Journal of
Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy

  • Abbreviation: J. Pharmacognosy Phytother.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2502
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPP
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 223

Full Length Research Paper

Chemical composition and antinociceptive activity of California sagebrush (Artemisia californica)

Pauline Fontaine 1, Vincent Wong1, Travis J. Williams 2, Cecilia Garcia 3 and James D. Adams Jr.1*
1University of Southern California, School of Pharmacy, 1985 Zonal Avenue, PSC 716, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9121, USA. 2Department of Chemistry and Loker Hydrocarbon Institute, University of Southern California, 837 Bloom Walk, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1661, USA. 3Ensenada, Mexico.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 10 December 2012
  •  Published: 31 January 2013


Artemisia californica, California sagebrush, has been reported to have pain relieving activity and is a traditional medicine of the Chumash Indians of California. Pain relieving activity of a traditional sagebrush preparation was examined in patients suffering from arthritis and other pain. The preparation was examined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry(HPLC-MS) to identify the compounds present. A traditional tincture of sagebrush was produced and used on 42 patients with moderate to severe pain. All patients reported pain relief within 10 to 20 min. Sagebrush was examined by GC-MS and HPLC-MS and was found to contain monoterpenoids, lipids, flavonoids and sesquiterpenes. The major monoterpenoid found is eucalyptol. Of the monoterpenoids, camphor and eucalyptol have reported pain relieving activity. They interact with transient receptor potential cation channel vanilloid 3 (TRPV3), transient receptor potential ankyrin-repeat 1 (TRPA1) and transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) receptors to produce pain relief that lasts for several hours. 


Key words: California sagebrush, Artemisia californica, Asteraceae, pain relief, anti-inflammatory, arthritis, transient receptor potential cation channels, transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8), transient receptor potential ankyrin-repeat 1 (TRPA1), transient receptor potential cation channel vanilloid 3 (TRPV3).