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Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity of Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)


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Due to potential liver damage and carcinogenic effects, the most widely used synthetic antioxidant compounds, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), have restricted usage (Senevirathne et al., 2006). Therefore, much emphasis is currently being given to searching for new and natural antioxidants and antimicrobials from dietary plants, because they can safeguard the human body against the oxidative damage of biological macromolecules. Many spices, such as nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), have been reported to have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, apart from their traditional use in numerous medical conditions, and can thus offer a potential solution in the search for new and natural sources of antioxidants and antimicrobials.
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From Deep Gupta, A, Rajpurohit, D. (2011). Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of
nutmeg (Myristica fragrans). In V. R. Preedy, R. R. Watson, V. B. Patel (Editors), Nuts
& Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention (1st ed.) (pp 831-839). London, Burlington,
San Diego: Academic Press is an imprint of Elsevier.
ISBN: 9780123756886
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
Academic Press
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Antioxidant and
Antimicrobial Activity
of Nutmeg (Myristica
Ashish Deep Gupta
, Deepak Rajpurohit
Mangalayatan University, Institute of Biomedical Education & Research,
Department of Biotechnology, Uttar Pradesh, India
College of Horticulture and Forestry, Department of Biotechnology, Rajasthan, India
Introduction 831
Botanical Description 832
Historical Cultivation and Usage 832
Present-Day Cultivation and
Usage 833
Application to Health Promotion and
Disease Prevention 833
Antioxidant activity 833
Antimicrobial activity 836
Adverse Effects and Reactions
(Allergies and Toxicity) 837
Summary Points 837
References 838
BHA, butylated hydroxyanisole
BHT, butylated hydroxytoluene
MMDA, 3-methoxy-4,5-methylene-dioxyamphetamine
TMA, 3,4,5 trimethoxyamphetamine
ROS, reactive oxygen species
Due to potential liver damage and carcinogenic effects, the most widely used synthetic anti-
oxidant compounds, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA),
have restricted usage (Senevirathne et al., 2006). Therefore, much emphasis is currently being
given to searching for new and natural antioxidants and antimicrobials from dietary plants,
because they can safeguard the human body against the oxidative damage of biological
Nuts & Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-375688-6.10098-2
Copyright Ó2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Author's personal copy
macromolecules. Many spices, such as nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), have been reported to have
antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, apart from their traditional use in numerous
medical conditions, and can thus offer a potential solution in the search for new and natural
sources of antioxidants and antimicrobials.
The nutmeg is a member of the magnoliales order and Myristicaceae family (Figure 98.1).
Nutmeg and mace are two important spices derived from the fruit. Nutmeg is the seed of the
tree; it is dark brown, ovoid, 2e3 cm long, and weighs between 5 and 10 g. Nutmeg seeds
possess ruminate endosperm, and are considered to be the most primitive among the flow-
ering plants. Mace is the dried lacy reddish covering or aril of the seed. A nutmeg tree takes
around 20 years to reach its full potential, but the first harvest can be carried out 7e9 years
after planting. World production of nutmeg is estimated to be 10,000e12,000 tonnes per year,
with annual world demand estimated at 9000 tonnes, whereas production of mace is esti-
mated at 1500e2000 tonnes. The main producers and exporters are Indonesia and Grenada;
India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean Islands are other important
Nutmeg originated in the Banda Islands of Indonesia, and was discovered by the Portuguese in
1512. The importance of the nutmeg seed was propagated by the Dutch. The name nutmeg is
derived from the Latin nux muscatus, meaning “musky nut.” In India, nutmeg is known as
Jaiphal. According to the ethno-medical literature, nutmeg seed oil was used for intestinal
disorders by Indians, in embalming by Egyptians, and to cure plague by Italians. In ancient
times, nutmeg seeds were used in medicines as an aphrodisiac, abortifacient, and anti-flatu-
lent, a narcotic, and as a means to induce menses. The effect of the nutmeg seeds on the central
nervous system was first observed in the early 19th century. Traditional uses of nutmeg seeds
include treatment of hemorrhoids, chronic vomiting, rheumatism, cholera, psychosis,
stomach cramps, nausea, and anxiety. Nutmeg seed oil also has antiseptic, analgesic, and
antirheumatic properties.
Nutmeg seeds. Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) is an important spice. Nutmeg is the actual seed, and has been reported to have
strong antioxidant and antimicrobial potential.
Effects of Specific Nuts and Seeds
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Both in vitro and in vivo studies have resulted in a wide array of pharmacological actions
attributed to nutmeg seeds, including antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial (Takikawa et al.,
2002), aphrodisiac (Tajuddin et al., 2003), anti-inflammatory (Olajide et al., 1999), and
hepatoprotective activities. Nutmeg seeds are used to control diarrhea and Crohn’s disease, as
they inhibit prostaglandin activity in the intestine. Nutmeg seeds also improve Alzheimer’s
disease, as they directly affect acetylcholinesterase activity in the brain. Nutmeg seed essential
oil is used in aromatherapy, because the three main constituents of nutmeg (myristicin,
elemicin, and isoelemicin) act as stress relievers.
