Antioxidant activity of the methanol extract of Ferula assafoetida and its essential oil composition


  • Abbas Ali Dehpour Department of biology, Islamic Azad University
  • Mohammad Ali Ebrahimzadeh Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari
  • Nabavi Seyed Fazel Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari
  • Nabavi Seyed Mohammad Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari



Antioxidant activity, Chelating ability, DPPH, Essential oil, Ferula assafoetida


The antioxidant activity of the aerial parts of Ferula assafoetida was determined by employing various in vitro assay systems. IC50 for DPPH radical-scavenging activity was 380 ± 12 mg ml-1. The extracts showed good nitric oxide-scavenging activity (IC50 was 270 ± 3) and Fe2+ chelating ability (IC50 was 0.57 ± 0.02 mg ml-1). The peroxidation inhibition (antioxidant activity) of the extracts exhibited values from 82% (at 24 hrs) and 88% (at 72 hrs). The extract exhibited a fairy weak reducing power at 25-800 μg ml-1 of extracts which was not comparable with Vitamin C (p < 0.001). The tested extracts exhibited very low antioxidant activity. In addition, the chemical composition of the essential oil of the aerial parts was determined. The major compounds were phenol, 2-methyl-5-(1-methyl ethyl) (18.2 %), α.-Bisabolol (10.4%) and Arsine triethyl (8.7 %). Total phenol compounds, as determined by the Folin Ciocalteu method, were 94.8 ± 5.9 mg gallic acid equivalent/g of extract powder and the total flavonoid content (by AlCl3 method) was 90.9 ± 6.3 mg quercetin equivalent/g of extract powder.


Download data is not yet available.


Abd El-Razek MH, Ohta S, Ahmed AA, Hirata T. 2001. Sesquiterpene coumarins from the roots of Ferula asafetida. Phytochem. 58, 1289-1295. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(01)00324-7

Brand-Williams W, Cuvelier M, Berset C. 1995. Use of a free radical method to evaluate antioxidant activity. Food Sci. Technol. 28, 25–30.

Cao GH, Sofic E, Prior RL. 1996. Antioxidant capacity of tea and vegetables. J. Agri. Food Chem. 44, 3426–3431. doi:10.1021/jf9602535

Duh PD, Tu YY, Yen GC. 1999. Antioxidant activity of water extract of harng Jyur (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat). Lebensm Wiss Technol. 32, 269–277. doi:10.1006/fstl.1999.0548

Ebrahimzadeh MA, Hosseinimehr SJ, Hamidinia A, Jafari M. 2008a. Antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of Feijoa sallowiana fruits peel and leaves. Pharmacologyonline 1, 7-14.

Ebrahimzadeh MA, Pourmorad F, Hafezi S. 2008b. Antioxidant Activities of Iranian Corn Silk. Turk. J. Biol. 32, 43-49.

Ebrahimzadeh MA, Pourmorad F, Bekhradnia AR. 2008c. Iron chelating activity screening, phenol and flavonoid content of some medicinal plants from Iran.Afr. J. of Biotech. 7 (18), 3188-3192.

Eigner D, Scholz D. 1990. Das Zauberbchlein der Gyani Dolma. Pharmazie in userer Zeit. 19, 141-152.

Fatehi M, Farifteh F, Fatehi-Hassanabad Z. 2004. Antispasmodic and hypotensive effects of Ferula asafoetida gum extract. Journal of Ethnopharmacol. 91, 321-324. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.01.002

Fernch D. 1971. Ethnobothany of the Umbelliferae. In Heywood. VH, ed., The Chemistry and Biology of the Umberifella. Academic press, London. pp. 285-412.

Gordon MH. 1990. The mechanism of antioxidant action in vitro. in Hudson BJF, ed. Food antioxidants. Elsevier Applied Science, London. pp. 1-18.

Hebbel RP, Leung A, Mohandas N. 1990. Oxidationinduced changes in microheological properties of the red cell membrane. Blood 76, 1015-1022.

Halliwell B. 1997. Antioxidants: the basics- what they are and how to evaluate them. Adv Pharmacol. 38, 3–20. doi:10.1016/S1054-3589(08)60976-X

Halliwell B, Gutteridge JMC, Cross CE. 1992. Free radicals, antioxidants and human disease: where are we now? J. Lab. Clin. Med. 119, 598–620.

