Background: The root of the Indonesian Pimpinella pruatjan Molk. has been mainly used
as an aphrodisiac and for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Since oxidative stress favors
ED, we examined the antioxidant activities of the essential oil from the root of P. pruatjan.
Methods: The chemical composition of the essential oil was analyzed by Gas Liquid Chromatography-
Mass Spectrometry (GLC-MS). In vivo antioxidant activity was determined using an animal
model, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, whereas the antimicrobial activity of the essential oil
was investigated using standard micro-dilution methods.
Results: The main components of essential oil were thymol methyl ether and 2,5-dimethoxy-pcymene;
another major compound was tentatively identified as 2-isopropenyl-5-methyl-benzene-1,4-
diol. Root essential oil showed substantial in vivo antioxidant activities, demonstrated by reduced
hsp-16.2p::GFP expression in the pharynx of C. elegans and increased survival of worms under
acute stress conditions. Antimicrobial activity showed moderate activity against bacteria and Candida
Conclusion: The antioxidant property shown in these findings needs further investigation, especially
with the major active compounds.