Volatile essential oil and various extracts of nutmeg seeds have been reported to have many
pharmacological properties, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, insecticidal, anti-amebic,
and anticarcinogenic activity. Nutmeg seed oil is a colorless or pale yellow liquid with the
characteristic odor and taste of nutmeg. The composition of the essential oil of nutmeg seeds
and that of mace differ significantly. The essential oil of nutmeg seeds mainly contains sabi-
nene (15e50%), a-pinene (10e22%), b-pinene (7e18%), myrcene (0.7e3%), 1,8-cineole
(1.5e3.5%), a-phellandrene (0.3e6.2%), myristicin (0.5e13.5%), limonene (2.7e4.1%),
euginol (0.1e1%), safrole (0.1e3.2%), and terpinen-4-ol (0e11%). It has been noted that the
composition of nutmeg seed oil depends upon its source.
Antioxidant activity
In the human body there are various exogenous and endogenous sources for the spontaneous
generation of free radicals and other reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as hydroxyl radicals
($OH), superoxide anions ($O
), and hydrogen peroxide (H
), which can affect lipid,
protein, and nucleic acid in various ways and thus play an important role in the initiation and/
or progression of various diseases (Figure 98.2). Under pathological conditions and in
immune-compromised hosts, there is an imbalance between the generation of ROS and their
quenching by the host antioxidant system, which leads to oxidative stress. The exogenous
supply of antioxidants could be very helpful in conquering oxidative stress. Many spices,
including nutmeg, have been reported to possess good antioxidant capacity.
The antioxidant capacity of nutmeg seeds can be measured by various chemical assays, such as
estimation of total phenolic concentration, capacity to scavenge the stable free radical
DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl), ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay (FRAP),
inhibition of lipid peroxidation, inhibition of bleaching of b-carotene, etc. The antioxidant
capacity of the essential oil of nutmeg seeds and various extracts has been established by much
research. Jukic et al. (2006) found that the aglycone fraction, enzymatically isolated from
glycosidically bound volatiles of nutmeg, possesses a higher antioxidant capacity compared
with free volatiles from its essential oil. The variation was due to differences in the amounts of
eugenol and isoeugenol. Tomaino et al. (2005) studied the effect of heating on the antioxidant
effectiveness and chemical composition of nutmeg seed essential oil. They reported signifi-
cantly higher free radical scavenger activity with heating, which could be due to the volatili-
zation of the hydrocarbons of the oil at higher temperatures, resulting in the accumulation of
phenolic constituents in the remaining oil.
Antioxidant properties are contributed by the variety of active phytochemicals, including
vitamins, carotenoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, lignans, simple phenols, phenolic
acids, etc. It has been reported that total phenolic content and antioxidant activity have
a significant and positive correlation. In plants, phenolic antioxidants are mainly produced by
secondary metabolism, and their antioxidant property largely depends on their redox properties
and chemical structure (i.e., the number and position of the hydroxyl group). Shan et al. (2005)
reported caffic acid and catechin as the major phenolic acids present in nutmeg seeds.
Pharmacological Importance of Nutmeg
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Compounds like caffic acid, having a catechol structure, are considered to be good antioxidants
because the catechol structure can easily donate phenolic hydrogen or electrons to the accep-
tors, such as reactive oxygen species or lipid peroxyl groups. Chatterjee and colleagues (2007)
reported an antioxidant activity of acetone extract from mace aril, and found that acetone
extract is mainly constituted of lignans. Calliste et al. (2010) reported lignan derivatives as a class
of compounds that contribute to the antioxidant potential of nutmeg seeds. These lignan
derivatives essentially belong to the dibenzyl butane group, with either a guaiacyl or piperonyl
moieties on the aromatic rings. The principal compounds of this category are argenteane (bis-
erythro-5,50-bis [1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-4-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2,3 dime-
thylbutane]), meso-dihydroguaiaretic acid, and erythro-austrobailignan-6 (Figure 98.3).
Central moieties of these compounds are able to release one or two H atoms to the free radicals,
which can be explained by density functional theorycalculations of the OeH bond dissociation
enthalpies. After absorption into the body, nutmeg seed lignans and their glycosides are
metabolized to produce biologically active compounds containing the catechol structure, which
could account for the high antioxidant potential of the nutmeg seeds (Nakai et al., 2003).
Besides their antioxidant activity, lignans are known to possess diverse pharmacological
potentials, including antitumor, antiviral, and anti-atherosclerotic activities.
