Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil of Majorana Hortensis Grown in Uttaranchal

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  • Topic: Oregano, Marjoram, Lamiaceae
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  • Published : September 10, 2008
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Chemical composition of the essential oil of Majorana hortensis grown in Uttaranchal

Shishir Kumar Singh

Abstract

GLC and GC-MS Analysis was done to analyse the hydrodistilled essential oil of Majorana hortensis grown in Uttranchal state of India. The 36 compounds could be identified out of 50 by their mass spectra accounting for 93% of the oil. The major ones are trans-sabinene hydrate (41.2%), terpinen-4-ol (18.5%), cis-sabinene hydrate (9.3%), a-terpineol (3.8%), p-cymene (3.6%) and sabinene (3.0%)

1. Introduction

Majorana hortensis syn. O. majorana is a perennial herb and native of Egypt and eastern Mediterranean countries. The aerial parts of the plants are used for oil, which has a lot of uses in flavour perfumery and pharmaceutical industry. It is also used as a spice and condiment as well as a flavouring agent in food industry. The plant has been used for centuries in the Mediterranean to help people maintain good health. As with many folk remedies, modern science has been late to the table starting research on this incredible plant. Recent laboratory studies have confirmed the powerful antibiotic, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties of the essential oil. The composition of oil from various related plant species have been investigated by number of workers (Lawrence, 1989;Nykanen, 1986; Komaitis, Infanti-Papatragianni, and Melissari-Panagiotou, 1992; Baser et al., 1993, Ravid and Putievsky, 1986; Vera and Chan Ming, 1999; Pande and Mathela, 2000). The composition varies from country to country and generally two types of oil forms exist. In one category the major components are terpinen-4-ol and sabinene hydrate whereas another form contains thymol and/or carvacrol as major constituent. (Sarer et al., 1982; Baser et al., 1993). In the present report GLC and GC-MS analysis was done of the oil obtained from freshly harvested aerial parts of Majorana hortensis grown at CRC Purara, Bageshwar-Uttranchal.

2. Materials and Methods

The aerial part of flowering plant grown at CIMAP, Resource Centre, Bageshwar situated in Uttaranchal state of India was harvested in bright sunlight and hydro-distilled in Clevenger type apparatus for 4 hrs. The essential oil was analysed on Perkin Elmer auto XL GC using a PE-5 column (50m x 0.32mm x 0.25m film) with temperature programme from 100°C to 280°C@3°C/ min, initial hold 2min, hydrogen at 10psi inlet pressure; injector 220°C, detector FID 300°C. Data was processed on turbochrome navigator software.GC-MS analysis was performed on Perkin Elmer turbomass system using identical column and temperature programme, He as a carrier at 10 Psi. Compound identification is based on Wiley and NIST libraries search.

3. Results and discussion

The hydro-distillation of aerial parts of Majorana hortensis produced a colorless essential oil with a yield of 0.4% on fresh weight basis. In a related species O. vulgare grown in India the oil yield was 0.1% (Kaul et al. 1996; Pande & Mathela, 2000). However, the Origanum majorana from Reunion Island reported to have »1% of oil (Vera & Chane-Ming.1999). The compounds identified are given in the table –1 along with their elution time on PE-5 column used in the analysis. The 36 compounds could be identified out of 50 by their mass spectra accounting for 93% of the oil. The major ones are trans-sabinene hydrate (41.2%), terpinen-4-ol (18.5%), cis-sabinene hydrate (9.3%), a-terpineol (3.8%), p-cymene (3.6%) and sabinene (3.0%). The oil reported from Reunion Island contains low concentration of sabinene hydrate and nearly two times higher terpinen-4-ol than the oil reported in present study. The Majorana oil reported to exist in two chemotypes. The first one is rich in monoterpene alcohol (terpinen-4-ol, sabinene hydrates) and the other rich in phenols. The present study has shown that the oil obtained from Uttaranchal belongs to monoterpene alcohol chemotype. Similar...
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