Identification of Essential Oil Components, Total Phenolic Content and Antioxidant Properties of Mentha aquatica in Southern Khorasan Province, Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


Agricultural, Medicinal plant and Animal Sciences Research Center, Birjand branch, Islamic Azad University, Birjand, Iran


Many medicinal plants have natural antioxidant properties. In this study, the chemical composition of Mentha aquatica L. essential oil was determined and antioxidant properties of essential oils and methanolic extracts, ethanolic extracts, acetonic extracts and aqueous extracts were studied. Also, Phenolics, flavonoids and tannins contents of all the mentioned extracts were determined. The essential oil of the dried flowering aerial part of wild water mint is extracted by hydrodistillation. The essential oil was analyzed by capillary GC and GC-MS. The Folin–Ciocalteu method was adopted to determine the total phenols content while flavonoids were estimated according to the aluminum chloride colorimetric method. To evaluate tannins content, vanillin and HCl were added to the extracts. The antioxidant potential was measured by 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging and the inhibition of β-carotene bleaching assays. The main components of essential oil were pipritenone oxide (37.80%), 1, 8-cineole (24.13%), α-gurjunene (11.96%) and pulegone (4.64%). The antioxidant properties of the essential oil were more considerable than all the other extracts. The antioxidant properties and total phenolics, flavonoids and tannins contents of methanolic extracts, ethanolic extracts and acetonic extracts were larger than the aqueous extract. These results show that essential oils, methanolic extracts, ethanolic extracts and acetonic extracts of M. aquatica from Southern Khorasan of Iran have a great potential of polyphenols which can be used as a natural food preservative and antioxidant source.