Antioxidant activity could be attributed to the occurrence and concentration of various
chemical substances present in the plant. Many compounds that possess good antioxidant
activity have been isolated from nutmeg seeds (Figure 98.4). Compounds such as eugenol
and b-caryophyllene, which contain hydrogen atoms in the benzylic and/or allylic positions,
could be good contributors for antioxidant activity. These compounds have high antioxidant
activity because of the relatively easy abstraction of atomic hydrogen from these functional
groups by peroxy radicals formed under oxidative stress. Another view that favors the
antioxidant role of eugenol in nutmeg could be that it promotes the activities of catalase,
superoxide dismutase, glutamine transferase, glutathione peroxidase, and glucose-6-phos-
phate dehydrogenase enzymes (Kumaravelu et al., 1996).
Reactive oxygen species
Pathogenesis of disease,
Drug toxicity
Heavy metals
Endogenous enzymes
NADPH oxidase
Interaction of ionizing
radiations with
Parkinson’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease
Muscular degeneration
Impaired wound healing
Cardiovascular diseases
Synthesis of reactive oxygen species in the human body, and their consequences. In the biological system, there are
many possible ways which can generate ROS. Synthesis of ROS can lead to various life threatening diseases.
Effects of Specific Nuts and Seeds
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Meso-di hydroguaiaretic acid
Important Lignans of the nutmeg seed. Meso-di hydroguaiaretic acid, erythro-austrobailignan-6 and argenteane
(bis-erythro-5,50-bis [1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-4-(3,4-methylene dioxyphenyl) 2,3 dimethylbutane]) are major lignans in
nutmeg. Lignans are important antioxidants, as they can release H atoms to the free radicals.
Important constituents of nutmeg seed oil. b-Caryophyllene [trans-(1R,9S)-8-Methylene-4,11,11-trimethyl bicycle [7.2.0]
undec-4-ene], safrole [3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propene], eugenol [2-Methoxy-4-(2-propenyl) phenol], and isoeugenol
[2-Methoxy-4-(1-propenyl) phenol] exert antioxidant activity via various mechanisms. b-Phellandrene [3-methylene-6-
(1-methyl ethyl) cyclohexene] is the main aphrodisiac compound of nutmeg.
Pharmacological Importance of Nutmeg
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Antimicrobial activity
Various extracts and the essential oil of nutmeg seeds have presented strong antimicrobial
activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, as well as a variety of fungi. Takikawa
et al. (2002) reported antimicrobial activity of ethanolic extract of nutmeg seeds against entero-
hemorrhagic E. coli O157, which was found to be highly sensitive to b-pinene. Narasimhan
and Dhake (2006) reported potent antibacterial activity of chloroform extract of nutmeg seeds
against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. They found trimyristin and myristic
acid to be the chief antibacterial principles isolated from nutmeg seeds. Cho et al. (2007)
isolated three lignans (erythro-austrobailignan-6, meso-dihydroguaiaretic acid, and nectan-
drin-B) from the methanolic extract of nutmeg seeds, which were reported to have antifungal
activity. These three lignans were found to suppress the development of rice blast and wheat leaf
rust. Some important antimicrobial compounds reported in nutmeg seeds are a-pinene,
b-pinene, p-cymene, carvacrol, and b-caryophyllene, (Dorman & Deans, 2004)(Figure 98.5).
Many plant phenolics have been reported to possess antimicrobial activity. b-Caryophyllene
has been reported to have anti-inflammatory and antifungal activities (Sabulal et al., 2006).
a-Pinene and b-pinene (pinene-type monoterpene hydrocarbons) have been reported to have
antimicrobial activity (Dorman & Deans, 2000), and are supposed to be involved in membrane
disruption by the lipophilic compounds. Another important component for antimicrobial
activity could be carvacrol. The mode of action of carvacrol on bacteria is similar to that of other
phenolic compounds, and occurs via membrane damage, resulting in an increase in membrane
permeability to protons and potassium ions, depletion of the intracellular ATP pool, and
disruption of the proton-motive force. p-Cymene could also be an important component,
because it is a precursor of carvacrol. It has been reported that p-cymene shows weak anti-
bacterial activity when used alone, but works synergistically with carvacrol in expanding the
membrane, which in turn causes destabilization of the membrane (Ultee et al., 2002). It has
been suggested that antimicrobial activity could be attributed to both major and minor
components; it is possible that the antimicrobial activity of major components is regulated by
Important antimicrobial compounds of nutmeg seed. a-Pinene, b-pinene, p-cymene [1-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-
benzene], and carvacrol [2-methyl-5-(1-methylethyl)-phenol] are the chief antimicrobial compounds of nutmeg. The main
mechanisms for antimicrobial activity are membrane disruption, or depletion of the intracellular ATP pool.
Effects of Specific Nuts and Seeds
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some other minor components, as well as these minor components being able to interact with
other components to exert antimicrobial activity (Bounatirou et al., 2007).
