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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 118-120  

Volatile oil of Artemisia santolina decreased morphine withdrawal jumping in mice

Medicinal Plants Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Date of Submission30-Jul-2012
Date of Decision20-Sep-2012
Date of Web Publication15-Apr-2013

Correspondence Address:
Soodabeh Saeidnia
Medicinal Plants Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, P. O. Box 14155-6451, Tehran
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Source of Support: Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Health Services,, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8490.110542

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Introduction: Flowered aerial parts of Artemisia santolina Schrenk (Asteraceae), which is found in the central and western regions of Iran were collected from Khorasan province and the volatile oil extracted by hydro distillation. Materials and Methods: The oil (0.5% v/w) was analyzed by GC and GC/MS using DB-5 column. The effect of this oil on the withdrawal syndrome was determined in mice. After induction of dependency by morphine, mice were intraperitoneally administered different concentrations of the oil. Morphine-withdrawal inducing by naloxone was assessed by recording the incidence of escape jumps for 60 min. Results: The results indicated that a significant difference between the essential oil received group (at dose of 3.6 mg/kg) and control group was shown but the lower doses were not effective. Essential oil analysis showed that there were forty-six components, representing 95.4% of the oil. Conclusion: The oil of A. santolina which is rich in oxygenated monoterpenes with the major components, trans-verbenol (34.6%) and p-mentha3-en-8-ol (13.1%), can decreased the number of withdrawal jumping in addicted mice.

Keywords: Artemisia santolina , asteraceae, essential oil, morphine withdrawal

How to cite this article:
Gohari AR, Kurepaz-Mahmoodabadi M, Saeidnia S. Volatile oil of Artemisia santolina decreased morphine withdrawal jumping in mice. Phcog Res 2013;5:118-20

How to cite this URL:
Gohari AR, Kurepaz-Mahmoodabadi M, Saeidnia S. Volatile oil of Artemisia santolina decreased morphine withdrawal jumping in mice. Phcog Res [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Jun 16];5:118-20. Available from: http://www.phcogres.com/text.asp?2013/5/2/118/110542

   Introduction Top

Artemisia genus (Worm Wood), with the common Persian name of Dermane, is a fairly large genus within the family of the Asteraceae (Compositae), with 200 individual species known, which are usually found in dry areas. They are invariably found as small fragrant shrubs or herbs and most yield essential oils. Some of these oils have found uses in perfumery and medicine. There are approximately 34 native Artemisia spp. in Iran. [1],[2],[3],[4]

Artemisia and Achillea species (both plants belong to the tribe Anthemideae, the largest tribe of the family Asteraceae) have been reported to be effective as anti-diabetic herbal medicines. [5],[6],[7] These plants have been used in many countries of middle east and Iran as a herbal medicine for treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, anti-migraine, anti-fungal, digestive, anti-helminic, tonic, mycolytic, stomachic, and lipolytic. [6],[8],[9] Essential oils of various species of Artemisia have exhibited antibacterial activity. [10],[11] In vitro antibacterial activity was also reported from the ethanolic extract of A. herba alba. [12] In the literature, the chloroform extract of A. maciverae (whole plant) have been revealed the antimalarial activity. [13] Furthermore, the antifungal activity of the essential oil of A. sieberi has been evaluated against four soil born fungi and it was highly effective against Rhizoctonia solani. [14] In another study, the In vitro activity of A. cina was investigated against Ascaridia galli adult worms (one of the most common parasitic round worms of poultry), which was resulted in a weak potency for destruction of lips and damage of buccal cavity of the worm. [15]

Artemisia santolina Schrenk is a perennial herb with woody shoots which covered with brown splitting bark. It found throughout the North-East of Iran, especially Khorasan province and prefers dry, partially shaded stream sides or riverbanks on most geologic formations. [3],[16] The chemical composition of A. santolina oil, collected from North part of Iran, has already been studied and the main components found to be lavandulol (37.2%), 1,8-cineole (15.9%), linalool (13.6%) and lavandulyl acetate (9.5%). [17] A. santolina oil, gathered from-central parts of Iran (Semnan province) is reported to consist of neryl acetate (13.4%), bornyl acetate (10.9%), trans-verbenol (9.9%), lavandulol (8.8%), linalool (6.9%) and 1,8-cineole (6.5%). [18]

The withdrawal jumping behavior under the influence of narcotic analgesics is usually used in order to estimate the degree of morphine-like physical dependence in mice. It is suggested that this method is suitable to evaluate the degree and property of morphine-like physical dependence in mice. [19] In the present study we have explained the antagonistic activity of the volatile oil of A. santolina on morphine withdrawal syndrome in mice.

