Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3806

Full Length Research Paper

Chemical composition and in vitro antioxidant properties of essential oil of Ricinus communis L.

1Laboratoire de Chimie des Substances Naturelles, Faculté des, Sciences de Sfax, B. P. 1171, 3000 Sfax, *ISSAT-Gabès, Tunisia. 2Laboratoire de Biotechnologies Végétales Appliquées à l’Amélioration des Cultures, Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, B. P. 1171, 3000 Sfax. Tunisia. 3Laboratoire de Microbiologie, UR/08-73, Faculté des sciences de Sfax, University of Sfax, Tunisia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 February 2011
  •  Published: 18 April 2011


The essential oil from the aerial parts of Ricinus communis, an aromatic member of the Euphorbiaceae family, from Tunisia, obtained by hydrodistillation, was analyzed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Seven constituents were found representing 100% of the oil. The main constituents of the essential oil were α-thujone (31.71%), 1,8-cineole (30.98%), followed by α-pinene (16.88%), camphor (12.98%) and camphene (7.48%). Antioxidant activity of the investigated essential oil was evaluated by different test systems: 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, β -carotene bleaching test and reducing power assay. The essential oil exhibited a potential antioxidant activity. From the DPPH assay and the β -carotene bleaching test, the R. communis exhibited a halfantioxidant capacity at 300 μg/ml than the positive control, however, the reducing power assay indicate a higher reducing ability of the essential oil. This is the first and original study on chemical composition and antioxidant activity of the essential oil of R. communis.


Key words: Ricinus communis, essential oil, chemical composition, antioxidant activity.