Consumption of nutmeg seeds in high dosage has been reported to lead to facial flushing,
tachycardia, hypertension, dry mouth, blurred vision, psychoactive hallucinations, feelings of
euphoria and unreality, and delirium. Recently, several cases of nutmeg seed ingestion have
been reported in adolescents in particular, all of whom were attempting to achieve a euphoric
state at low cost (Demetriades et al., 2005). Symptoms usually begin about 3e6 hours after
ingestion, and resolve by 24e36 hours. The medical literature does not cite any fatalities solely
related to nutmeg intoxication. The possible cause for the psychoactivity of nutmeg seeds
could be metabolic conversion of elemicin and myristicin into amphetamine-like compounds
(Figure 98.6). Elemicin is observed to metabolize to 3,4,5 trimethoxyamphetamine (TMA),
and myristicin to 3-methoxy-4,5-methylene-dioxy amphetamine (MMDA), which are
amphetamine derivatives (Stein et al., 2001). Moreover, myristicin is a weak inhibitor of
monamine oxidase, which could be responsible for some cardiovascular symptoms.
lDue to potential liver damage and carcinogenic effects, most widely used synthetic
antioxidant compounds such as butylated hydroxytoluene and butylated hydroxyanisole
have restricted usage.
lNutmeg is the dried kernel of a broadly ovoid seed. Nutmeg seeds have been reported to
have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, besides their use as an important folk
Metabolism of elemicin and myristicin in 3,3,5-trimethoxyamphetamin (TMA) and 3-methoxy-4,5-methylendioxy
amphetamine (MMDA). 3,3,5-Trimethoxyamphetamin (TMA) and 3-methoxy-4,5-methylendioxy amphetamine (MMDA) are
major compounds that cause hallucinogenic effects.
Pharmacological Importance of Nutmeg
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lNutmeg seeds possess a high antioxidant potential, which is attributed to caffic acid,
catechin, eugenol, b-caryophyllene, argenteane, meso-dihydroguaiaretic acid, and erythro-
lNutmeg seeds show strong antimicrobial activity against gram-positive and gram-negative
bacteria, as well as against various pathogenic fungi. Antimicrobial activity is contributed
by b-caryophyllene, a-pinene, b-pinene, p-cymene, and carvacrol.
lDue to its high antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, nutmeg could be considered as
a significant natural source of antioxidants and antimicrobials. Nutmeg, being a natural
product, can offer more safety to people and the environment, and is considered to be less
of a risk for resistance development by pathogenic microorganisms.
Bounatirou, S., Smiti, S., Miguel, M. G., Faleiro, L., Rejeb, M. N., Neffati, M., et al. (2007). Chemical composition,
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Chatterjee, S., Niaz, Z., Gautam, S., Adhikari, S., Variyar, P. S., & Sharma, A. (2007). Antioxidant activity of some
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Cho, J. Y., Choi, G. J., Son, S. W., Jang, K. S., Lim, H. K., Lee, S. O., et al. (2007). Isolation and antifungal activity of
lignans from Myristica fragrans against various plant pathogenic fungi. Pest Management Science, 63, 935e940.
Demetriades, A. K., Wallman, P. D., McGuiness, A., & Gavalas, M. C. (2005). Low cost, high risk: accidental nutmeg
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Nakai, M., Harada, M., Akimoto, K., Shibata, H., Miki, W., & Kiso, Y. (2003). Novel antioxidative metabolites in rat
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Effects of Specific Nuts and Seeds
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Pharmacological Importance of Nutmeg
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... The user position during practice bafufu is purposed to reduce pain during menstruation and after giving birth. Traditional spa such as bafufu has many other benefits, i.e., enhance blood circulation (Campbell et al. 2004), reducing body odor (Kardinan 2005), and maintaining vaginal hygiene (Gupta and Rajpurohit 2011;Asgarpanah and Kazemivash 2012). The warmth of the vapor will relieve pain, as shown on the water birth method. ...
... Other compounds in M. fragrans are trimyristin, erythro-austrobailignan-6, mesodihydroguaiaretic acid, and nectaridrin-B. These compounds have antifungal and antibacterial activity (Gupta and Rajpurohit 2011). The existence of those compounds and essential oils play an important role in maintaining the cleanliness of the vagina. ...