Hertog MLG., Feskens EJM., Hollman PHC., Katan MB, Kromhout D. 1993. Dietary antioxidants flavonoids and the risk of coronary heart disease: the zutphen elderly study. Lancet 342, 1007–1011. doi:10.1016/0140-6736(93)92876-U

Keshri G, Bajpai M, Lakshmi V, Sreenivasulu Setty B, Gupta G. 2004. Role of energy metabolism in the pregnancy interceptive action of Ferula asafoetida and Melia azedarach extracts in rat, Contraception 70, 429- 432. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2004.06.003 Can't connect to PubMed

Khajeh M, Yamini Y, Bahramifar N, Sefidkon F, Pirmoradei MR. 2005. Comparison of essential oils compositions of Ferula assa-foetida obtained by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction and hydrodistillation methods Food Chem. 91, 639-644. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2004.06.033

Kojima K, Isaka K, Ondognii P, Zevgeegiino O, Gombosurengyin P, Davgiin K, et al., 2000. Sesquiterpenoid derivatives from Ferula ferulioids IV. Chem Pharm Bull. 48, 353-356.

Lee SE, Hwang HJ, Ha JS, Jeong HS, Kim JH. 2003. Screening of medicinal plant extracts for antioxidant activity. Life Sci. 73, 167–179. doi:10.1016/S0024-3205(03)00259-5

Leung AY. 1980. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. Wiley, New York.

Moncada A, Palmer RMJ, Higgs EA. 1991. Nitric oxide: physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology. Pharmacol Rev. 43, 109-142.

Nabavi SM, Ebrahimzadeh MA, Nabavi SF, Hamidinia A, Bekhradnia AR. 2008a. Determination of antioxidant activity, phenol and flavonoids content of Parrotia persica Mey. Pharmacologyonline 2, 560-567.

Nabavi SM, Ebrahimzadeh MA, Nabavi SF, Jafari M. 2008b. Free radical scavenging activity and antioxidant capacity of Eryngium caucasicum Trautv and Froripia subpinata. Pharmacologyonline 3, 19-25.

Reznichenko L, Amit T, Zheng H, Avramovich-Tirosh Y, Youdim MBH, Weinreb O, Mandel S. 2006. Reduction of iron-regulated amyloid precursor protein and [beta]-amyloid peptide by (-)-epigallocatechin-3- gallate in cell cultures: implications for iron chelation in Alzheimer’s disease. J. Neurochem. 97 (2), 527- 536. doi:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2006.03770.x

Su BN, Takaishi Y, Honda G, Itoh M, Takeda Y, Kodzhimatov OK, et al. 2000. Sesquiterpene phenylpropanoid and sesquiterpene chromone derivatives from Ferula pallida. J. Nat. Prod. 63, 520-522. doi:10.1021/np9904298

Van Acker SABE, van Den Berg DJ, Tromp MNJL, Griffioen DH, Van Bennekom WP, van der Vijgh WJF, et al. 1996. Structural aspects of antioxidant activity of flavanoids. Free Radical Bio Med. 20 (3), 331–342. doi:10.1016/0891-5849(95)02047-0

Wang H, Cao GH, Prior RL. 1996. Total antioxidant capacity of fruits. J. Agr. Food Chem. 44, 701–705. doi:10.1021/jf950579y

Yildirim A, Mavi A, Kara A. 2001. Determination of antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of Rumex crispus L. extracts. J. Agr. Food Chem. 49, 4083–4089. doi:10.1021/jf0103572

Yu LL. 2001. Free radical scavenging properties of conjugated linoleic acids. J. Agr. Food Chem. 49 (7), 3452–3456. doi:10.1021/jf010172v

Zheng W, Wang S. 2001. Antioxidant activity and phenolic composition in selected herbs. J. Agr. Food Chem. 49, 5165–5170. doi:10.1021/jf010697n




How to Cite

Dehpour AA, Ebrahimzadeh MA, Seyed Fazel N, Seyed Mohammad N. Antioxidant activity of the methanol extract of Ferula assafoetida and its essential oil composition. Grasas aceites [Internet]. 2009Sep.30 [cited 2024Apr.20];60(4):405-12. Available from:




Most read articles by the same author(s)