Chemical composition and antimicrobial activities of the essential oil from the seeds of Enterolobium contortisiliquum (Leguminosae).
Seeds of Enterolobium contortisiliquum were subjected to steam distillation to obtain a light yellow essential oil in a yield of 3 ml/kg of seeds. The major components of the oil were identified using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and were furfural, limonene, linalool, estragole, carvone, and apiole with carvone representing more than 50% of the total composition. Antimicrobial activities of the essential oil were determined against four species of gram positive bacteria (Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus) and two gram negative bacteria (Klebsiella pneumoniae, Serratia Marcescencs). The essential oil inhibited the growth of all tested bacteria but was most effective against the gram positive bacteria. Chemicals that are responsible for the antibacterial effect of the essential oil were determined using the bio-autography thin layer chromatography (TLC) technique. The active compounds responsible for the activity were found to be carvone and estragole.