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Moris, commonly known as
corn parsley, false fennel
, is distributed throughout the
Mediterranean region. It belongs to the Apiaceae (carrot or parsley family), that includes well-known aromatic and
medicinal plants with characteristic hollow stems.
is used in traditional medicine to prevent constipation, coughing
and respiratory tract infections. The present work aimed to characterize the chemical composition of the essential oil obtained
from the flowering aerial parts of
collected in Portugal, as well as to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity at
concentrations safe to mammalian cells. The oils were characterized by GC and GC-MS. Assessment of cell viability was made
by the MTT assay and the
anti-inflammatory potential of the oil was evaluated by measuring NO production using
LPS-stimulated mouse macrophages as
inflammatory model. The main compounds of the oils are α-phellandrene
(63.3%) and terpinolene (11.9%). The oil significantly inhibited NO production (0.16 μL/mL) without affecting cell viability, at
concentrations up to 1.25 μL/mL. These findings add significant information to the pharmacological activity of
essential oils, specifically to its anti-inflammatory properties, thus justifying and reinforcing its use in traditional medicine. Taken
together, these results provide evidence of the therapeutical effects of this oil, and suggest that the anti-inflammatory activity in
doses without cytotoxicity, combined with its pleasant odor could be of great value to cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
Additional studies are ongoing in our lab to clarify the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these properties.
L?gia Salgueiro has completed his Ph.D. at the University of Coimbra, Portugal in the field of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. She is full
Professor of Pharmacognosy and the Director of the Group Analytical Sciences, Bromatology and Pharamacognosy of the Faculty of Pharmacy,
University of Coimbra,. She has published more than 80 papers in reputed journals and several books and book chapters.
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