Elemicin


Elemicin is an important constituent of the essential oil of Canarium luzonium, which is also known as Elemi. It is also present in the essential oil of Nutmeg, Parsley, Gingergrass and Mace. It constitutes about 2.4% in essential oil of Nutmeg and about 10% in the essential oil of Mace. Elemicin is also a component of oleoresin.

It is a polypropylene with the chemical formula C12H16O3. Elemicin is also referred with other names such as elemicine, 3.4.5-trimethoxyallylbenzene, etc.

Attributes of Elemicin:

Elemicin is a colorless to slightly yellow liquid that is clear in nature. It owns a spicy floral aroma.

The key therapeutic attributes of Elemicin are antibacterial, antifungal, anti-allergic, anti-proliferative and anti-cholinergic. Let’s take a brief look at them.

Antibacterial activity:

According to the study ‘(E)-Methylisoeugenol and elemicin: antibacterial components of Daucus carota L. essential oil against Campylobacter jejuni’, it was concluded that Elemicin and (E)-Methylisoeugenol present in the essential oil of Daucus carota L. contributes to the antibacterial activity of the oil against Campylobacter jejuni.

Antifungal activity:

Elemicin together with isoelemicin obtained from the leaves of the plant Diplolophium Buchanani was found to exhibit antifungal activity against Cladosporium cucumerinum. This was evident from the study named ‘Search for new antifungal compounds from higher plants.

Anti-allergic effect:

The anti-allergic property of elemicin was focused in the study, ‘Studies on anti-allergic components in the roots of Asiasarum sieboldi’ that states that Elemicin present in the roots of Asiasarum sieboldi hinders 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) from RBL-1 cells, which are the cancerous cells found in the basophil of the rats used in the study of allergy.

Anti-proliferative activity:

In the article ‘Daucus carota pentane-based fractions arrest the cell cycle and increase apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells’, it was stated that elemicin found in diethyl ether fraction of Daucus carota exhibited anti-proliferative activity and antitumor effect against various cancerous cells in human beings.

Anti-cholinergic effect:

Elemicin found in nutmeg was one of the prime constituents found to be responsible for the psychoactive and anti-cholinergic effect of Nutmeg and its essential oil. Just like Myristicin, it also shows anti-cholinergic effect by constraining acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter in the central and peripheral nervous system.

Reference Links:

  1. Elemicin by Wikipedia
  2. Elemicin by PubChem
  3. (E)-Methylisoeugenol and elemicin: antibacterial components of Daucus carota L. essential oil against Campylobacter jejuni.
  4. Search for new antifungal compounds from higher plants
  5. Studies on anti-allergic components in the roots of Asiasarum sieboldi.
  6. Daucus carota pentane-based fractions arrest the cell cycle and increase apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells