African Journal of
Plant Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Plant Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0824
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 761

Full Length Research Paper

Composition of the essential oils of three Cyperus species from Congo

Victor N?goka*
  • Victor N?goka*
  • Département de Chimie, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université Marien Ngouabi B.P: 69 Brazzaville ? Congo; Laboratoire de Pharmacochimie et Pharmacotechnie des Plantes Médicinales CHIRED-CONGO B.P: 13.922 Brazzaville République du Congo.
  • Google Scholar
Pierette Lokanga Tchiyamba
  • Pierette Lokanga Tchiyamba
  • Laboratoire de Pharmacochimie et Pharmacotechnie des Plantes Médicinales CHIRED-CONGO B.P: 13.922 Brazzaville République du Congo.
  • Google Scholar
Flore Victoire Foungui Otoungou
  • Flore Victoire Foungui Otoungou
  • Laboratoire de Pharmacochimie et Pharmacotechnie des Plantes Médicinales CHIRED-CONGO B.P: 13.922 Brazzaville République du Congo.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 14 October 2012
  •  Accepted: 14 November 2014
  •  Published: 30 November 2014

 ABSTRACT

Essential oils from underground parts of Cyperus articulatus (L.), Cyperus sp. and Kyllinga brevifolia (S.) were analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Thirty four (34) components were identified in the oil of C. articulatus. The main components were α-cadinol (12.07%), trans-pinocarveol (9.86%), cyperenone (7.28%), cyperene (6.29%), myrtenol (5.50%), myrtenal (4.90%) and cis-carveol (4.42%). Fifteen (15) components were identified in the oil of Cyperus sp. The main components were farnesol (28.61%), humulene epoxide (12.86%) and caryophyllene oxide (8.96%). Twenty three components were identified in the oil of K. brevifolia with the main components being manoyl oxide (44.08%), β-pinene (13.58%), cyperene (7.63%) and γ-terpineol (7.37%). Only β-pinene and limonene were present in the three species of Cyperaceae. The findings show broad differences in chemical compositions of the essential oils of C. articulatus, Cyperus sp. and K. brevifolia. When compared with previous studies available in literature, it was also noticed that a difference of composition existed for oils of C. articulatus and K. brevifolia of other origins, respectively.

 

Key words: Cyperus articulatus, Cyperus sp., Kyllinga brevifolia, Cyperaceae, essential oil, rhizome.


 INTRODUCTION

Cyperus articulatus (L.), Cyperaceae is a rhizome-bearing herb found in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Oceania (Schultes and Raffauf, 1990). In Congo, Gabon and Benin, these rhizomes are used in traditional practice to treat many diseases such as malaria, stomach-ache, respiratory infections, toothache, migraine and epilepsy (Bouquet, 1969). In northern Congo, the powder of rhizome of C. articulatus is commonly used in traditional medicine as skin application, fumigant or perfume.

Chemical constituents of extract of C. articulatus have been reported by Nyasse et al. (1988a, b). Sedative and anticonvulsant properties were reported for decoction and methanolic extract of C. articulatus (Bum et al., 1996, 2001; Rakotonirina et al., 2001). Anti-plasmodial activity of extract of C. articulatus have been reported by Rukunga et al. (2008, 2009). The pharmacological importance of essential oil of African plant has been developed by Lawal and Ogunwande (2013). Little studies have been reported on chemical constituents of essential oil of rhizomes of C. articulatus (Couchman et al., 1964; Duarte et al., 2005; Olawore et al., 2006; Silva et al., 2014; Zoghbi et al., 2006).

Nowadays, the literature offers some data on Kyllinga species. According to GENEVEBOTANIC, Kyllinga brevifolia may be the new name of Kyllinga erecta. Seeing that Cyperus brevifolius, Kyllinga brevifolia, Kyllinga brevifolius and Kyllinga erecta are synonymes, we used here literature names used by the authors.

Chemical constituents of extract of rhizomes of K. erecta have been reported by Dolmazon et al. (1995a, b). Essential oil composition of underground and aerial parts of Cyperus Kyllingia Endl has been reported by Khamsan et al. (2011) and Komai and Tang (1989), respectively. While the composition of rhizomes essential oil of K. erecta was reported by Mahmout et al. (1993a, b).

Rhizomes of C. articulatus are difficult to find in Congo, however rhizomes of K. brevifolia could be easily found. C. articulatus, Cyperus sp. and K. brevifolia have similar odor. Literature showed that essential oil of C. articulatus of different origins are not similar (Duarte et al., 2005; Olawore et al., 2006; Zoghbi et al., 2006). Similar observation was described by Paudel et al. (2012) for oil of K. brevifolia. On the other end, to the best of our knowledge, there are no data available on essential oil of C. articulatus from Congo and literature researches indicated that the oil of Cyperus sp. has not been subject of previous studies. In this study, C. articulatus, Cyperus sp. and K. brevifolia, which have similar odor were examined to identify and compare their essential oil components for eventual substitutions in medicinal usages. 


