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Published on:10, 2011
Pharmacognosy Journal, 2011; 3(26):1-7
Original Article | doi:10.5530/pj.2011.26.1

Chemical Composition and Biological Activities of the Essential Oil of Plectranthus caninus Roth

Authors and affiliation (s):

Solomon Tadesse1, Avijit Mazumder2, Franz Bucar3, Ciddi Veeresham4, Kaleab Asres1*

1Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University, P. O. Box 1176, Ethiopia.

2Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Noida Institute of Engineering and Technology, 19 Knowledge Park II, Institutional Area, Greater Noida-201306, India.

3Department of Pharmacognosy, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Karl-Franzens University Graz, Universitaetsplatz 4/1, A-8010 Graz, Austria.

4University College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kakatiya University, Warangal-506009, Andhra Pradesh, India.


The essential oil from the aerial parts of Plectranthus caninus Roth (Lamiaceae), obtained by hydro-distillation was analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC /MS) and evaluated for antimicrobial, free radical scavenging and anti-inflammatory activities. Thirty-four compounds representing 91.02% of the total oil were identified. The major constituents of the oil were camphor (22.36%) and α-thujene (14.48%). The oil was tested against 21 bacterial and 4 fungal strains using disc diffusion method and found to be active against a broad spectrum of pathogens including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria as well as some fungal strains. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the oil against the bacterial strains tested ranged from 10 to 400 μg/ml, and from 800 to 1000 μg/mL against the fungal strains employed. The in vitro antioxidant activity was assessed using 2,2-diphenyl- 1‑picrylhydrazil (DPPH) radical scavenging assay. The oil reduced DPPH in a concentration dependent manner with an EC 50 value of 3.5 μl/ml. The in vivo anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated on the basis of inhibition of carrageenaninduced mouse hind paw oedema whereby doses of 200 and 300 mg/kg were found to inhibit significantly increase in paw volume during the late phase of inflammation. The study provides evidence for the broad-spectrum antimicrobial, significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of Plectranthus caninus essential oil, a possible explanation for the traditional use of the plant in the treatment of cold, teeth and gum disorders which may be related to microbial infections and inflammation.

Key words: Anti-inflammatory activity, antimicrobial activity, camphor, free radical scavenging activity, hydro-distillation.


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