J. Chem. En. Sci. A.

Phytochemical investigation of seeds of Trachyspermum ammi Linn. by GC-MS

Ekta Sharma and B S Arora

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  • DOI Number
    DOI https://doi.org/10.15415/jce.2017.32007

Phytochemical study, Trachyspermum ammi, GC-MS, ellagic acid, Thymol, Anticancer effect, Cytotoxicity, Sulforhodamine B assay.

PUBLISHER The Author(s) 2017 . This article is published with open access at www.chitkara.edu.in/publication

The present study embraces phytochemical investigation of the essential oil extracted from the mature seeds of Trachyspermum ammi Linn for different constituents by subjecting the oil to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. The identification of the constituents is based upon retention indices and by comparison of their mass spectral fragmentation patterns against the commercial library mass spectra (Wiley, Nist etc.). Ellagic acid (EA), which is a natural phenol antioxidant, has been isolated from methanol extract from the mature seeds of Trachyspermum ammi Linn. Also, Thymol (Thl), a naturally occurring phenolic compound, has been crystallized by the reported standard procedure from oil extracted from these mature seeds. Both these compounds have been evaluated for their possible anti-cancer effect against a selected panel of human cancer cell lines by means of sulforhodamine B assay.


Trachyspermum ammi Linn Synonym Carum copticum Linn (Family: Umbelliferae or Apiaceae) is widely recognized as ajowan or ajwain in India. Cultivation of this plant species was instigated in Egypt. It nurtures widely around Mediterranean sea and in South-West Asia encompassing Iraq to India, particularly in North Indian parts including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and West Bengal and is a well-regarded medicinal herb from the earlier times. Trachyspermum ammi Linn (Omum) is a herbaceous winter annual that reaches up to height of 90 cm, stem is profusely branched, nearly 7-9 mm thick near bottom and is striated all over. The leaves are pinnately divided, 24×14 cm with clasping leaf bases bearing tiny white-petaled flowers in umbels that ultimately develop into small, oval-shaped, compressed, about 2 mm long grayish brown seeds marked with vertical stripes on their outer surface Joy et al. (2001); Asif et al. (2014).

ni medicines for different ailments and as enhancer of body’s resistance Asif et al. (2014). Ajwain seeds, with their distinguishing aroma and sharp taste are extensively used as spice in cooking foods, for preservation and for getting oil for ultimate use in perfumery Ranjan et al. (2011). In traditional Indian medicinal system, paste of crushed seeds has been applied externally as a poultice for relieving colic pains, decoction made from the seeds has been used as remedy for diarrhea, amoebiasis, febrile conditions and stomach disorders including flatulence and indigestion as their active ingredients help to boost the digestive function of the intestinal tract by assisting release of the gut juices Rao et al. (2003). Hot dry fomentation of the ajwain fruits applied on chest has been commonly used as a asthma therapy Singh et al. (2003). T. ammi has been reported by Siripornvisal (2010) to possess antifungal, anti-inflammatory Thangam and Dhananjayan (2003), antiplatelet-aggregatory Srivastava (1988), antihypertensive, hepatoprotective, antispasmodic, broncho-dilating Gilani et al. (2005), antihyperlipidaemic Javed et al. (2006), digestive stimulant Vasudevan et al. (2000), kidney stone inhibitory Kaur et al. (2009), hypolipidemic Kumari and Prameela (1992), antitussive Boskabady et al. (2005), insecticidal Pandey et al. (2009), antifilarial Mathew et al. (2008), ameliorative Anilakumar et al. (2009), gestroprotective Ramaswamy et al. (2010), Histamine (H1) receptors inhibitory Boskabady and Shaikhi (2000), bronchodilatory Boskabady et al. (2007), diuretic & anti-lithiasis Sabar (2010), male antifertility Kumar et al. (2011), antioxidant and antiviral effects Hussein et al. (2000). Being motivated by the extensive pharmacological activities and medicinal applications of Trachyspermum ammi Linn, we have analyzed the essential oil extracted from mature seeds for different constituents by subjecting the oil to hyphenated GC-MS technique. Ellagic acid has been isolated from methanol extract of mature seeds of this plant species. Thymol has been crystallized by the reported standard procedure of storing the oil extracted from mature seeds under low temperature condition for overnight Guenther (1950). These isolated compounds have been evaluated for their possible anticancer potential against a panel of selected human cancer cell lines by Sulforhodamine B assay Monks et al. (1991).

Page(s) 91-100
URL http://dspace.chitkara.edu.in/jspui/bitstream/123456789/714/1/JCE02_sharma.pdf
ISSN Print : 2349-7564, Online : 2349-7769
DOI DOI https://doi.org/10.15415/jce.2017.32007

The present work reveals analysis of the essential oil extracted from mature seeds of Trachyspermum ammi Linn for different constituents by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Also, ellagic acid (EA), a pharmacologically significant polyphenol, has been isolated from methanolic extract from the mature seeds and thymol (Thl) has been crystallized by storing the oil extracted from mature seeds of this plant species under low temperature condition. Both the isolated compounds have been evaluated for their anticancer potential against a panel of selected human cancer cell lines by sulforhodamine B assay. The activity results obtained have demonstrated that ellagic acid (EA) possesses considerable cytotoxic activity against some human cancer cell lines used for the present study.

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