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Nat Prod Res. 2011 Mar;25(6):569-75. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2010.482936.

Comparative volatile oil composition of four Ocimum species from northern India.

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Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP, CSIR), Research Centre, Pantnagar 263 149, Uttarakhand, India.


The hydrodistilled essential oils of Ocimum basilicum L. cvs. 'Vikarsudha' and 'CIM-Soumya', Ocimum sanctum L. cvs. 'Green' (CIM-Ayu) and 'Purple', Ocimum gratissimum L. and Ocimum kilimandscharicum Guerke have been studied by capillary gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Phenylpropanoids (65.2-77.6%) constituted the major proportion of the essential oil compositions of O. sanctum, O. basilicum and O. gratissimum, whilst oxygenated monoterpenes (72.7%) constituted the major proportion of the oil composition of O. kilimandscharicum. The essential oil compositions of cvs. 'Green' and 'Purple' of O. sanctum were almost the same, and both cultivars were dominated by eugenol (67.4% and 72.8%), β-elemene (11.0% and 10.9%), β-caryophyllene (7.3% and 8.4%) and germacrene D (2.4% and 2.2%), whilst the major components in O. basilicum cvs. 'Vikarsudha' and 'CIM-Soumya' were methyl chavicol (68.0% and 64.9%) and linalool (21.9% and 25.6%), along with bicyclogermacrene (2.0% and 0.7%) and α-terpineol (1.2% and 0.1%). Eugenol (77.2%), 1,8-cineole (7.6%), germacrene D (2.7%) and β-caryophyllene (1.7%) were identified as the major constituents of O. gratissimum. On the contrary, the essential oil from O. kilimandscharicum was mainly dominated by monoterpenoids (95.8%), represented by camphor (64.9%), limonene (8.7%), camphene (6.4%) and (E)-β-ocimene (3.0%).

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