Essential oil analysis and antibacterial activity of Ferula assa-foetida L. aerial parts from Neishabour mountains

Document Type : Original paper


1 Department of Drug and Food Control, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 14155-6451, Iran.

2 Department of Pharmacognosy and Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.

3 Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran 19419-33111, Iran.

4 Department of Drug and Food Control, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biotechnology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 14155-6451, Iran.

5 Food and Drug Organization, Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran & Department of Traditional Pharmacy, Faculty of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

6 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Persian Medicine and Pharmacy Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran14155-6451, Iran.

7 Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

8 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Persian Medicine and Pharmacy Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran14155-6451, Iran. Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Background and objectives: Ferula assa-foetida (asafoetida) is a native Iranian species which grows in different regions and climates in Iran. The plant is well known in Iranian Traditional Medicine as well as folk medicine for treatment of diseases. Several studies have been carried out on the essential oil of this species collected from different areas of Iran. This study is the first report about the essential oil of the plant collected from Neishabour mountains that is a potent area for growing this valuable plant species.
Methods: Essential oil of the aerial part of Ferula assa-foetidawhich wascollected from Neishabour, Iran, was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC/MS). The minimum inhibitory concentrations of the essential oil was investigated against both Gram-positive (Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumonia) bacteria using microdilution method.
Results: Twenty three components representing 97.06% of the total oil were identified. (E)-1-propenyl sec-butyl disulfide (53.77%), (Z)-1-propenyl sec-butyl disulfide (35.6%) and α-pinene (3.4%) were identified as major components. The MICof the essential oil ranged from 12-24 mg/mL against all tested bacteria.
Conclusion: The results indicated that among various compounds identified in the essential oil of F. assa-foetida L. from Neishabour mountains, disulphide compounds were the major constituents of the oil. In comparison to other reports of this plant around the country, disulphide compounds could be the reason of its moderate antibacterial effect.


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