Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3823

Full Length Research Paper

Variation in chemical composition and antibacterial activity of the essential oil of fresh and dry leaves and dry stem of Tarchonanthus camphorates

Sarah K. Nanyonga1, Andy R. Opoku2, Francis B. Lewu3 and Adebola O. Oyedeji4*    
1Department of Chemistry, University of Zululand, Private Bag X1001, KwaDlangewa, 3886. 2Department of Bio-Chemistry and Microbiology, University of Zululand, Private Bag X1001, KwaDlangewa, 3886, South Africa. 3Department of Agriculture, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Private Bag X8, Wellington, 7654, South Africa. 4Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Walter Sisulu University, Private Bag X1, Mthatha, 5099, South Africa.      
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 29 October 2012
  •  Published: 25 February 2013


The essential oils of the fresh leaves, dry leaves and dry stem of Tarchonanthus camphoratus from Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, were obtained by hydro-distillation and analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The essential oils were evaluated for their antibacterial activity against 4 Gram positive and 5 Gram negative bacteria using the disc diffusion method and the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) method. A total of 33, 27 and 25 compounds were identified representing 85.9, 73.01 and 72.66% of the total oil composition from the fresh leaves, dry leaves and dry stem, respectively. Sesquiterpene hydrocarbons dominated the essential oil of the fresh leaves (36.46%) and of the dry leaves (59.18) whereas an aldehyde, butanal (35.77%) dominated the essential oil of the dry stem. The oils showed a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity.The zones of inhibition of the fresh leaves, dry leaves, dry stem and chloramphenicol ranged from 7.3 to 14.0, 7.3 to 16.7, 13.5 to 20.4 and 0.00 to 17.5 mm, respectively. The lowest MIC value for the oils was 125 µg/ml.


Key words: Tarchonanthus camphoratus, essential oil composition, antibacterial activity.