Chemical Composition, Anticonvulsant Activity, and Toxicity of Essential Oil and Methanolic Extract of Elettaria cardamomum

Planta Med. 2016 Nov;82(17):1482-1486. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-106971. Epub 2016 Jul 19.


Elettaria cardamomum is an aromatic spice (cardamom) native to the humid Asian areas, which contains some compounds with a potential anticonvulsant activity. Various pharmacological properties such as anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects have been related to this plant. This research was conducted to examine the probable protective impact of the essential oil and methanolic extract of E. cardamomum against chemically (pentylentetrazole)- and electrically (maximal electroshock)-induced seizures in mice. In addition, neurotoxicity, acute lethality, and phytochemistry of the essential oil and methanolic extract were estimated. The TLC method showed the presence of kaempferol, rutin, and quercetin in the extract, and the concentration of quercetin in the extract was 0.5 µg/mL. The major compounds in the essential oil were 1,8-cineole (45.6 %), α-terpinyl acetate (33.7 %), sabinene (3.8 %), 4-terpinen-4-ol (2.4 %), and myrcene (2.2 %), respectively. The extract and essential oil showed significant neurotoxicity in the rotarod test at the doses of 1.5 g/kg and 0.75 mL/kg, respectively. No mortalities were observed up to the doses of 2 g/kg and 0.75 mL/kg for the extract and essential oil. The essential oil was effective in both the pentylentetrazole and maximal electroshock models; however, the extract was only effective in the pentylentetrazole model. The study suggested that E. cardamomum methanolic extract had no significant lethality in mice. Both the essential oil and methanolic extract showed movement toxicity. Anticonvulsant effects of E. cardamomum were negligible against the seizures induced by pentylentetrazole and maximal electroshock.

MeSH terms

  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Alkenes / analysis
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology*
  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Cyclohexanols / analysis
  • Electroshock / adverse effects
  • Elettaria / chemistry*
  • Eucalyptol
  • Male
  • Methanol
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Monoterpenes / analysis
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Oils, Volatile / toxicity
  • Pentylenetetrazole / toxicity
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Seizures / drug therapy


  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Alkenes
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Cyclohexanols
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts
  • myrcene
  • sabinene
  • Eucalyptol
  • Pentylenetetrazole
  • Methanol