Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #144657


item Medina, Andrea
item Lucero, Mary
item Holguin, F. Omar
item Estell, Richard - Rick
item Posakony, Jeff
item Simon, Julian
item O'connell, Mary

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/4/2005
Publication Date: 10/7/2005
Citation: Medina, A.L., Lucero, M.E., Holguin, F.O., Estell, R.E., Posakony, J.J.,Simon, J., O'Connell, M.A. 2005. Composition and antimicrobial activity of Anemopsis californica leaf oil. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 53:8694-8698.

Interpretive Summary: Anemopsis californica (Nutt) Hook. and Arn is a plant commonly known as "Yerba Mansa" or "Yerba del Manso" which has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant. Very little chemical or pharmacological analysis has been carried out on this native plant, which is considered a threatened species. In this paper, the essential oil was isolated from Yerba Mansa plants, and forty chemicals were identified. The oil mixture was then tested against eleven microorganisms, all of which have been associated with human ailments. Antimicrobial activity was observed against two bacterial and one fungal species. Individual chemicals present in the oil in high concentrations were also tested against the microorganisms. Although growth responses of some microbes were slightly reduced in the presence of the pure chemicals, none of the chemicals tested in pure form could account for the inhibition observed when the complete oil mixture was applied.

Technical Abstract: Isolation and characterization leaf volatiles in Anemopsis californica (Nutt.) Hook. and Arn. (A. californica) was performed using steam distillation, solid-phase microextraction, and supercritical fluid extraction. Thirty-eight compounds were detected and identified by gas chromatography; elemicin was the major component of the leaf volatiles. While the composition of the leaf volatiles varied with method of extraction, sabinene, 1,8-cineole, piperitone, methyl eugenol, and elemicin were usually present in readily detectable amounts. Greenhouse-reared clones of a wild population of A californica had an identical leaf volatile composition with the parent plants. Steam-distilled oil had antimicrobial properties against 3 (Straphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Geotrichim candidum) of 11 microbial species tested. Some of this bioactivity could be accounted by the oil.