The present study was undertaken to investigate the antifungal, antiaflatoxigenic, antioxidant, and anticancer activities of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. and Matricaria chamomilla L.essential oils and their phytochemical composition. The essential oils were obtained by hydrodistillation and their phytochemical composition was determined throughout gas chromatography-mas spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Both essential oils and their mixture showed broad antifungal spectrum against Aspergillus flavus, an important food contaminating fungus. The essential oils of G. glabra and M. chamomilla completely inhibited aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) production at 800 ppm. Both oils exhibited antioxidant activity as DPPH free radical scavenger in dose dependent manner. Percentage of radical scavenging activity of G. glabra and M. chamomilla oils at 400 μg/ml were calculated to be 85.2 and 91.7%, respectively as compared to standard (BHT) with 75.6% activity at the same concentration. The anticancer properties of essential oils against cells (MCF-7) were evaluated. In anticancer activity exposure of essential oils caused a significant decrease in cell viability in MCF-7 cell line (breast carcinoma). Exposure of MCF-7 cells with G. glabraessential oils resulted in dose dependent increase in cell growth inhibition (CGI) varying from 3 to 77% at concentration ranging from 10 to 640 μg/ml. Similarly, 7 to 89% CGI was obtained when M. chamomilla essential oils was used. The present study demonstrated that essential oils of G. glabra and M. chamomilla have potent antifungal, antioxidant, and anticancer with the presence of effective phytochemicals.
Key words: Glycyrrhiza glabra, Matricaria chamomilla, essential oil, antifungal, antiaflatoxigenic, antioxidant, anticancer.
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