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Title: Chemical and biological characterisation of solvent extracts and essential oils from leaves and fruit of two Australian species of 'Pittosporum' (Pittosporaceae) used in aboriginal medicinal practice
Contributor(s): Sadgrove, Nicholas (author); Jones, Graham L (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2013
DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.12.019
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Abstract: Ethnopharmacological significance: Although no known medicinal use for 'Pittosporum undulatum' Vent. (Pittosporaceae) has been recorded, anecdotal evidence suggests that Australian Aboriginal people used 'Pittosporum angustifolium' Lodd., G. Lodd. & W. Lodd. topically for eczema, pruritis or to induce lactation in mothers following child-birth and internally for coughs, colds or cramps. Aims of the study: Essential oil composition and bio activity as well as differential solvent extract antimicrobial activity from 'Pittosporum angustifolium' are investigated here first, to partially describe the composition of volatiles released in traditional applications of 'Pittosporum angustifolium' for colds or as a lactagogue, and second to investigate antibacterial activity related to topical applications. Essential oils were also investigated from 'Pittosporum undulatum' Vent., first to enhance essential oil data produced in previous studies, and second as a comparison to 'Pittosporum angustifolium'. Materials and methods: Essential oils were hydro distilled from fruit and leaves of both species using a modified approach to lessen the negative (frothing) effect of saponins. This was achieved by floating pumice or pearlite obsidian over the mixture to crush the suds formed while boiling. Essential oil extracts were analysed using GC-MS, quantified using GC-FID then screened for antimicrobial activity using a micro-titre plate broth dilution assay (MIC). Using dichloromethane, methanol, hexane and H20 as solvents, extracts were produced from leaves and fruit of 'Pittosporum angustifolium' and screened for antimicrobial activity and qualitative phytochemical character. Results: Although the essential oil from leaves and fruit of 'Pittosporum undulatum' demonstrated some component variation, the essential oil from fruits of 'Pittosporum angustifolium' had major constituents that strongly varied according to the geographical location of collection, suggesting the existence of at least two chemo types; one with high abundance of acetic acid decyl ester. This chemo type had high antimicrobial activity whilst the other chemo type had only moderate antimicrobial activity against the three microbial species investigated here. This result may support the occurrence of geographical specificity with regard to ethnopharmacological use. Antimicrobial activity screening of the solvent extracts from 'Pittosporum angustifolium' revealed the leaves to be superior to fruit, with water being the most suitable extraction solvent. Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this study constitutes the first time essential oils, and solvent extracts from the fruits of 'Pittosporum angustifolium', have been examined employing comprehensive chemical and biological analysis. The essential oil composition presented in this paper, includes components with structural similarity as chemosemiotic compounds involved in mother-infant identification, which may have significance with regard to traditional applications as a lactagogue.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 145(3), p. 813-821
Publisher: Elsevier Ireland Ltd
Place of Publication: Ireland
ISSN: 0378-8741
Field of Research (FOR): 111402 Obstetrics and Gynaecology
030502 Natural Products Chemistry
110403 Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medicine and Treatments
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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