 MATERIALS AND METHODS

The underground parts of C. articulatus (L.) were collected in the raining season (October 2005) at the full flowering stage, from Owando, Department of Cuvette-Congo. The underground parts of Cyperus sp. (V.) and K.brevifolia (S.) were collected in the raining season (November 2005) at the full flowering stage from Brazzaville in Republic of Congo. Voucher specimens were deposited in the herbarium of CERVE (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur les Ressources Végétales) where they were identified by comparison with three voucher specimens Nere No. 1011 of 1963 February 2rd, P. Sita no. 400 of 1961 September and B. Descoings no. 6045 of 1960 July 1st for C. brevifolia and lastly K. erecta. With too voucher specimens B. Descoings no. 9013 of 1961 August 10th and J. Koechlin no. 1396 of 1951 October 9th for C. articulatus. Nowadays there are new voucher specimens, J.M. Moutsambote no. and no. 7210 of 2013 August 2rd respectively for Cyperus sp. and C. articulatus. The rhizomes and underground parts of plants were washed, dried at room temperature in the laboratory for two weeks and then grounded before use.

 

Extraction of essential oil

Air-dried underground parts of the plants (62.5 g, three times for each species) were subjected to hydrodistillation for 6 h using a Clevenger-type apparatus. The oil layers was separated from  water layers and were collected and anhydrous sodium sulphate was added to remove any residual water. Yields of the essential oils were determined and the oils were stored at low temperature until use for analysis.

 

GC-MS analysis

GC-MS analyses were carried out on a Varian 3400 GC-MS system equipped with a DB-5 fused silica column (30 m x 0.25 mm i.d.). Oven temperature was 40-240°C at a rate of 4°C/min, transfer line temperature 260°C, carrier gas helium with a linear velocity of 31.5 cm/s, split ratio 1/60, ionization energy 70 eV; scan time 1 s and mass range of 40-300 amu. The percentages of compounds were calculated by the area normalization method, without considering response factors. The components of the oil were identified by comparison of their mass spectra with those of a computer library or with authentic compounds and confirmed by comparison of their retention indices, either with those of authentic compounds or with data published in the literature (Adams, 1995).


 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The oils isolated by hydrodistillation from the underground parts of C. articulatus, Cyperus sp. and K. brevifolia were obtained in yields of 1.0, 0.5 and 0.6% (v/w) respectively. The oil of C. articulatus was found to be dark-brown liquid and the oil of Cyperus sp was found to be dark-yellow liquid while the oil of K. brevifolia was colourless liquid.

The chemical compositions of the oils are presented in Table 1. The components are listed in order of their elution. Forty one components were detected and thirty four were identified accounting for 84.45% of components in the oil of C. articulatus. The main components were α-cadinol (12.07%), trans-pinocarveol (9.86%), cyperenone (7.28%), cyperene (6.29%), myrtenol (5.50%), myrtenal (4.90%) and cis-carveol (4.42%). Out of twenty-seven compounds detected from Cyperus sp. only fifteen were identified accounting for 46.79% of the oil. Farnesol (28.61%), humulene epoxide II (12.86%), caryophyllene oxide (8.96%) and an unknown compound, 4.75% were the main components. While twenty three out of twenty seven compounds detected from the oil of K. brevifolia were identified, accounting for 96.13% of the oil. Among these are manoyl oxide (44.08%), β-pinene (13.58%), cyperene (7.63%) and γ-terpineol (7.37%) as the main constituents.

Comparing the compositions of the oils of these Cyperaceae, it has been shown that only β-pinene and limonene were present in the three oils. The amount of β-pinene varied from 0.72 to 13.58% and of limonene from 0.40 to 2.41%. The difference of the essential oils is very pronounced between Cyperus sp. and K. brevifolia from where only α-pinene and limonene are common components. There are only five compounds, α-pinene, limonene, α-terpineol, caryophyllene oxide and humulene epoxide II, that are common to both the oils of C. articulatus and Cyperus sp. While α-pinene, β-pinene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, cyperene and eudesma-2,4,11-triene are the six compounds found in both the oils of C. articulatus and K. brevifolia. These results showed a broad difference in the composition of these essential oils (Figures 1, 2, 3).

