Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3785

Full Length Research Paper

Chemical composition and biological activities of essential oils and solvent extracts of Origanum vulgare subsp. glandulosum Desf. from Tunisia

Afef Béjaoui1*, Abdennacer Boulila2 and Mohamed Boussaid1
1Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Department of Biology, National Institute of Applied Science and Technology, Centre Urbain Nord, B.P. 676, 1080 Tunis Cedex, Tunisia. 2Laboratory of Natural Substances, National Institute of Research and Physico-chemical Analysis, Technical Pole of Sidi Thabet, 2020, Ariana, Tunisia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 July 2013
  •  Published: 03 October 2013


This study aimed to quantify the active biological compounds in Origanum vulgare subsp.glandulosum Desf. Analysis of the chemical composition essential oil from Tunisia was carried out using gas chromatography-mass spectral (GC-MS). The antioxidant capacities of essential oil and extracts were evaluated using free radical scavenging, ferric reducing antioxidant power assay and metal chelating effects. The antidiabetic activity was screened using α-amylase. The oil was dominated by carvacrol (61.20 to 74.03), p-cymene (5.89 to 12.60), and g-terpinene (1.13 to 6.88). 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric reducing antioxidant power assay (FRAP) assays showed that leaves of O. vulgare have a potent antioxidant activities which was comparable to Trolox. The methanol extract have the highest ion chelating ability at around 76.98 mg equivalent ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)/g dry matter (DM).  The amounts of chlorophylls A and B were higher than that of lycopene and β-carotene. Essential oils and extracts, screened for α-amylase inhibitory effect, showed a strong capacity to inhibit the degradation of starch by pancreatic and salivary α-amylase. Extracts and essential oils of O. vulgare showed substantial antioxidant activity, and detectible inhibitory effect on α-amylase activity, therefore it could be used as a natural preservative ingredient in food and/or pharmaceutical industries.


Key words: Origanum vulgare subsp. glandulosum, essential oil, solvent extract, biological activities.