Analysis of the essential oil from the dried leaves of Euphorbia hirta Linn (Euphorbiaceae), a potential medication for asthma

  • M Ogunlesi
  • W Okiei
  • E Ofor
  • AE Osibote
Keywords: Euphorbia hirta, asthma, arthritis, essential oil, medicinal properties, insect repellent, GC-MS


Essential oil was obtained from the dried leaves of Euphorbia hirta, commonly called asthma plant. Analysis of the oil was carried out on a combined gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer fitted with an HP-5 MS (5% phenylmethyl siloxane) column at a temperature programme of 120°C (5 min) increased at
5°C/min to 320°C and held for 5 min. The major components identified include 3,7,11,15-tetramethyl-2-hexadecen-1-ol, 6,10,14-trimethyl-2-pentadecanone, hexadecanal, phytol and n-hexadecanoic acid
adding up to 61.01%. Minor constituents include 2-butoxyethanol, tetradecane, phthalic acid, butyl tetradecyl ester, oleic acid,  13-heptadecyn-1-ol, 2-methyl-1-hexadecanol and 1,2-benzene dicarboxylic
acid diisooctylester. The possible roles of the components in the treatment of asthma and other diseases are discussed. The oil may function as a repellent against Anopheles species and thus useful for malaria control.

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eISSN: 1684-5315