Chemotypic variation of essential oils in the medicinal plant, Anemopsis californica.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Phytochemistry, Volume 69, Issue 4, p.919-27 (2008)


2008, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Proliferation, Clinical Research Division, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, Hela Cells, Humans, Inhibitory Concentration 50, Oils, Volatile, Plant Oils, Saururaceae


Anemopsis californica (Saururaceae) commonly called yerba mansa, is an important medicinal plant in many deserts in the southwestern region of North America. Populations of A. californica, collected throughout New Mexico, were examined for chemical variability in roots and rhizomes for select monocyclic (cymene, limonene, piperitone and thymol) and bicyclic (alpha-pinene, 1,8-cineole and myrtenol) monoterpenoid and phenylpropanoid (methyleugenol, isoeugenol and elemicin) derived essential oil components. Three distinct chemotypes were detected using a hierarchical clustering analysis on the concentration of 10 different analytes in three individuals from each of 17 populations. One chemotype was characterized by high elemicin concentrations, a second chemotype by high methyleugenol concentrations and the third by high piperitone and thymol concentrations. Steam distilled oil was used to screen for anticancer bioactivity. A. californica root oils demonstrated anti-proliferative activity against AN3CA and HeLa cells in vitro but no activity against lung, breast, prostate or colon cancer cells. The IC(50) values for the root oil were 0.056% and 0.052% (v/v) for the AN3CA and HeLa cells, respectively.