Background: In the traditional system of medicine, leaves and stem bark of Euphorbia tithymaloides
L. have been used for the treatment of asthma, persistent coughing, laryngitis, skin diseases and mouth ulcers.
Some studies have reported the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities of phytochemicals from the leaf;
however, the analysis of essential oil and its antioxidant property is still unexplored.
Methods: This study evaluates the in vitro antioxidant potential of the essential oil and organic extracts from
aerial parts of Euphorbia tithymaloides L.
Results: Thirty one compounds representing 96.37% of total oil were detected by GC-MS, of which eugenol
(22.52%), phenyl ethyl alcohol (14.63%), 3-pentanol (9.22%), caryophyllene oxide (7.73%), isoeugenol
(7.32%), pentadecanol (5.14%), spathulenol (5.11%) and α-pinene (3.32%) were the major compounds. The oil
and ethyl acetate extract displayed potent DPPH (IC50 = 13.67 and 17.59 µg/mL, respectively) and superoxide
(IC50 = 21.83 and 42.34 µg/mL, respectively) radical-scavenging activities among all the tested samples. The
oil and methanol extract also exhibited remarkable nitric oxide radical-scavenging activities (IC50 = 90.45 and
112.63 µg/mL, respectively) among other extracts. Furthermore, the methanol extract contained the highest
amount of total phenolics as compared to other samples.
Conclusion: The results demonstrate that the oil and extracts of E. tithymaloides could serve as natural antioxidants
for using in pharmaceutical or cosmetic industries.