The essential oil analysis of Artemisia minor Jacq. ex Bess. has been done for the first time from Trilokinath (3020m) of Lahaul & Spiti (Cold Desert) region of North Indian higher altitude Himalayas in the month of July, 2007. Essential oil was isolated by hydro distillation from the aerial parts of the plants collected from the wild sources. The extraction yield for the essential oil of A. minor Jacq. ex Bess. was 0.40%. The oil was analyzed by GCMS; the components of the essential oil were identified by comparing their retention indices and mass spectra fragmentation patterns with those stored on the MS-computer library and also from the published literatures. The essential oil analysis led to the identification of 18 out of 22 constituents representing 65.37% of the composition of oil. The major constituents of the oil were: 1, 8- cineole (22.30%), camphor (12.64%), davanone (12.33%), ascaridole (11.11%) and á-phellandrene (5.23%). The presence of artedouglasia oxide-C in A. minor has not been reported earlier in the same species and therefore acts as a new chemotype from this study area. The present study describes the phytochemical profile and anti-microbial activity of essential oil of A. minor. Furthermore, anti-microbial activity of oil was evaluated using agar well diffusion method. The anti-microbial test results showed that the oil had a potential anti-microbial activity against all seven Gram+ve and Gram-ve bacterial strains such as: Pseudomonas fluorescence, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus epidermis and Acenetobactor calcoaceticus. Essential oil showed maximum zone of inhibition and minimal inhibition concentration against Bacillus subtilis (MTCC-2451) and Pseudomonas fluorescence (MTCC-664) bacterial strains. These results permitted the conclusion to be made that, it is the first report of the GCMS analysis and anti-microbial activity on a new chemotype of A. minor Jacq. ex Bess., a naturally growing species from Trilokinath (3020m) of Lahaul & Spiti- a cold desert region of North India.
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