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Acorus calamus Linn.: phytoconstituents and bactericidal property


Acorus calamus Linn. of the family Araceae (Acoraceae), commonly known as Sweet Flag and Vacha. The rhizome of this plant has medicinal properties against bugs, moths, lice and emetic stomach in dyspepsia. Chemical composition of the hydro-distilled essential oil obtained from the rhizomes of A. calamus was analyzed by gas chromatography equipped with flame ionization detector and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The essential oil of A. calamus and its major compound β-asarone were tested against five Gram-positive, eight Gram-negative bacteria, and three fungi by the tube-dilution method at a concentration rang of 5.0–0.009 mg/mL. Forty constituents were identified which comprised 98.3 % of the total oil. The major compound β-asarone (80.6 %) was identified and confirm by NMR (1H– & 13C–) in rhizome oil of A. calamus. The organism Micrococcus luteus was found to be more susceptible to the oil with minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) value of 0.032 ± 0.004 mg/mL, followed by Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger and Micrococcus flavus with MBC values of 0.104 ± 0.016, 0.117 ± 0.017 and 0.143 ± 0.013 mg/mL, respectively. The compound β-asarone was susceptible to the microorganism A. niger with MBC value 0.416 ± 0.065 mg/mL. The present study revealed that tetraploid variety of A. calamus is growing in this region with substantial amount of β-asarone. The oil showed bactericidal property against tested bacteria and fungi. The β-asarone exhibited poorer bactericidal activity against test microorganisms.

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The author is grateful to the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India for providing necessary facilities and thankful to Miss Vijaylaxmi Badakar, Lab Assistant, for screening of antimicrobial activity.

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Correspondence to Rajesh K. Joshi.

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Joshi, R.K. Acorus calamus Linn.: phytoconstituents and bactericidal property. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 32, 164 (2016).

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  • Acorus calamus Linn.
  • Bactericidal property
  • β-asarone
  • Essential oil composition
  • GC/MS
  • NMR (1H– & 13C–)