African Journal of Chemical Education

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Chemical studies of Commiphora terebinthina and Pycnostachys abyssinica occurring in Ethiopia

Tegene Tesfaye Tole, Lomi Abayneh


In the course of this study the resins of Commiphora terebinthina and the roots of Pycnostachys abyssinica were collected from Konso and Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia, respectively. The essential oil of the resin of Commiphora terebinthina was isolated by hydro distillation and analyzed by GC and GC/MS. Identification of the constituents of the essential oil was performed by matching GC/MS of each constituent with Wiley, NIST and user generated mass spectral libraries. The main components identified from the oil of C. terebinthina were: geraniol (24%), aromadendrene (2l %), α-copaene (15%), α-humulene (3.2%) and α-cadinol (7.4%). The resins were also subjected to extraction by petroleum ether, ethyl acetate and methanol, sequentially resulting in the isolation of α-humulene, α-cadinol and T-cadinol using chromatographic techniques. The phytochemical screening of the petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol extracts from the root of Pycnostachys abyssinica revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, phenols, terpenoids, tannins, steroids and acidic compounds using the standard procedure. Chromatographic separation of the chloroform extract resulted in the isolation of β-sitosterol. Characterization of the isolated compounds was performed using the spectroscopic techniques Uv-Vis, IR, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR and DEPT-135 and comparison with previously reported literature.

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