Dr Hana Bajes
Being multipurpose, relatively safe, and widely favorable for consumption, interest in the essential oils of medicinal plants has been increasing. Essential oil (EO) of Juniperus phoenicea is traditionally used for treatment of several health problems such as diabetes, rheumatism, and cancer that is the second leading cause of death in Jordan. This study aims to collect and chemically analyze EO from Juniperus phoenicea L., from Jordan and to evaluate its cytotoxic and antioxidant activity against human breast cancer cells (T47D), colorectal adenocarcinoma cells (CACO2), and normal human fibroblasts (MRC5). EO was extracted by hydro-distillation and analyzed in a gas chromatograph coupled with a mass spectrometer. Cell viability was assessed using trypan blue, neutral red, and MTT assays, and antioxidant activity was evaluated using DPPH scavenging activity assay. Chemical composition analysis revealed 23 constituents in the EO, and the amount of a- pinene was the highest (69.71%). The results also revealed that the IC50 values of the viability assays were higher among normal cells compared to the human cancer cell lines, and the viability inhibition was significant at higher concentrations compared to untreated cells. Nevertheless, low antioxidant activity was observed for the oil in the DPPH scavenging activity test. To sum up, this study indicates that Jordanian Juniperus phoenicea EO, albeit unlikely to be an effective antioxidant, is optimistically potential to be utilized in breast and colon cancers treatment due to its preferential cytotoxicity against cancer cells.
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