Absinthe: Return of the Green Fairy

Christopher P. Holstege, Michael R. Baylor, Daniel E. Rusyniak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

18 Scopus citations


Among the most popular and intriguing intoxicants of the Victorian Age, absinthe had all but disappeared after it was banned in nearly all developed countries in the early 1900s. A number of great artists and writers from the late 1800s used absinthe as a social drink, including Vincent van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. A recent resurgence of absinthe use has occurred in Europe and is rapidly spreading to the United States. Despite its increasing popularity limited information exists on the mechanism of action and neurotoxicity of absinthe. This paper reviews some of the historical aspects of absinthe and aims to shed light on the mechanism of action and neurotoxicology of this the Green Fairy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-93
Number of pages5
JournalSeminars in neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002


  • Absinthe
  • History of medicine
  • Neurotoxicology
  • Thujone
  • Van Gogh

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Holstege, C. P., Baylor, M. R., & Rusyniak, D. E. (2002). Absinthe: Return of the Green Fairy. Seminars in neurology, 22(1), 89-93.