Phytochemical composition and in vitro antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of essential oils of three endemic Soqotraen Boswellia species

Ramzi A A Mothana, Sidgi S. Hasson, Wulf Schultze, Annette Mowitz, Ulrike Lindequist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)


The chemical composition of three essential oils obtained from the barks of three endemic Boswellia species namely, Boswellia dioscorides, Boswellia elongata and Boswellia socotrana which were collected from the Soqotra Island (Yemen), was investigated. In parallel to that evaluation of their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities was also carried out. The investigation led to the identification of 72, 70 and 67 constituents for B. dioscorides, B. elongata, and B. socotrana, respectively. The B. dioscorides oil was found to have a high content of monoterpene hydrocarbons (32.8%) with α-thujene (9.3%) and α-pinene (8.3%) as main components. Whereas, the essential oil of B. elongata was characterised by high diterpene content (31.7%), in which incensol (14.8%) was found to be the major constituent. On the other hand, the oil obtained from the B. socotrana was found to be predominated of monoterpene hydrocarbons (26.4%) and oxygenated monoterpenes (30.7%) with p-cymene (13.0%), 2-hydroxy-5-methoxy-acetophenone (16.3%) and camphor (11.6%). All essential oils possessed antimicrobial activity especially against Gram-positive bacteria with MIC-values between 1.8 and 17.2 mg/ml. Furthermore, the DPPH-radical scavenging assay exhibited only weak antioxidant activities (28%) at 1.0 mg/ml.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1154
Number of pages6
JournalFood Chemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2011



  • Antimicrobial
  • Antioxidant
  • Boswellia
  • Essential oils
  • Soqotra
  • Yemen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Analytical Chemistry

Cite this