Caryophyllene-rich rhizome oil of Zingiber nimmonii from South India: Chemical characterization and antimicrobial activity

Phytochemistry. 2006 Nov;67(22):2469-73. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2006.08.003. Epub 2006 Sep 14.


Volatile oil from the rhizomes of Zingiber nimmonii (J. Graham) Dalzell was isolated, characterized by analytical gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. Sixty-five constituents accounting for 97.5% of the oil were identified. Z. nimmonii rhizome oil is a unique caryophyllene-rich natural source with isomeric caryophyllenes, beta-caryophyllene (42.2%) and alpha-humulene (alpha-caryophyllene, 27.7%), as its major constituents along with traces of isocaryophyllene. The rhizome oil contained 71.2% sesquiterpenes, 14.2% oxygenated sesquiterpenes, 8.9% monoterpenes, 1.9% oxygenated monoterpenes and 1.3% non-terpenoid constituents. The antimicrobial activity of the oil was tested against human and plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi. The oil showed significant inhibitory activity against the fungi, Candida glabrata, C. albicans and Aspergillus niger and the bacteria Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. No activity was observed against the fungus Fusarium oxysporum.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects
  • India
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Polycyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • Rhizome / chemistry*
  • Sesquiterpenes / chemistry*
  • Zingiberaceae / chemistry*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Plant Oils
  • Polycyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • caryophyllene