Skip to main content


The effect of Russian Tarragon (artemisia dracunculus L.) on the plasma creatine concentration with creatine monohydrate administration

Article metrics


It has previously been shown that the plasma concentration of creatine following supplementation is influenced by extracellular concentrations of insulin and glucose, the form in which creatine is administered, and also the creatine concentration in the muscle cells. The common practice of raising insulin levels to increase initial uptake into muscle, by means of high amounts of glucose and/or protein, involves a high caloric load which is not always desired by athletes. A standardized extract of Russian Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L.), which can be administered safely as an oral supplement, has been shown to have antihyperglycemic activity. This study examined whether the plasma concentration curve following administration of creatine monohydrate was affected by the co-administration of Russian Tarragon extract.


Eleven healthy male subjects (20.4 +/- 1.5 yrs, 180.0 +/- 7.2 cm) participated in the study. Each subject was assigned to ingest a single dose of 60 mg/kg bwt creatine monohydrate (Creapure™, AlzChem, Trostberg, Germany), preceded 15 minutes earlier by ingestion of 2 × 500 mg capsules of a standardized extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. (Finzelberg, Andernach, Germany) or placebo. Plasma creatine concentrations, determined over two hours following ingestion, were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA.


Russian tarragon administration resulted in a significant reduction of plasma creatine levels at 60, 90 and 120 min, in comparison to placebo (Figure 1), as well as a significant reduction in the area under the plasma concentration curve (AUC). The effect of Russian Tarragon is seen as comparable with that of glucose and protein.

Figure 1

Plasma creatine concentrations. Mean (SD) plasma creatine concentration (micromo/L) following administration of 60 mg/kg bwt creatine monohydrate, preceded 15 minutes earlier by ingestion of 2 × 500 mg capsules of a standardized extract of Russian Tarragon (A) or placebo (B). The inset shows the mean differences (± SD) between treatments in the change from baseline at each time point.


It was concluded that Russian Tarragon influences plasma creatine levels during the ingestion of creatine monohydrate. Further research is needed to evaluate the effects of Russian Tarragon on creatine uptake and retention in muscle.


The authors would like to thank Degussa Food Ingredients, Freising, Germany and PhytoLab, Vestenbergsgreuth, Germany, for funding this research.

Author information

Correspondence to Ralf Jäger.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


  • Placebo
  • Creatine
  • Repeat Measure ANOVA
  • Insulin Level
  • Extracellular Concentration