  1. Asekun O., Grierson D., Afolayan A. Effects of drying methods on the quality and quantity of the essential oil of Mentha longifolia L. subsp. Capensis. Food Chem. 2007; 101:995-998.
  2. Gairola S., NaidooY., Bhatta A., Nicholas A. An investigation of the foliar trichomes of tetradenia riparia (Hochst.) Codd [Lamiaceae]: an important medicinal plant of Southetn Africa, Flora. 2009; 204: 325-330.
  3. Marrin M., Koko V., Duletic-Lausevic S., Marin P., Rancic D., Dajic-Stevanovic V. Glandular trichomes on the leaves of Rosmarinus officinalis: morphology, sterology and histochemistry, South African Journal o Botany. 2007; 72:378-382.
  4. Mohsenpoor M., Vafadar M., Mighani H., Vatankhah E. The impact of the environmental factors on yield and chemical compositions of essential oil of water mint, Mentha aquatica L. from different habitats of Mazandaran province. J. plant Researches (Iranian J. Biology). 2017; 30(2):42-50.
  5. Bozin B., Mimca-Dukic N., Anackov G. Variability of content and composition of Mentha aquatica L. (Lamiaceae) essential oil in different phenophases. Journal of essential oil- Bearing plants. 2006; 9(3):223-229.
  6. Getahun Z., Asres K., Mazumder A., Bucar F. Essential oil composition, Antibacterial and Antioxidant Activities of Mentha aquatic Growing in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Journal.2008; 26:9-16.
  7. Sutour S., Tomi F., Bradesi P., Casanova J. Chemical composition of the essential oil from Corsican Mentha aquatica combined analysis by GC (RI), GC-MS and 13C NMR spectroscopy. Natural Product Communications. 2011; 6:1479-1482.
  8. Andro A.R., Boz I., Zamfirache M.M., Burzo I. Chemical composition of essential oils from Mentha aquatica L. at different moments of the ontogenic cycle. J. Medicinal Research. 2013; 7(9):470-473.
  9. Chaker A.N, Boukhebti H., Sahraoui R., Ramdhani M. Essential oils and morphological study of Mentha aquatica. Pharmacognocy Communications. 2014; 4:34-38.
  10. Zamfirache M., Burzo I., Padurariu C., Boz I., Andro A., Badea M., Olteanu Z., Lamban C, Truta E. Studies regardening the chemical composition of volatile oils from some spontaneous and cultivated Lamiaceae species. Analele stiintifice ale Universitatii Al. I. Cuza Iasi Tomul LVI, fase. 1, s. II a. Biologie vegetala. 2010; 43-49.
  11. Zheng W., Wang S. Antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds in selected herbs. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2001; 49(11): 5165-5170.
  12. Eugi F., Barzeghar Bafrowi M., Sahari M.E., Naghdi Bai H. Investigation antioxidant activity dill essential oil in soybean oil and comparison with chemical antioxidant. Medicinal Plant. 2009; 9(30):71-83.
  13. Kamkar A. Study of antioxidant activity persian dill essential oil and extract. Ofogh Danesh. 2009; 15(2):11-17.
  14. Dhifi W., Litaiem M., Jelali N., Hamdi N., Mnif W. Identification of a new chemotype of the plant mentha aquatica grown in tunisia: chemical compositionn, antioxidant and biological activities of its essential oil. J. Essential Oil Bearing Plants. 2011; 14: 320- 328.
  15. Adams R.P. Identification of essential oil components by gas chromatography mass spectrometry, Allured Publishing, 2017.
  16. Davies N.W. Gas chromatoghraphy retention index of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes on methyl silicon and carbowax 20M phases. J. Chromatography A. 1990; 503:1-24.
  17. Shibamato T. Retention indices in essential oil analysis: 259-274. In: Sandra, P. and Bicci, C., (Eds.). Capillary Gas Chromatography in essential oils Analysis. Dr. Alferd Huethig Verlag, New York, 1987.
  18. Safaei-Ghomi J., Abbasi-Ahd A., Behpour M., Batooli H. Antioxidant activity of the essential oil and metanolic extract of Eucalyptus largiflorens and Eucalyptus intertexta from central Iran. Journal of essential oil-bearing plants. 2010; 13 (3): 377 – 384.
  19. Mimica-Dukić N., Božin B., Soković M., Mihajlović B., Matavulj M. Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of Three Mentha Species Essential Oils. Planta Medicinal. 2003; 69(5): 413-419.
  20. Beketov E.V., Pakhomov V.P., Nesterova O.V. Improved method of flavonoid extraction from bird cherry fruits. Pharmaceutical Chemistry J. 2005; 39(6): 316-318.
  21. Rebaya A., Belghith S., Baghdikian B., Leddet V, Mabrouki F, Olivier E. Total phenolic, total flavonoid, tannin content, and antioxidant capacity of Halimium halimifolium (Cistaceae). Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science. 2015; 5: 52-7.
  22. Mata A., Proenca C., Ferreira A., Serralheiro M., Nogueira J., Marinova D., Ribarov F., Atanassova M. Total phenolics and total flavonoids in Bolgarian fruits and vegetables. Journal of the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy. 2005; 40(3):255-260.
  23. Esmaeili A., Rustaiyan A. Composition of the essential oil of Mentha aquatica L. and Nepeta meyeri Benth. From Iran. Journal of essential oil Reasearch. 2006; 18: 263-265.
  24. Senatore F., Alessio A., Formisano C., Ozcan M. Chemical Composition and Antibacterial Activity of the Essential Oil of a 1,8-Cineole Chemotype of Mentha aquatica L. Growing Wild in Turkey. Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants. 2005; 8(2):148-153.
  25. Jerkovic I., Matelic J. Composition of free and glycosidically bound volatiles of Mentha aquatica L. Croatica Chemica Acta. 2001; 74(2):431-439.
  26. Falahian F.A., Asadi M., Mazandarani M. Comparison of the chemical constituents of Mentha aquatica L. in two diffrerent growing stage. J. Sci. (Islamic Azad University). 2002; 12(45):3621-3630.
  27. Grzeszczuk M., Jadczak D. Estimation of biological value of some species of mint (Mentha L.). Herba Poonica Journal. 2009; 55(3):193-199.
  28. Boumendjl M., Aissi O., Rahmoune C., Boussaid M., Messaoud C. Chemical composition, antioxidant activity and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory of wild Mentha species from northeastern Algeria. South African Journal of Botany. 2018; 116: 131-139.
  29. Benabdallah A., Rahmoune C., Boumendje M., Aissi O., Messaoud S. Total phenolic content and antioxidant activity of six wild Mentha species (Lamiaceae) from northeast of Algeria. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. 2016; 6(9): 760–766.
  30. Borneo R., Leon E.A., Aguirre A., Ribotta P., Cantero J. Antioxidant capacity of medicinal plants from the Province of Cordoba (Argentina) and their in vitro testing in model food system. Food Chemistry. 2009; 112: 664-70.
  31. Waheed I., Ahmed M., Syed N., Ashraf R. Investigation of phytochemical and antioxidant properties of methanol extract and fractions of Ballota limbata (Lamiaceae). Indian J. Pharmaceutical Sci. 2014; 76(3): 251-256.
  32. Luximun-Ramma A., Bahorun T., Soobrattee M., Aruomai O. Antioxidant activities of phenolic, proanthocyanidin, and flavonoid components in extracts of Cassia fistula. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2002; 50: 5042-50427.
  33. Mai T., Fumie N., Chuyen N. Antioxidant activities and hypolipidemic effects of an aqueous extract from flower buds of Cleistocalyx operculatus (Roxb.) merr.and perry. J. Food Biochem. 2009; 33: 790-807.
  34. Lee C., Chen L., Chang T., Kewm L., Wang C. The correlation between skin-care effects and phytochemical contents in Lamiaceae plants. Food Chem. 2011; 124: 833 -41.
  35. Al-Owaisi M., Al-Hadiwi N., Khan S.A. GC-MS analysis, determination of total phenolics, flavonoid content and free radical scavenging activities of various crude extracts of Moringa peregrine (Forssk.) Fiori leaves. Asian Pasific J. Tropical Biomedicine. 2014; 4(12): 964-70.