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Bioactivities of black cumin essential oil and its main terpenes from Tunisia

Published by Elsevier B.V.


"Ex vivo antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antibacterial activities of the essential oil from Tunisian Nigella sativa seeds and its main terpenes (p-cymene, γ-terpinene, thymoquinone, β-pinene, carvacrol, terpinen-4-ol and longifolene) were determined. The essential oil exhibited strong ex vivo antioxidant activity, inhibiting DCFH oxidation with an IC50 of 1.0 µg/ml, and high anti-inflammatory activity, inhibiting NO radical excretion with an IC50 value of 6.3 µg/ml. Thymoquinone was found to be the most active to decrease DCFH oxidation and NO excretion. The oil was found to significantly inhibit the growth of A-549 and DLD-1 cancer cell lines (IC50 values of 43.0 and 46.0 µg/ml, respectively) and to exert antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli with IC50 values of 12.0 and 62.0 µg/ml. The anticancer and antibacterial activities could be mainly due to the action of thymoquinone and longifolene."

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