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Chemical Composition and Biological Properties of Essential Oils of Two Mint Species

ML Tsai
TF Lin
WC Lin
YC Huang
CH Yang


Purpose: To analyze the composition of essential oils of two types of mint as well as compare the antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of the two oils.
Methods: Peppermint (M. piperita L.) and chocolate mint (M. piperita L.) oils were obtained by steam distillation in a Clevenger-type apparatus. The chemical composition of the essential oils was determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the essential oils were determined by broth dilution method. The antioxidant activities of the oils were determined by 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH)DPPH radical scavenging assay, β-Carotene-linoleic acid assay, andnitric oxide (NO) radical scavenging assay.
Results: The two essential oils contain high levels of alcohol (43.47-50.10%) and terpene (18.55-21.07%) with the major compound being menthol (28.19-30.35%). The antimicrobial activity (minimum inhibitory concentration, MIC) of peppermint oil against E. coli, S. aureus and P. aeruginosa (0.15, 0.08, 0.92 %v/v, respectively) was stronger than that of chocolate mint (0.23, 0.09, 1.22 %v/v, respectively). In the anti-oxidant test including DPPH and β-Carotenelinoleic acid assays, peppermint oil showed superior antioxidant properties to chocolate mint oil (4.45 - 19.86 μl/mL). However, with regard to scavenging NO radical activity, chocolate mint oil exhibited higher activity than peppermint (0.31 and 0.42 μl/mL, respectively). Chocolate mint oil also exhibited higher anti-inflammatory activity than peppermint oil (0.03 and 0.08 μl/mL, respectively).
Conclusion: The results obtained should help to clarify the functional applications of these folk herbs and their essential oils for aromatherapeutic healing and other folkloric uses.

Keywords: Peppermint, Chocolate mint, Anti-microbial, Anti-oxidant, Anti-inflammatory

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996