of caesarean sections which are so often advocated in breech presentation. This article describes the technique in greater detail and discusses the potential for the future.