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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 79-88

Volatile compounds and antioxidant activity of the aromatic herb Anethum graveolens


1 Department of Chemistry of Flavour and Aroma, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Botany, Faculty of Science and Technology, Omdurman Islamic University, Omdurman, Sudan
3 Department of Food Science and Nutrition, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Clinical Nutrition, Faculty of Applied Medical Science, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Pathology, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Manal M Ramadan
Chemistry of Flavour and Aroma Department, National Research Centre, Dokki, 12622 Cairo
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1687-4293.123791

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Background/Aim Anethum graveolens L. (dill) (Apiaceae) is one of the most popular culinary herbs in the world. Dill has been cultivated since ancient times, and the use of this plant for medicinal and consumption purposes has been recorded dating back to the Greek and Egyptian civilizations. Dill is widely used to give flavor to food. The aim of this work was to assess the chemical composition of the volatile compounds in dill as well as their hepatoprotective and nephroprotective activity against free radicals generated by paracetamol. Materials and methods The chemical composition of the volatile compounds of dill was assessed by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Four groups of rats were used (the normal control group, the A. graveolens-supplemented group, the paracetamol-intoxicated group, and the A. graveolens-protected group) for studying the effect of plant infusion on panadol (paracetamol)-induced free radicals and hepatotoxicity. Plasma total antioxidant capacity, plasma catalase, cellular glutathione peroxidase, plasma total protein, albumin, alanine amino transferase, aspartate amino transferase, alkaline phosphate, γ-glutamyl transferase, total bilirubin, and direct bilirubin levels were determined. In addition, kidney functions (plasma urea and creatinine) and histopathological and histochemical changes in the liver were investigated. Results The phytochemical results identified volatile components 7-α-hydroxy manool (24.43%), l-carvone (14.28%), limonene (13.9%), epi-α-bisabolol (6.81%), α-terpinene (5.44%), and α-phellandrene (4.63%) as the main constituents. p-Cymene (2.13%), sabinene (1.98), and α-pinene (1.43%) were determined as the minor constituents. The biochemical results showed that a mega dose of paracetamol induced the production of free radicals, which caused damage to hepatocytes and nephrocytes in rats. The aqueous extract of dill revealed high antioxidant properties and acted as an extracellular neutralizer of free radicals. Histopathological and histochemical observations showed severe damage in the liver. Supplementation with dill in paracetamol-intoxicated rats attenuated the damage to the liver. Conclusion The present study revealed that A. graveolens has antihepatotoxic properties that could minimize the deleterious effects generated by hepatotoxin paracetamol, and therefore it can be used as a potent antihepatotoxic agent.


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