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Wakhidah AZ, Silalahi M, Yudiyanto. 2021. Ethnobotanical study of traditional steam bath bafufu in Lako Akediri Village, West Halmahera, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 23: 765-774. Indonesia's high biological and cultural diversity has resulted in various plant uses for medicinal purposes, including for health steam bath or spa. Bafufu is a traditional steam bath performed by Lako Akediri villagers in West Halmahera, Indonesia using concoctions made from various plant species. It is usually used to maintain women's bodies after postpartum and treat menstrual pain. This study was conducted to study the local knowledge of Lako Akediri villagers about bafufu spa concoction, including the diversity of plant and plant parts used to make the concoction and the community's management of such plants, and the efficacy of the concoction. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 30 respondents, comprised of indigenous medical practitioners and local women. Additionally, we collected and identified the specimens of plants used in bafufu. We recorded 20 plant species used in bafufu with the most used parts of plants being leaves and fruits. The local community obtained plants from 3 sources, i.e., cultivation, semi-wild, or wild. As many as 7 species were cited more than 6 times with kananga [Cananga odorata (Lam.) Hook.f. & Thomson] is the most cited (10 citation). Those plants have been well studied regarding their phytochemical content in maintaining women's reproduction health. Such most used plants have chemical compounds including liriodenine, punicalagins, curcumin, myristic acid, eugenol and citral a-citral b. The bafufu spa concoction has various benefits, such as maintaining the health of the reproductive organs reducing menstrual pain and body odor.
... mauritanica targeting both twigs and needles to compare with our results. Thereby, the antioxidant action mechanism cannot be understood without recourse to diverse existing hypotheses such as for example, considering the influence of a variety of active phytochemicals, including: vitamins, carotenoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, lignans, simple phenols, phenolic acids (Gupta and Rajpurohit 2011), presence or absence of hydrocarbons components (Villaño et al. 2007), extraction/detection methods (Apetrei et al. 2013). ...
... Another species that has a specific aromatic is M. argentea (also known as Papua nutmeg) and has been cultivated in Papua, Indonesia [27]. The biological activities of Myristica sp. and its essential oils have been reported such as antibacterial [28], antioxidant [28][29][30][31][32], and anti-inflammatory [18,19,23], antimicrobial [29,34,35], anticandidal [36,37], and anticancer [32]. The essential oil from Myristica sp. can be obtained either by the hydro-distillation or steam distillation method [38,39]. ...
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The isolation and identification of the chemical composition of Myristica argentea Warb (M. argentea) from Moluccas Island have been made in the present work. A steam distillation method was provided to isolate its essential oil. It shows that the presentation of M. argentea was 1.62% and 3.26% (% w/w) in mace and seed, respectively. GC-FID and GC–MS analysis was provided to identify its chemical compositions. The result shows that the main components contained in the M. argentea were safrole (49.06–62.25% and 15.04–18.12% of mace and seed, respectively), followed by sabinene (20.18–26.32% and 15.04–18.12% of mace and seed, respectively), α-terpinene (4.14–6.25% and 4.49–10.85% of mace and seed, respectively), and β-phellandrene (5.84–8.85% and 10.41–11.07% of mace and seed, respectively). The results indicate that the potential use of essential oil of M. argentea from Moluccas Island is a potential source of safrole which has many applications in pharmacochemical industries, and thus, the economic value of M. argentea can significantly be increased. In the present study, applications of essential and fat oils from M. argentea have been proposed in two applications. First, the application of safrole and its derivative components as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory by in silico study using Autodock platform. Second, trimyristin as the main component in fat oil of M. argentea is successfully converted into biokerosene by simulation and modeling study using Aspen Plus®. Graphical abstract
... The dry kernel is known as "nutmeg" and is a common flavouring agent for food worldwide. The two main products of M. fragrans, nutmeg and mace, show several biological activities such as antioxidant and antibacterial (Gupta and Rajpurohit, 2011;Nurjanah et al., 2017;Olajide et al., 1999;Takikawa et al., 2002). In traditional medicine, they are used to improve appetite and treat rheumatism, nausea, flatulence, and other gastrointestinal problems (Abourashed and El-Alfy, 2016). ...
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Natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) have emerged as green extracting solvents in recent years. In this study, a variety of choline chloride (ChCl)-based natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) were used as co-solvents for the hydrodistillation of nutmeg with the aim to obtain M. fragrans essential oil (EO) in higher yield and with a lower content of toxic phenylpropenoids (e.g. myristicin and safrole). The influence of ChCl-based NADES as additives in the hydrodistillation process was studied. The results showed that NADES additives improved the yield of the extracted essential oil and influenced its composition leading to a decrease in toxic phenylpropenoids. Best results were achieved by using ChCl-CA NADES ultrasound-assisted pretreatment coupled with traditional 2h Clevenger hydrodistillation that increased the yield of the EO from 0.98% (traditional) to 1.41% and a decrease of the phenylpropenoids amount in the essential oil.
Conference Paper
Nutmeg is a tropical plant widely found in Indonesia, especially in Maluku. This plant has benefits in all its parts. The fruit consists of flesh, seeds (nuts), and mace. Nutmeg seeds can be used as nutmeg oil with the essential oil, including sabinene 28,13%, 4-terpineol 22,02%, myristicin 13,95%, and alpha-pinene 11,45%. The presence of these volatile oil compounds can inhibit 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radicals and can inhibit bacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. This study aimed to determine the antioxidant and antibacterial activity of nutmeg seed oil. Nutmeg seed oil was extracted by the distillation method, then tested for antioxidants by the DPPH method, and the antibacterial activity by the disc diffusion method. The results showed that nutmeg seed oil had an antioxidant activity with a DPPH inhibition percentage of 58,34% and an IC50 value of 299,69 μg/mL. The results of the antibacterial activity of nutmeg oil showed that it effectively inhibited the growth of E. coli, S. aureus, and P. aeruginosa bacteria.
