JEOR: Composition of Thymus serpyllum L. Oil, The

Composition of Thymus serpyllum L. Oil, The

Sefidkon, F

Abstract

The essential oils isolated by steam distillation from the aerial parts of Thymus serpyllum, before flowering and at full flowering stage were analyzed by capillary GC and GC/MS. Among the 34 compounds identified, the major components were [gamma]-terpinene (21.9% and 22.7%), p-cymene (21.1% and 20.7%), thymol (18.7% and 18.7%) and germacrene D (6.0% and 5.1%) before flowering and at full flowering stage, respectively.

Key Word Index

Thymus serpyllum, Lamiaceae, essential oil composition, [gamma]-terpinene, p-cymene, thymol.

Plant Name

Thymus serpyllum L.

Source

Plant materials were collected from the National Botanical Garden of Iran (Tehran Province) before flowering and full flowering stage in April 2000. A specimen has been deposited in the Herbarium of Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands (TARI).

Plant Part

Dried aerial parts ( 100 g, three times) were steam distilled for 90 min in an all-glass apparatus to produce a yellow oil in yields of 0.57% w/w (before flowering) and 0.90% w/w (full flowering). The oils were dried over anhydrous calcium chloride and stored in sealed vials at a low temperature prior to analysis.

Previous Work

The genus of Thymus presents 14 species which are found wild in different regions of Iran (1), four of which are endemic. We have studied some of the endemic and non-endemic (cultivated) Thymus species previously (2-5). In this paper, we introduce the oil composition of T. serpyllum, which was cultivated in Iran.

The chemical composition, thymol and carvacrol content, insecticidal and antimicrobial effect of T. serpyllum oil have been the subject of previous study (6-12). A comparison between the oil and supercritical carbon dioxide extract of Hungarian T. serpyllum has also been reported (13).

Present Work

The oils from the aerial parts of T. serpyllum, before and during full flowering stage were investigated by capillary GC and GC/MS. GC analysis was performed using a Shimadzu GC-9A equipped with a DB-I column (60 m × 0.25 mm, 0.25 µm film thickness). Oven temperature was held at 50°C for 5 min and then programmed to 250°C at a rate of 4°C/min, injector and detector (FID) temperature were 260°C, carrier gas was helium with a linear velocity of 32 cm/s. GC/MS analysis was carried out on a Varian 3400 GC/MS system equipped with a DB-I fused silica column (60 m × 0.25 mm); oven temperature, 50°-250°C at a rate of 4°C/min, transfer line temperature 260°C, carrier was helium with a linear velocity of 31.5 cm/s; split ratio 1/60; ionization energy 70 eV; scan time 1 s; mass range 40-300 amu.

The list of the constituents identified can be seen in Table I. They were identified by comparison of their mass spectra with those in the computer library or with authentic compounds. The identifications were confirmed by comparison of their retention indices either with those of authentic compounds or with data in the literature (14,15). Thirty compounds were identified in the oil of T. serpyllum before flowering, representing 98.0% of the oil, while 32 compounds were found in the oil during the full flowering stage, representing 88.1% of the oil. The major components were [gamma]-terpinene (21.9% and 22.7%), p-cymene (21.1% and 20.7%), thymol (18.7% and 18.7%) and germacrene D (6.0% and 5.1%) before flowering and during full flowering stage, respectively.

As shown in Table I, the percentage of p-cymene, [gamma]-terpinene, thymol, germacrene D and many other constituents in the oil of T. serpyllum are very similaar before and during the full flowering stage. An exeption can be seen in [beta]-caryophyllene which was found in the oil obtained before flowering 7.1%, while at full flowering stage it was a minor (0.1%) constituent.

The content of thymol and carvacrol found in our oil of T. serpyllum was less than in other species found in Iran (2-5).

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support provided by the Research Institute of Forests and Rangdamls forth is work. We thank from Dr. Mirzei and M.S. Barazandehfor injection of the oils to GC/MS and GC.

References

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F. Sefidkon*

Research Institute of Forests and Rangelanch, P.O. Box 13185-116, Tehran, Iran

M. Dabiri and S.A. Mirmostafa

Shahid Beheshti University, Faculty of Science, Chemistry Department, Tehran, Iran

* Address for correspondence

Received: May 2001

Revised: May 2001

Accepted: June 2001

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