Antioxidant activity and characterization of volatile constituents of Taheebo (Tabebuia impetiginosa Martius ex DC)

J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Jan 1;51(1):295-300. doi: 10.1021/jf020811h.


Volatiles were isolated from the dried inner bark of Tabebuia impetiginosa using steam distillation under reduced pressure followed by continuous liquid-liquid extraction. The extract was analyzed by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The major volatile constituents of T. impetiginosa were 4-methoxybenzaldehyde (52.84 microg/g), 4-methoxyphenol (38.91 microg/g), 5-allyl-1,2,3-trimethoxybenzene (elemicin; 34.15 microg/g), 1-methoxy-4-(1E)-1-propenylbenzene (trans-anethole; 33.75 microg/g), and 4-methoxybenzyl alcohol (30.29 microg/g). The antioxidant activity of the volatiles was evaluated using two different assays. The extract exhibited a potent inhibitory effect on the formation of conjugated diene hydroperoxides (from methyl linoleate) at a concentration of 1000 microg/mL. The extract also inhibited the oxidation of hexanal for 40 days at a level of 5 microg/mL. The antioxidative activity of T. impetiginosa volatiles was comparable with that of the well-known antioxidants, alpha-tocopherol, and butylated hydroxytoluene.

MeSH terms

  • Anisoles / analysis
  • Anisoles / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Benzaldehydes / analysis
  • Benzaldehydes / pharmacology
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Magnoliopsida / chemistry*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Plant Bark / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Pyrogallol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Pyrogallol / analysis
  • Pyrogallol / pharmacology
  • Volatilization


  • Anisoles
  • Antioxidants
  • Benzaldehydes
  • Plant Extracts
  • Pyrogallol
  • elemicin
  • mequinol
  • anisyl alcohol
  • anethole