African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines

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Chemical composition, cytotoxic activity and antimicrobial activity of essential oils of leaves and berries of Juniperus phoenicea l. Grown in Egypt

SA El-Sawi, HM Motawae, AM Ali


Hydrodistillation of berries and leaves of Juniperus phoenicea grown in Sinai yielded volatile oils in the yield of 0.36 and 1.96%, respectively. Using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry technique, fifty eight compounds were identified in berry oil representing 99.2% of the oil composition. α-Pinene was the major
compound in berry oil (39.30%) followed by sabinene (24.29%). Berry oil composed mainly of monoterpenoids which amounted to 90.53%, of which 72.85% was monoterpene hydrocarbons. The sesquiterpenoids accounted for about 8% of the total oil composition. Leaf oil was composed of about 66 compounds representing 99.16% of the total composition of the oil. α-Pinene was the major constituent of leaf oil at concentration of 38.22%, followed by α -cedrol (31.23%). The monoterpene hydrocarbon was the predominant chemical group (41.29%) followed by the oxygenated sesquiterpenes (32.21%). Both oils showed very high cytotoxic activities against all cell line tested. They showed equal activities against brain (0.6 μg//ml) and cervix (5.0 μg//ml) human cell lines, while berry oil was slightly more active than leaf oil against lung (0.6 and 0.7 μ/ml, respectively), liver (0.7 and 0.9 μg//ml, respectively) and breast human cell lines (0.8 and 1. μg//ml, respectively). The antimicrobial activity and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of leaf and berry oils were also determined. The oils showed high activity against most of the tested strains.

Keywords: Juniperus phoenicea, Cupressaceae, essential oils, berries, leaves, antimicrobial, cytotoxic, GCMS analysis.

African Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine Vol. 4 (4) 2007: pp. 417-426

AJOL African Journals Online