The essential oil of K. brevifolia contains 44.08% of manoyl oxide followed by 13.58% of β-pinene. Manoyl oxide, the major component in oil of K. brevifolia, was absent in the other oil and the concentration of β-pinene was very low, 2.94 and 0.72% respectively in oils of C. articulatus and C. sp. Farnesol was present in the amount of 28.61% in Cyperus sp. followed by humulene epoxide II (12.86%) and caryophyllene oxide (8.96%) which are respectively in low amount in C. articulatus, 0.59 and 3.24%, but absent in K. brevifolia. α-Cadinol and trans-pinocarveol, the two principal components of C. articulatus were absent in the two others species of cyperaceae. Myrtenol, myrtenal and verbenone were absent in Cyperus sp and K. brevifolia. Cyperenone, the third major component of C. articulatus was found in little amount (0.88%) in K. brevifolia. Amounts of cyperene in C. articulatus (6.29%) and K. brevifolia (7.63%) were comparable. The results of our findings are similar to the findings of Duarte et al. (2005) and Olawore et al. (2006) where cyperotundone, cyperenone and cyperene were not simultaneously found in oil of C. articulatus. The lack of one of these constituents in Cyperaceae species can be explained by the total percentages recovered which are less than 100%. This analysis explained probably the lack of cyperotundone, cyperenone and cyperene compounds in essential oil of C. articulatus previously reported by Duarte et al. (2005) where only 17 components were identified accounting for 82.00%.

There are some minor components in the oil of C. articulatus, such as nopinone, patchoulenone, β-maaliene, p-cymen-8-ol, β-calacorene and others that were not present in the other two oils. However, the oils of Cyperus sp. and K. brevifolia also have minor components, such as borneol, β-bisabolol, γ-terpineol, palmitic acid and others that are not present in the C. articulatus oil.

Some studies of oil of C. articulatus have been reported. Olawore et al. (2006) reported that the main components of oil from Nigeria were cedrol (19.0%), Guaia-5-en-11-ol (14.9%), α-cadinol (3.4%). Two studies of C. articulatus from two origins in Brazil showed difference in oil composition. The main components of oil of rhizomes of C. articulatus from Campinas Brazil (Duarte et al., 2005) were reported to be verbenone (19.57%), trans-pinocarveol (17.44%), myrtenal (8.16%), p-mentha-1, 5-dien-8-ol (7.06%), myrtenol (4.61%) and p-cymen-8-ol (4.44%). The main components of oil of rhizomes of C. articulatus from Pará Brazil were mustakone (14.5%), caryophyllene oxide (10.1%), α-pinene (6.5%), myrtenal + myrtenol (5.8%), trans-pinocarveol (5.5%) and ledol (4.6%) (Zoghbi et al. (2006). These results showed qualitative and quantitative compositions differences in essential oils of different origins. 

Paudel et al. (2014) reported composition of oil of K. brevifolia from Nepal which showed α-cadinol (40.3 %), -muurolol  (19.5 %)  and  germacrene  D-4-ol (12.5 %)  as major components while Guilhon et al. (2008) found mostly 13-epi-manoyl oxide(26.1 %) and manoyl oxide derivatives. In a previous study, Mahmout et al. (1993) reported composition of essential oil of K. erecta from Republic of Chad. The main components were found to be manoyl oxide (48.0%), cyperotundone (10.2%), cyperene (9.4%) and 11α-hydroxymanoyl oxide (7.5%). Similarly, for the major component (manoyl oxide), qualitative and quantitative differences in composition of oils were observed. 

Comparing the present results with those previously reported in the literature, on essential oil compositions of rhizomes of C. articulatus and K. brevifolia from different countries, it is apparent that, there are many differences regarding the major and the main components of oil, which further suggest the existence of more chemical diversity within these Cyperaceae species. The reason for variation between the chemical compositions of oils may be depended on climatic, seasonal, geographic conditions, harvest period and isolation procedure.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 CONCLUSION

The essential oils of C. articulatus, Cyperus sp. and K. brevifolia from Congo have been investigated for the first time. The yields of oil were, 1.0, 0.5 and 0.6% for C. articulatus, Cyperus sp and K. brevifolia, respectively. This study concluded that there is no chemical similarity between C. articulatus, Cyperus sp and K. brevifolia and demonstrated that C. articulatus from different origins can show difference in composition of theirs essential oils. The difference in chemical composition can also explain why C. articulatus have never been substituted by these other Cyperaceae species, in traditional practice, in spite of theirs similar odor.


 CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

The author(s) have declared that there is no conflict of interests.


 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We thank Madame Anna Boulanger - Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse, 3 rue Alfred Werner –F-68093 in France for GC-MS analysis; Doctor Jean-Marie Moutsamboté, manager of the herbarium of the “Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur les Ressources Végétales (CERVE)” for the botanical identification of the plant, and the Congolaise de Gestion de Loterie (COGELO) for the financial support.



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