Herbs, Spices and Their Roles in Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods gives an overview of the many pharmacological activities associated with herbs and spices, including detailed coverage on their mechanisms and formulations for the food industry. Chapters focus on key ingredients such as Curcuma longa, Piper Nigrum and Trigonella foenum-graecum, with contributors across the globe providing the latest research and advances for each. This is an essential read for scientists who want to understand the fundamental mechanisms behind the bioactive compounds within herbs and spices. The numerous phytochemicals present in plant extracts have multiple pharmacological activities so there is extensive research into new bioactive compounds. The pharmacological activities of herbs and spices have been thoroughly investigated, and it is crucial that the latest research is organized into a comprehensive resource.
In the present chapter, the phytochemistry and the antibacterial potential of Myristica fragrans have been reviewed. The plant is widely used in folk medicine in several Asian countries in the treatment of ailments such as stomachache, diarrhea, rheumatism, headache, chronic vomiting, and others. Phytochemicals identified in Myristica fragrans include lignans, neolignans, diphenylalkenes, terpenoids, alkenes, fatty acids, flavonoids. Botanicals and constituents of this plant had prominent antibacterial activities on a wide range of bacterial species, including the multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter cloacea, and Enterobacter aerogenes. The crude extract from this plant and its most active constituent, 3′,4′,7-trihydroxyflavone (18) deserve further in-depth investigations to develop herbal or pharmaceutical drugs to fight bacterial infections including both sensitive and resistant phenotypes.
Oleoresin is a mixture of volatile and nonvolatile components available in whole extract of natural herb or spice. It principally comprises essential oils and resin. Lemongrass oleoresins come from the Cymbopogon species, which grow in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Oleoresin of lemongrass is a dark green-colored viscous liquid having a characteristic lemon aroma and flavor and is mostly used as a flavoring ingredient. The lemon prefix in the lemongrass specifies the characteristic lemon-like odor, which is due to the availability of citral content (mixture of two isomeric aldehydes, geranial and neral). It has been utilized in synthesizing flavors, perfumes, cosmetics, detergents, and in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Different methods are used to extract the lemongrass essential oil, but steam distillation is the most suitable method as it doesn’t alter the quality of the obtained oil. The chemical composition of lemongrass oil varies depending on its extraction methods, genetic differences, harvest period, photoperiod, plant age, farming practices, and geographical origin. Lemongrass essential oil has shown several biological activities, including antimicrobial, antifungal, antiprotozoan, antioxidant, antidiarrheal, antimutagenic, antiinflammatory, antimalarial, antinociceptive, antihepatotoxic activities, etc. Lemongrass oil is a potent food preservative because of its extraordinary antifungal and antibacterial activities.
Conference Paper
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ABSTRACTS: Introduction: It is a regular occurrence for harmful bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics that are currently accessible. As a result, plant-based bioactive compounds might be a viable option for developing novel formulations. Myristica fragrans seed has been utilised in everyday life for health care from ancient times. The study's objectives were to investigate the antioxidant and antibacterial properties of the seed's essential oil. Methodology: The Antimicrobial Assay was done using Well Diffusion Method with Acetone as a solvent system and Antioxidant Activity was studied using the standard DPPH Assay and presence of phytochemicals were evaluated by phytochemical analysis by standard methods (Vogel Results: Phytochemical analysis showed the presence of all phytochemicals such as Alkaloids, Flavonoids, Phenols, Terpenes, & Carbohydrates. The nutmeg Acetone Extract showed high antimicrobial activity against E. coli, Bacillus & Aspergillus Niger where as 100% of conc was effective against S. Typhi. Myristica Fragrans showed higher ability to scavenge free radicals at all concentrations and the values were found to be near to Std. ascorbic acid. Conclusion: It can be concluded that nutmeg can be incorporated for medical advantages, other bioactive properties and existed studied properties needs to evaluated for further advancements on a large industrial scale basis. Keywords: Myristica fragrans, Antimicrobial, Antioxidant activity, phytochemical analysis
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Spices are considered as sexual invigorators in the Unani System of Medicine. In order to explore the sexual function improving effect of Myristica fragrans Houtt. (nutmeg) and Syzygium aromaticum (L) Merr. & Perry. (clove) an experimental study was conducted in normal male mice. The extracts (50% ethanolic) of nutmeg and clove were administered (500 mg/kg; p.o.) to different groups of male Swiss mice. Mounting behaviour, mating performance, and general short term toxicity of the test drugs were determined and compared with the standard drug Penegra (Sildenafil citrate). The extracts of the nutmeg and clove were found to stimulate the mounting behaviour of male mice, and also to significantly increase their mating performance. The drugs were devoid of any conspicuous general short term toxicity. The extracts (50% ethanolic) of nutmeg and clove enhanced the sexual behaviour of male mice.
