Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3828

Full Length Research Paper

Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the flower and root hexane extracts of Althaea officinalis in Northwest Iran

Mahdi Valiei, Ali Shafaghat* and Farshid Salimi
Department of Chemistry, Ardabil Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ardabil, Iran.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 10 October 2011
  •  Published: 30 December 2011


The hexane extracts of flower and root of Althaea officinalis which were collected from northwestern Iran (Khalkhal) were obtained by Soxhlet apparatus. The fatty acids were derived from methyl esters and determined by gas chromatography/flame ionization detector (GC/FID) and gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) systems. The hexane extract from the flower and root contained omega-3 (20.5 and 14.9%, respectively). The other main compounds of the flower extract were palmitic acid (13.0%), heptacosane (9.3%) and nonacosane (11.2%). In the root extract, palmitic acid (16.8%), linoleic acid (omega-6) (28.0%) and naphthalene decahydro 2, 6- dimethyl (16.4%) were the main components. The antimicrobial activity of the hexane extracts of those samples were determined against some Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coliPseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Bacillus subtilisEnterococcus faecalisStaphylococcus aureus andStaphylococcus epidermidis), as well as three fungi (Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans andSaccharomyces cerevisiae). The bioassay showed that the both extracts exhibited good antimicrobial activity. This study reveals that all the parts of this plant are attractive sources of fatty acid components.


Key word: Althaea officinalis, Malvaceae, fatty acid, omega-3, omega-6, palmitic acid, antimicrobial activity.


GC/FID, chromatography/flame ionization detector; GC/MS, gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry; IOOC, International Olive Oil Council; DDM, disc diffusion method; PUFAs, polyunsaturated fatty acids; ALA or ω-3, α-linolenic acid; LA,linoleic acid; EFAs, essential fatty acids; UFA, unsaturated fatty acid; SFA, saturated fatty acid.