The present study explores the chemical composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of Omani basil (Ocimum basilicum). Omani basil essential oil was extracted using a Clevenger type appartus. The oil yield of Omani basil was found to be 0.171%. A total of 75 compounds representing 99.8% of Omani basil oil were identified. Linalool (69.9%) was identified as the major component present in Omani basil oil, followed by geraniol (10.9%), 1,8-cineole (6.4%), α-bergamotene (1.6%) and geranyl acetate (1.4%). Omani basil essential oil exhibited strong antibacterial activity against all the bacteria tested exceptPseudomonas putida and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The strongest inhibition activity of Omani basil was observed against Streptococcus pneumoniae 2 (60 mm), Hemophilus influenzae (45 mm), Candida albicans (45 mm), S. pneumoniae 1 (37 mm) and Aspergillus niger (35 mm). Total antioxidants content quantified in Omani basil essential oil using a commercial kit were found to be 50.32±1.8 mM. The essential oil extracted from Omani basil was found to have higher linalool content, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities than most of earlier reported values. In this regard, this variety can be very useful for medical purposes and in food and perfumery industries.
Key words: Omani basil, essential oil, GC-MS, antibacterial, antioxidant.
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