Adekemi T Alade, Sherifat A Aboaba, Williams N Setzer and Olusegun Ekundayo
Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides has many health benefits in Nigeria traditional medicine especially in the treatment of sickle cell anemia, microbial infections and cancer. The medicinal properties of plants are related to their phytochemicals and among them is essential oil which shows multiple biological activities due to its complex nature. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the chemical profiles of the essential oil of Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides leaves and stem bark for their chemical constituents with a view to providing basis for future pharmacological research on the essential oils of the two plant parts. The oils were extracted by hydrodistillation using Clevenger and analyzed using Gas Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometry. The leaf and the stembark consist 11 and 46 constituents equivalent to 88.4% and 99.5% of the total oil, respectively. Carryophyllene oxide (27.0%), α-pinene (16.0%) and humulene epoxide II (8.0%) were the dominant constituents in the leaf oil while α-pinene (38.5%) and pellitorine (13.9%) in the stem bark. Both oils showed some similarities in their composition, although the stembark oil contains more constituents. Pellitorine, caryophyllene oxide and α-pinene, which are detected in appreciable quantity in the leaves and stem bark essential oils possess diverse biological activities, which include anticancer, antioxidant and antimicrobial. The chemical profile of the essential oils from the leaves and stem bark of Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides suggests that the oils could provide a cure to many ailments.
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