Planta Med 2013; 79 - PK25
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1352285

Analysis of volatile compounds in phytomedicines using thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectroscopy

O Aldulaimi 1, WW Li 1
  • 1Guy Hilton Research Centre, Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine, Keele University, ST4 7QB, Stoke-On-Trent, UK

Volatile essential oils (EOs) from medicinal plants play an important role in the treatment of various diseases. EOs have been shown to exhibit anti-bacterial, antiviral, antimycotic, antitoxigenic, antiparasitic, and insecticidal properties [1]. Several commercial phytomedicines such as Olbas oil ( [2], Tiger balm ( and Mentholtum contain EOs from medicinal plants such as peppermint. Thermal desorption (TD) gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) is a very useful technique for the analysis of volatile compounds without using tedious pre-treatment with organic solvents. Here we have analysed and compared the composition of volatile compounds of Olbas oil, Tiger Balm, and Mentholtum using TD GC-MS. Volatiles from each product have been identified and quantified. Menthol and eucalyptol have been found to be present in all the products (Figure). The easy and sensitive TD GC-MS method is useful for the quality control of phytomedicines containing volatile compounds.

Fig. 1: TD GC-MS chromatograms


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[2] Hamoud R, Sporer F, Reichling J, Wink M. Phytomedicine. 2012, 19, 969 – 976.