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The antioxidative potential of different fractions (respective organic and aqueous fractions of n-hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate) of 70% methanol extract of Ecklonia cava (a brown seaweed) was evaluated using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radical, nitric oxide, ferrous ion chelating, reducing power and lipid peroxidation inhibition (conjugated diene hydroper-oxide and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances production) assays. The 70% methanol extract showed significant (p < 0.05) activities in all antioxidant assays and contained a high level of total phenolic content. It was observed that the level of hydrophilic phenolic content was higher than that of hydrophobics. Among those organic solvent fractions, ethyl acetate fraction exhibited significant activities due to the highest level of total phenolic content and their IC 50 values were 0.013 mg/mL, 0.009 mg/mL and 0.33 mg/mL in DPPH, hydrogen peroxide and nitric oxide radical inhibition, respectively. These activities were superior to those of a commercial synthetic and natural antioxidants tested. The aqueous chloroform and ethyl acetate fractions also exhibited significant (p < 0.05) activities in reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging and metal chelating, attributed to the high amount of hydrophilic phenolics. Moreover, E. cava extracts showed strong reducing power and a notable capacity to suppress lipid peroxidation.
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The paper reports on the isolation of glycosidically bound volatiles from nutmeg, identification of free aglycones, and determination of the antioxidative power of free aglycones in comparison with nutmeg essential oil. Comparison of the chemical composition of free volatiles with the chemical composition of free volatile compounds found in the essential oil reveals only two common compounds (eugenol, terpinen-4-ol). To measure the antioxidative activities of the essential oil and enzymatically released aglycones from nutmeg, two different assays were performed: the 2,2'-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging method (DPPH) and the ferric reducing / antioxidant power assay (FRAP). Both methods showed that the aglycone fraction possesses stronger antioxidant properties than free volatiles from the oil.
Simultaneous administration of eugenol (10.7 mg/kg of body weight/day) with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) (1.195 g/kg of body weight, i.p. 3 times a week for 2 weeks) to rats protected the loss of functional integrity and membrane lipid alterations in red blood cells (RBCs) induced by oxidative stress. Eugenol, an allyl benzene that is the major ingredient of cloves, Osimum, and nutmeg, inhibits the accumulation of lipid peroxidation products in red blood cells and maintains the activities of the antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-S-transferase(s), glutathione reductase, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase at normal levels. The CCl4-induced increase in membrane fluidity was decreased by eugenol, and the altered activities of membrane-bound enzymes Na+, K+-ATPase, NADH-dehydrogenase, and Ca2+-ATPase were normalized. Eugenol exhibited a concentration-dependent binding into RBC membranes in vitro, and it also inhibited the hemolysis of RBCs induced by liver S9 fraction-treated CCl4. Hence, it is suggested that eugenol, by incorporating into the membrane protects it from free radical attack, and by maintaining the activities of the antioxidant enzymes at normal levels removes the oxidative stress imposed by CCl4.
Oils obtained by hydrodistillation from the aerial parts of Monarda citriodora var. citriodora, Myristica fragrans, Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum, Pelargonium sp. and Thymus zygis were screened for antioxidative properties in a lipid-rich matrix as quantified by spectrophotometry using iron (II) sulphate and 2,2′-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride as sources of primordial free radicals. Furthermore, the antimicrobial properties of M. fragrans, O. vulgare, Pelargonium sp. and T. zygis were screened against 25 different genera of bacteria selected for their agricultural, economic and health significance. The oils demonstrated a range of bioactive properties, with the oils rich in phenolic monoterpenes (M. citriodora and T. zygis) being particularly active in both antioxidant and antibacterial test systems.
The chemical composition, antioxidant and antibacterial activities of essential oils isolated by hydrodistillation from the aerial parts of Tunisian Thymus capitatus Hoff. et Link. during the different phases of the plant development, and from different locations, were evaluated. The chemical composition was analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The main components of the essential oils were carvacrol (62–83%), p-cymene (5–17%), γ-terpinene (2–14%) and β-caryophyllene (1–4%). The antioxidant activity of the oils (100–1000 mg l−1) was assessed by measurement of metal chelating activity, the reductive potential, the free radical scavenging (DPPH) and by the TBARS assay. The antioxidant activity was compared with that of synthetic antioxidants: butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Both the essential oils and BHA and BHT showed no metal chelating activity. Although with the other methodologies, there was a general increase in the antioxidant activity, with increasing oil concentration, maxima being obtained in the range of 500 and 1000 mg l−1 for flowering and post-flowering phase oils. Major differences were obtained according to the methodology of antioxidant capacity evaluation. Antibacterial ability of Th. capitatus essential oils was tested by disc agar diffusion against Bacillus cereus, Salmonella sp., Listeria innocua, four different strains of Staphylococus aureus (C15, ATCC25923, CFSA-2) and a multi-resistant form of S. aureus (MRSA-2). Antibacterial properties were compared to synthetic antibiotics. Higher antibacterial activity was observed with the flowering and the post-flowering phase essential oils.
