Volatile composition and biological activity of key lime Citrus aurantifolia essential oil

Nat Prod Commun. 2012 Nov;7(11):1523-6.


The essential oil of Citrus aurantifolia (Christm) Swingle fruits (limes) was studied for its potential spasmolytic effects in relation to its chemical composition. The essential oil, extracted by hydrodistillation (HD), was analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS. The antispasmodic activity was evaluated on isolated rabbit jejunum, aorta and uterus. The results indicated that the essential oil of C. aurantifolia possesses important spasmolytic properties, which are likely to be due to its major constituents, limonene (58.4%), beta-pinene (15.4%), gamma-terpinene (8.5%), and citral (4.4%).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / drug effects
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Citrus aurantiifolia / chemistry*
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Jejunum / drug effects
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth / drug effects*
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / isolation & purification
  • Parasympatholytics / analysis*
  • Parasympatholytics / pharmacology
  • Rabbits
  • Uterus / drug effects


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Parasympatholytics