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Original Article

J App Pharm Sci. 2016; 6(7): 038-042

Essential oil composition and variability of Artemisia herba-alba Asso. growing in Tunisia: comparison and chemometric investigation of different plant organs

Sana Bellili, Wissal Dhifi, Abdulrahman Ben Khsif Al-Garni, Guido Flamini, Wissem Mnif.


This study was conceived to investigate the composition of four essential oils (EOs) extracted by hydrodistillation from four parts (leaves, stems, leaves/stems, roots) of Artemisia herba-alba growing wild in the center of Tunisia. Artemisia herba-alba aerial and roots parts were shade dried at room temperature with ventilation. The material was cut into small pieces and subjected to hydrodistillation using a Clevenger-type apparatus. The GC analyses were accomplished with a HP-5890 Series II instrument. A total of 152 compounds were characterized by GC and GC-MS, representing 91.3-99.7% of the total oil compositions. All four oils are dominated by monoterpene derivatives (68.2-99.5%) and the major volatile constituent was α-thujone (18.2-45.5%). Qualitative and quantitative differences between the four essential oils have been observed for some compounds. The main compounds of the essential oil from the leaves were α-thujone (45.5%), β-thujone (11.4%), trans-sabinyl acetate (10.1%), 1,8-cineole (7.4%) and camphor (6.8%). α-thujone (27.5%) was also the main compound in the essential oil of leaves/stems, followed by camphor (22.9%), 1,8-cineole (8.3%), β-thujone (8.2%) and camphene (5.6%). The essential oil of stems was dominated by α-thujone (28%) followed by β-thujone (11.4%) and chrysantenone (11%). In the essential oil of roots, α-thujone was less represented (18.2%), followed by camphor (14.6%) and curcumen-15-al (14.3%). Curcumen-15-al has been reported for the first time in Artemisia herba-alba oil and should be considered as a new chemotype. The results showed a variation in chemical compositions and yield of the EOs from Artemisia herba-alba. Curcumen-15-al is a new chemotype that was found in Artemisia herba-alba from Tunisia.

Key words: Artemisia herba-alba; GC-MS; chemical variability; curcumen-15-al

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