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Nat Prod Res. 2014;28(24):2321-3. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2014.931393. Epub 2014 Jul 1.

Antioxidant and radical scavenging activities of chamazulene.

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a Biosfered S.r.l., Academic Spin-Off of the University of Turin , Via G. Quarello 15/A, 10135 Turin , Italy.


Essential oils (EOs) of chamomile contain several bioactive compounds, including monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, triterpenes and fatty acids. Hydrodistillation of chamomile EO induces the formation of chamazulene, a bioactive compound. Chamazulene was isolated from the EO by column chromatography. The total antioxidant capacity confirmed a higher antioxidant activity of chamazulene (IC50 = 6.4 μg mL(- 1)) than of ascorbic acid (IC50 = 12.8 μg mL(- 1)), α-tocopherol (IC50 = 20.5 μg mL(- 1)) and of butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (IC50 = 30.8 μg mL(- 1)). Chamazulene was unable to react with DPPH√. However, when chamazulene was assayed with ABTS√, a strong and significantly (P < 0.05) higher free radical scavenging activity was observed (IC50 = 3.7 μg mL(- 1)), with respect to BHT (IC50 = 6.2 μg mL(- 1)) and α-tocopherol (IC50 = 11.5 μg mL(- 1)). The results of this work show that chamazulene is an important factor for the antioxidant power of chamomile oil.


Asteraceae; Matricaria chamomilla L; antioxidant activity; chamazulene

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