Oxidation of lipids is one of the basic processes causing rancidity in food products. Since application of natural antioxidants may be one of the technically simplest ways of reducing fat oxidation, we studied the effect of heating on antioxidant effectiveness and the chemical composition of basil, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, oregano and thyme essential oils. When maintained at room temperature, all the oils tested appeared endowed with good radical-scavenger properties in the DPPH assay (effectiveness order: clove ≫ cinnamon > nutmeg > basil ⩾ oregano ≫ thyme). When heated up to 180 °C, nutmeg oil (but not the other essential oils under study) showed a significantly higher free radical-scavenger activity and evident changes in its chemical composition. Furthermore, the ability of these essential oils to protect α-tocopherol, contained in virgin olive oil, against thermal oxidative degradation was investigated. All the essential oils tested appeared able to prevent α-tocopherol loss following oil heating at 180 °C for 10 min (efficiency order: clove > thyme ⩾ cinnamon > basil ≫ oregano > nutmeg). In conclusion, the essential oils under study exhibited good antioxidant properties and might be efficiently used to control lipid oxidation during food processing.
Nutmeg (Myristica fragans and Myristica argentea) is a spice widely used in food. Argenteane is a dilignan which has been isolated from nutmeg mace (the lace-like seed membrane of nutmeg). On the basis of the experimental measurements of the lipid peroxidation inhibition, argenteane appeared to be an antioxidant as powerful as vitamin E. The present joint experimental and theoretical study helped to understand the mechanism of action of this compound. The density functional theory (DFT) calculations of the O–H bond dissociation enthalpies (BDEs) correlated with the capacity to scavenge free radicals. We demonstrated that the central moiety is able to release one or two H atom(s) to the free radicals. This mechanism was confirmed by (i) the BDE calculations and (ii) the free radical-scavenging capacity measurements of two lignans and 3,3′-dimethoxy-1,1′-biphenyl-4,4′-diol (i.e., the argenteane central moiety). In addition to this active part, two lipophilic chains participate in the molecule’s capacity to react with the oxidative species generated in the membrane vicinity.
Antioxidant potential of phenolic compounds from green pepper (Piper nigrum L.) and lignans from fresh mace (Myristica fragrans) were evaluated for their ability to scavenge 1,1′-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, inhibit lipid peroxidation and protect plasmid DNA damage upon exposure to gamma radiation. EC50 values of the major phenolic compounds of green pepper namely, 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl ethanol glucoside, 3,4-dihydroxy-6-(N-ethylamino) benzamide and phenolic acid glycosides were found to be 0.076, 0.27 and 0.12 mg/ml, respectively, suggesting a high radical scavenging activity of these phenolics. These results were further confirmed with cyclic voltammetry. Acetone extract of nutmeg mace and its subsequent TLC isolated fractions constituted mainly of lignans as revealed by GC–MS analysis. The major compounds were tentatively identified from their mass spectral fragmentation pattern. DPPH radical scavenging capacity of the acetone extract as well as its fractions was comparatively lower than that of green pepper phenolics. In contrast, these fractions had a greater ability to inhibit lipid oxidation than phenolics from pepper as revealed by β-carotene–linoleic acid assay. A DNA protecting role of these compounds even at doses as high as 5 kGy further suggested the potential use of green pepper and fresh nutmeg mace and their extracts as a nutraceutical in preventing oxidative damage to cells.
Volatile oil from the rhizomes of Zingiber nimmonii (J. Graham) Dalzell was isolated, characterized by analytical gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. Sixty-five constituents accounting for 97.5% of the oil were identified. Z. nimmonii rhizome oil is a unique caryophyllene-rich natural source with isomeric caryophyllenes, beta-caryophyllene (42.2%) and alpha-humulene (alpha-caryophyllene, 27.7%), as its major constituents along with traces of isocaryophyllene. The rhizome oil contained 71.2% sesquiterpenes, 14.2% oxygenated sesquiterpenes, 8.9% monoterpenes, 1.9% oxygenated monoterpenes and 1.3% non-terpenoid constituents. The antimicrobial activity of the oil was tested against human and plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi. The oil showed significant inhibitory activity against the fungi, Candida glabrata, C. albicans and Aspergillus niger and the bacteria Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. No activity was observed against the fungus Fusarium oxysporum.