Quantity and quality of antioxidant compounds and components of essential oil of the medicinal plant (Eryngium campestre) under the influence of altitude

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Horticultural Sciences, Crop Sciences College Research Institute of Medicinal Plant Biotechnologies (RIMPBio) Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Sari, Iran


Introduction: In recent years, the use of medicinal plants and herbal medicines has found its special place among the general public, which has led to the recognition and introduction of medicinal plants for use in the pharmaceutical industry. Iran's natural habitats are valuable genetic resources for a large number of useful medicinal plants, including the growth of the Eryngium vehicle in the north of the country. Eryngium is a perennial herbaceous plant of the Umbelliferae family that grows in abundance in the northern parts of the country. This valuable plant contains medicinal compounds such as acetylene, flavonoids, triterpene saponins.
Material and methods: This study was conducted to investigate the effect of altitude on antioxidant compounds and constituents of essential oil of Eryngium
  at three altitudes (30, 100 and 300 meters above sea level) in Savadkuh section of Mazandaran Province, which was the natural habitat of this plant. After collection and drying, the plants were extracted with methanol solvent to measure traits such as antioxidants, phenol, and flavonoids. Also, in order to identify the essential oil compounds, and the percentage yield of essential oil, the essential oil was extracted by distillation with water and clevenger apparatus and the extracted essential oil compounds were identified by gas chromatography (GC / MS).
Results and discussion: According to the results of this study, the traits of antioxidants, phenol, flavonoids and essential oil content were significant at the level of one percent (p <0.01). These results indicate that in the Eryngium, altitudes can be effective on phenolic and antioxidant compounds content of Eryngium. Research has shown that the chemical properties of the soil and altitude are the most important factor in changes in the amount of essential oil. These results show that antioxidant and phenolic compounds are affected by altitude and factors such as the amount and intensity of light, ultraviolet rays, temperature and precipitation. An altitude of 300 meters above sea level had the best effect on the percentage of free radicals in DPPH(2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and doubled the percentage of salinity compared to 30 meters above sea level. However, in flavonoids, they did not show any difference between 30 and 100 meters above sea level, but they differed from plants harvested from 300 meters above sea level and included a larger amount. Also, with increasing height, the percentage of essential oil decreases. The results of the correlation of traits show that flavonoids and phenol have a significant relationship with increasing the percentage of essential oil yield. Antioxidants are also inversely related to the percentage of essential oils and flavonoids. The results of gas chromatography showed that compounds such as: D-limonene and beta.-sesquiphellandrene decreased with increasing altitude in essential oil and cis-.alpha.-Bisabolene increased with increasing altitude, in the essential oil of Eryngium. We also showed that the amount of identified compounds was not necessarily dependent on height and could be a function of other factors.
Conclusion: The results showed that the amount of free radical inhibition of DPPH increased with increasing altitude, but the trend of percentage of essential oil yield decreased inversely with increasing altitude. Also, there was no significant difference between 30 and 100 meters above sea level in flavonoids. The number of compounds identified by gas chromatography was the highest at an altitude of 300 m above sea level. Also, the three compounds D-limonene, beta.-sesquiphellandrene and cis-.alpha.-Bisabolene were a function of altitude.


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