Background: Polyscias guilfoylei, commonly called ‘geranium aralia’, is an erect shrub
with dark green leaves. P. guilfoylei has been introduced to tropical countries and is generally cultivated
in gardens for ornamental purposes. There are no previous studies on the essential oil of P.
guilfoylei and its biological activities.
Objectives: In this study, we report the chemical profile of P. guilfoylei leaf essential oil and its anticancer
activity tested by various in vitro and in vivo assays.
Methods: The chemical profile of P. guilfoylei leaf oil was elucidated by Gas Chromatographic
analyses (GC-FID, GC-MS). Anticancer activity of P. guilfoylei leaf oil was tested by MTT, morphological
observations, DNA ladder, comet, caspase, flow cytometry and in vivo assays.
Results: Gas chromatographic profiling of P. guilfoylei leaf oil identified 50 constituents (β-selinene
49.59%, α-selinene 21.68%, (Z)-falcarinol 11.65%). In MTT assay, P. guilfoylei leaf oil at 50, 25,
10, 5 and 1 μg/ml showed 98.6 ± 1.2, 95.3 ± 0.78, 76.8 ± 1.59, 43.6 ± 0.99 and 39.8 ± 1.17% DLA
cell death, respectively (CD50 5.96 μg/ml). In flow cytometry, the majority of P. guilfoylei leaf oil
(25 μg/ml) treated DLA cells showed an accumulation/cell arrest in G2M phase (61.7 ± 2.6%). In P.
guilfoylei leaf oil treated mice (40 days), 5 animals (83.3%, each) were protected in 25, 50 mg/kg
Conclusion: P. guilfoylei leaf oil, with minimal toxicity to normal cells, exhibited significant anticancer
activity against lymphoma cells enhancing its potential as an anticancer agent.