   Materials and Methods Top

Plant material

Aerial parts of A. santolina were collected in September 2003, during the full flowering stage, from Birjand (Khorasan province). The plant was identified by Prof. Valiallah Mozaffarian. A voucher specimen has been deposited at the herbarium of the Dr. Zargari, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences.

Oil isolation

Aerial parts of A. santolina were dried at room temperature and pulverized in electric mill. Powdered plant (90 g) was hydro distilled using a Clevenger-type apparatus for 3 h. The oil was dried over anhydrous sodium sulfate and stored at 4°C before analysis.

GC-MS analysis

The analytical gas chromatography (GC) was carried out using a Thermoquest-Finnigan Trace GC-MS chromatograph equipped with a DB5 fused silica column (60 m × 0.25 mm i.d., film thickness 0.25 μm). Carrier gas was Helium at a flow rate of 1:1 ml/min with a split ratio equal to 1/50. Temperature programming was performed from 60°C (2 min) to 250°C at a rate of 5°C/min and held for 10 min. Transfer line and detector temperatures were 250°C and 260°C, respectively. The quadrupole mass spectrometer was scanned over the 35-465 amu with an ionizing voltage of 70 eV and ionization current of 150 μA.

Identification of the oil composition

The retention indices for all the components were calculated by using retention times of n-alkenes (C 8 -C 25 ) that injected after the essential oil at the same temperature and conditions. The components were identified by comparison of retention indices (RRI, DB-5) with those reported in the literatures and also by comparison of their mass spectra and fragmentation patterns with the published mass spectra or Wiley and NIST libraries. [20]


Male albino mice (20-30 g) were prepared from Pasteur institute (Tehran, Iran) and kept in animal house under standard condition (12 h/12 h light dark cycle at 25 ± 3°C). The animals received standard pellet diet and water ad libitum. Animal handling was performed as per Good Laboratory Practice. Research proposal was prepared based on the CPCSEA (Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animal) and approved by IAEC (Institutional Animal Ethical Committee) of Tehran University of Medical Sciences.

Administration of the extracts

The mice were randomly divided in three groups of six in each. All animals were rendered dependent on morphine. All the animals were injected subcutaneously (sc) with morphine at doses of 50, 50 and 7 m (mg/kg) three times daily for three days. On the fourth day, one dose of morphine (50 mg/kg) was injected to all groups before treatment with naloxone. After induction of morphine dependence, normal saline was injected to control group (3 ml, ip) and various concentrations (3.6, 1.8 and 0.9 mg/kg) of the essential oil were injected to the test groups. Two hours after the final administration of morphine, the withdrawal sign were appeared by injection of naloxone (5 mg/kg, sc). Immediately, the number of jumping episode was counted for 60 minutes. [21],[22] The data were expressed as Mean ± SEM. One-way ANOVA was used for comparison of the data and P value less than 0.05 was considered significant.

   Results and Discussion Top

Hydro distillation of air-dried aerial parts of A. santolina, from Iran, yielded 0.5% (v/w) of the oil based on dry weight of sample. The oil was transparent and yellow with lower density than water. Analysis of the oil by GC and GC-MS resulted in forty-six constituents, representing 95.4% of the total oil [Table 1]. The main components were trans-verbenol (34.6%), p-mentha-3-en-8-ol (13.1%), davana ether (7.6%), 1,8-cineole (7.3%), cis-verbenol (6.3%) and thuja-2,4 (10)-diene (3.4%). The analysis of the essential oil of this plant material was previously published [23] and our results are in agreement with their results except in some minor and trace components.
Table 1: The main chemical composition of the volatile oil of Artemisia santolina

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The results of withdrawal jumping test indicated that a significant difference between the essential oil received group (at dose of 3.6 mg/kg) and control group was shown but the lower doses were not effective. Statistical significant difference between morphine withdrawal jumps per 60 min in the test group (which received 3.6 mg/kg of essential oil as 40.7 ± 28.8) and control (109.0 ± 77.3) was observed. This is the first report of the essential oil of this plant which demonstrated antagonistic effect on morphine withdrawal syndrome in mice. Because the opioid dependence is an important problem in the world and the addict patients are widespread in Asia and Europe, finding the new source of antagonists is necessary to improve the treatment. The oil of A. santolina could suppress morphine withdrawal syndrome, so this study is the first step in the research for finding the main mechanism of action mainly involved in the inhibitory effect on morphine dependency.

   Conclusion Top

The oil of A. santolina which is rich in oxygenated monoterpenes with the major components, trans-verbenol and p-mentha3-en-8-ol, can decreased the number of withdrawal jumping in addicted mice.

