Assessment of antioxidative, chelating, and DNA-protective effects of selected essential oil components (eugenol, carvacrol, thymol, borneol, eucalyptol) of plants and intact Rosmarinus officinalis oil

J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jul 16;62(28):6632-9. doi: 10.1021/jf501006y. Epub 2014 Jul 2.


Selected components of plant essential oils and intact Rosmarinus officinalis oil (RO) were investigated for their antioxidant, iron-chelating, and DNA-protective effects. Antioxidant activities were assessed using four different techniques. DNA-protective effects on human hepatoma HepG2 cells and plasmid DNA were evaluated with the help of the comet assay and the DNA topology test, respectively. It was observed that whereas eugenol, carvacrol, and thymol showed high antioxidative effectiveness in all assays used, RO manifested only antiradical effect and borneol and eucalyptol did not express antioxidant activity at all. DNA-protective ability against hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced DNA lesions was manifested by two antioxidants (carvacrol and thymol) and two compounds that do not show antioxidant effects (RO and borneol). Borneol was able to preserve not only DNA of HepG2 cells but also plasmid DNA against Fe(2+)-induced damage. This paper evaluates the results in the light of experiences of other scientists.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Camphanes / pharmacology
  • Chelating Agents / analysis*
  • Cyclohexanols / pharmacology
  • Cymenes
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • Eucalyptol
  • Eugenol / pharmacology
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Monoterpenes / pharmacology
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Rosmarinus / chemistry*
  • Thymol / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Camphanes
  • Chelating Agents
  • Cyclohexanols
  • Cymenes
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Thymol
  • Eugenol
  • carvacrol
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • isoborneol
  • Eucalyptol