In the current study, cholinesterase inhibitory and antioxidant activities of the acetone and ethanol extracts of Artemisia absinthium, A. herba-alba, A. fragrans, Marrubium vulgare, M. astranicum, and Origanum vulgare var. glandulossum along with the essential oil of A. absinthium were investigated. Cholinesterase inhibitory activity was determined against acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) at 25, 50, and 100 mu g/mL using an ELISA microplate reader. Antioxidant activity was evaluated by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging activity, ferrous ion-chelating ability, and ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) tests at 250, 500, and 1000 mu g/mL. Among the extracts, the highest inhibition against AChE (76.30 +/- 0.18% at 100 mu g/mL) and BChE (83.51 +/- 1.27% at 50 mu g/mL) was caused by the acetone extract of M. vulgare. The acetone extract of O. vulgare var. glandulossum showed a greater FRAP than that of the reference (chlorogenic acid). Essential oil compositions of A. absinthium and A. herba-alba were also analyzed by GC-MS. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.