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Antioxidant Activity Study of a Few Essential Oils

Editor’s note: While this study does not describe practical application of the essential oils involved, it does make evident that a wide variety of essential oils do contain significant amounts of anti-oxidant activity. Clove oil is perhaps the most potent of all in terms of its anti-oxidant capacity, with an ORAC value of 10,786,875. Most [...]

Editor’s note: While this study does not describe practical application of the essential oils involved, it does make evident that a wide variety of essential oils do contain significant amounts of anti-oxidant activity. Clove oil is perhaps the most potent of all in terms of its anti-oxidant capacity, with an ORAC value of 10,786,875. Most herbal anti-oxidants are in the thousands to tens-of-thousands range.

Antioxidant activities and volatile constituents of various essential oils.

Wei A, Shibamoto T. Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.

Thirteen essential oils were examined for their antioxidant activity using three different assay systems. Jasmine, parsley seed, rose, and ylang-ylang oils inhibited hexanal oxidation by over 95% after 40 days at a level of 500 microg/mL in the aldehyde/carboxylic acid assay. Scavenging abilities of the oils for the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical ranged from 39% for angelica seed oil to 90% for jasmine oil at a level of 200 microg/mL. The greatest inhibitory activity toward malonaldehyde (MA) formation from squalene upon UV-irradiation was obtained from parsley seed oil (inhibitory effect, 67%), followed by rose oil (46%), and celery seed oil (23%) at the level of 500 microg/mL. The main compounds of oils showing high antioxidant activity were limonene (composition, 74.6%) in celery seed, benzyl acetate (22.9%) in jasmine, alpha-pinene (33.7%) in juniper berry, myristicin (44%) in parsley seed, patchouli alcohol (28.8%) in patchouli, citronellol (34.2%) in rose, and germacrene (19.1%) in ylang-ylang.

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