   References Top

1.Bertea CM, Freije JR, Van Der Woude H, Verstappen FW, Perk L, Marquez V, et al. Identificationof intermediates and enzymes involved in the early steps of artemisinin biosynthesis in Artemisia annua. Planta Med 2005;71:40-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Verdian-rizi M. Variation in the essential oil composition of Artemisia annua L. of different growth stages cultivated in Iran. Afr J Plant Sci 2008;2:16-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Mozaffarian W. A dictionary of Iranian plant names. Tehran: Farhang Moaser; 1996.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Qureshi RA, Ahmad M, Arshad M. Taxonomic study and medicinal importance of three selected species of the genus Artemisia Linn. Asian J Plant Sci 2002;1:712-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Abd El-Twab MH, Zahran FA. RAPD, ISSR and RFLP analysis of phylogenetic relationships among congeneric species (Anthemideae, Asteraceae) in Egypt. Int J Bot 2010;6:1-10.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Saeidnia S, Gohari AR, Mokhber-Dezfuli N, Kiuchi F. A review on phytochemistry and medicinal properties of the genus Achillea. Daru 2011;19:173-86.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Mansi K, Amneh M, Nasr H. The hypolipidemic effects of Artemisia sieberi (A. herba-alba) in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Int J Pharmacol 2007;3:487-91.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Nezhadali A, Akbarpour M, Zarrabi-Shirvan B. Chemical composition of the essential oil from the aerial parts of Artemisia herba. E J Chem 2008;5:557-61.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Saeidnia S, Gohari AR, Yassa N, Shafiee A. Composition of the volatile oil of DC. from Iran. Daru 2005;13:34-6.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Behmanesh B, Heshmati GA, Mazandarani M, Rezaei MB, Ahmadi AR, Ghaemi EO, et al. Chemical composition and antibacterial activity from essential oil of Artemisia sieberi Besser subsp. Sieberi in north of Iran. Asian J Plant Sci 2007;6:562-4.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Jazani NH, Zartoshti M, Babazadeh H, Ali-daiee N. Antibacterial effects of Artemisia dracunculus essential oil on multi-drug resistant isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii. J Bacteriol 2011;1:31-6.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Dadgar T, Asmar M, Saifi A, Mazandarani M, Bayat H, Moradi A, et al. Antibacterial activity of certain Iranian medicinal plants against methicillin-resistant and sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. Asian J Plant Sci 2006;5:861-6.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Ene AC, Ameh DA, Kwanashie HO, Agomo PU, Atawodi SE. Preliminary in vivo antimalarial screening of petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol extracts of fifteen plants grown in Nigeria. J Pharmacol Toxicol 2008;3:254-60.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Farzaneh M, Ghorbani-Ghouzhdi H, Ghorbani M, Hadian J. Composition and antifungal activity of essential oil of Artemisia sieberi Bess. On soil-borne phytopathogens. Pak J Biol Sci 2006;9:1979-82.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Hassanain MA, Abdel Rahman EH, Khalil FA. New scanning electron microscopy look of Ascaridia galli (Schrank, 1788) adult worm and its biological control. Res J Parasitol 2009;4:94-104.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Rechinger KH. Artemisia. In: Rechinger KH, Hedge IC, editors. Flora Iranica: Compositae, No. 158, Graz: Akademische Druck and Verlagsansalt; 1986. p. 214.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Rustaiyan A, Balalaei S, Mohammadi F, Masoudi S, Yari M. Comparison of the volatile oils of Artemisia santolina Scherenk and Artemisia gypsacea Krasch., M. Pop. et Lincz. ex Poljak. From Iran. J Essent Oil Res 2000;12:330-2.  Back to cited text no. 17
18.Sefidkon F, Jalili LA, Mirhaji T. Essential oil composition of three Artemisia spp. from Iran. Flavour Fragr J 2002;17:150-2.  Back to cited text no. 18
19.Nakamura H, Yokoyama Y, Shimizu M. Quantitative assessment of jumping behavior of morphine-like analgesics in mice. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther 1983;263:164-76.  Back to cited text no. 19
20.Adams RP. Identification of essential oil components by gas chromatography- mass spectroscopy. Illinoise: Allured Publishing Corporation 1995.  Back to cited text no. 20
21.Gohari AR, Saeidnia S, Hadjiakhoondi A, Sharifzadeh M, Gohari MR. Effects of Physalis alkekengi, aerial parts extracts, on morphine withdrawal syndrome in mice. Pharmacologyonline 2008;3:724-9.  Back to cited text no. 21
22.Saeidnia S, Gohari AR, Kurepaz-Mahmoodabadi M, Sharifzadeh M, Gohari MR, Yazdanpanah M, et al. Antagonistic effects of Polygala platyptera on morphine withdrawal syndrome in mice. Pharmacologyonline 2009;2:1353-7.  Back to cited text no. 22
23.Nezhadali A, Lari J, Asili J, Mahmoudabadi M. Chemical composition of the essential oil of Artemisia santolina. J Essent Oil Bear Plants 2010;13:738-41.  Back to cited text no. 23


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