Impact of Extraction Methods on The Chemical Composition and Biological Activity of Small Cardamom Essential Oils

Document Type : Original Article


1 Medicinal Chemistry Lab., Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Giza, Egypt

2 Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Taif University, 21974, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Cardamom is considered one of the most famous spices used in Saudi Arabia; especially as a flavour in the preparation of a famous Saudi beverage; Arabic coffee. In this study, the essential oils of small cardamom collected from the local market were extracted by three different extraction methods: classical hydrodistillation (HD), microwave-assisted hydrodistillation (MAHD), and n-hexane extraction (HX) followed by identifying the chemical and biological properties of the oils obtained. The results showed no significant difference between the oil yield of the two samples extracted by HD and MAHD while the yield by HX had a higher yield, which was attributable to the presence of fixed oil with the essential oil. In spite of the two methods, HD and MAHD gave nearly the same results from qualitative and quantitative analysis, but the extraction by microwave method (MAHD) saved time, energy, and was more rapid than HD. The oils showed variable in vitro anticancer, antibacterial, and antifungal activity. The authors recommend using the microwave method in the extraction of essential oil because it is energy and time-saving, in addition to being environmentally friendly. This result provides the basis for further and more in vitro and in vivo studies to evaluate the potential use of essential oils from cardamom as antimicrobial and anticancer agents in the hope of using these oils in the prevention and therapies of these diseases.


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