Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis

Phytochemical screening of Artemisia arborescens L. by means of advanced chromatographic techniques for identification of health-promoting compounds.

PMID 26476295


Artemisia arborescens, also known as tree wormwood, is a typical species of the Mediterranean flora. It has been used in folk medicine for its antispasmodic, anti-pyretic, anti-inflammatory, and abortifacient properties. In the current study, the application of multidimensional comprehensive gas chromatography (GC×GC), allowed to obtain a detailed fingerprint of the essential oil from A. arborescens aerial parts, highlighting an abundant presence of chamazulene followed by camphor, β-thujone, myrcene, and α-pinene. Moreover, flavonoids in the dichloromethane extract were analyzed by means of liquid chromatography with photodiode array and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry detections (HPLC-PDA and HPLC-APCI-MS). Six polymethoxyflavones were identified and three of them, including chrysosplenetin, eupatin, and cirsilineol, were described in this species for the first time. The anti-angiogenic activity was investigated in the dichloromethane extract by two in vivo models, chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and zebrafish embryos. Results showed that this extract produced a strong reduction on vessel formation, both on zebrafish (57% of inhibition, 0.1 mg/mL) and chick chorioallantoic membrane (58% of inhibition, 0.8 mg/mL). The high separation power and sensitivity of the analytical methodology applied confirmed the safety of A. arborescens essential oil for human consumption, due to the very low level of the psychotrope α-thujone determined. Moreover, the knowledge of the flavonoidic profile holds a great significance for the use of A. arborescens as a valuable source of anti-angiogenic compounds that might contribute to the valorization of the phytotherapeutic potential of this plant.