The essential oils from leaves of Mei Pian tree (a Cinnamomun burmannii physiological type), were obtained by hydro-distillation and analyzed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Forty compounds representing 99.61% of the total oil containing D-borneol (78.6%) as the major component were obtained. D-borneol was purified by sublimation, and the characteristic of the refined D-borneol was compared with standard D-borneol and synthetic borneol by infrared spectra analysis and optical activity analysis. The chemical composition and the optical rotation of refined D-borneol from leaves of Mei Pian tree were extremely similar to the standard D-borneol and materially surpass synthetic borneol. Antioxidant activities of the refined D-borneol and standard D-borneol were determined by testing their DPPH and hydroxyl radicals scavenging activities and the reducing power. The refined D-borneol and standard D-borneol had the same antioxidant activity. They exhibited higher hydroxyl radicals scavenging activity, but weaker reducing power, compared with the synthetic borneol.
Key words: Borneol, D-borneol, synthetic borneol, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS), antioxidant activity.
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