In the present study, essential oil from the leaves of Syrian oreganum [Origanum syriacum L. (Lauraceae)] grown in Turkish state forests of the Dortyol district, Turkey, was obtained by steam distillation. The chemical composition of oil was analysed by GC and GC-MS, and was found to contain 49.02% monoterpenes, 36.60% oxygenated monoterpenes and 12.59% sesquiterpenes. The major components are as follows: γ-terpinene, carvacrol, p-cymene and β-caryophyllene. Subsequently, the reducing power, antioxidant and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging activities of the essential oil were studied. The reducing power was compared with ascorbic acid, and the other activities were compared with 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methyl phenol (BHT, butylated hydroxytoluene). The results showed that the activities were concentration dependent. The antioxidant activities of the oil were slightly lower than those of ascorbic acid or BHT, so the oil can be considered an effective natural antioxidant. Antimicrobial activities of the essential oil from the leaves of Origanum syriacum was also determined on 16 microorganisms tested using the agar-disc diffusion method, and showed antimicrobial activity against 13 of these.
2003 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan