The chemical composition and antioxidant activities of wild and cultivated Laurus nobilis leaves and Foeniculum vulgare subsp. piperitum seeds were determined. Differences were found in the total phenolic content of fennel. GC-MS analysis of the non polar fractions showed a different composition between wild and cultivated plants. Cultivated laurel had a high content of terpenes such as linool, α-terpinol, α-terpinyl acetate, thymol, caryophyllene, aromandrene, selinene, farnesene, and cadinene, while wild laurel had a high content of eugenol and methyl eugenol, vitamin E, and sterols. The antioxidant potential of the extracts was determined using three complementary methods. Wild plants showed greater radical scavenging activity than the cultivated plants. The extracts also exhibited a significant antioxidant capacity also in the β-carotene–linoleic acid test system. A high level of antioxidant activity was observed in wild laurel (IC50=1 μg/ml). Significant antioxidant activity measured in bovine brain was observed in wild laurel.
2006 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan