Antioxidant capacity and total phenolic contents of oregano (Origanum vulgare), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) from Romania

Nat Prod Res. 2011 Oct;25(17):1657-61. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2010.521502. Epub 2011 Jun 27.


The study reported here presents a comparative screening of three medicinal plants including oregano (Origanum vulgare L.), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) having the same geographical origin, the Southeast region of Romania, and growing in the same natural conditions. The contents of total phenolics and total flavonoids for the extracts of these were determined. Furthermore, the total antioxidant capacity was also evaluated. It was found that Origanum vulgare and Melissa officinalis extracts present the most effective antioxidant capacity in scavenging DPPH radicals, while Lavandula angustifolia is less active. High performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis was used to identify the components of extracts. Major phenolic acids identified in the analysed species were ferulic, rosmarinic, p-coumaric and caffeic, while predominant flavonoids were quercetin, apigenin kaempherol, which were present as glucosides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Biphenyl Compounds / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Flavonoids / analysis*
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Lavandula / chemistry*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Melissa / chemistry*
  • Origanum / chemistry*
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Picrates / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / analysis*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Romania


  • Antioxidants
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Flavonoids
  • Free Radicals
  • Phenols
  • Picrates
  • Plant Extracts
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl