The aim of this study was to isolate the Eleutherococcus senticosus seed essential oil (ESEO) by an efficient microwave extraction method and to determine its antioxidant efficacy as reducing power, lipid peroxidation inhibition, as well as its ability to scavenge free radicals followed by determination of total phenolic content. The gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy analysis of ESEO revealed the presence of 21 different components representing 92.29% of the total oil. The ESEO evoked concentration-dependent reducing power and significant ferric ion-induced lipid peroxidation inhibition. The ESEO also showed significant antioxidant activity as inhibition of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl, nitric oxide, superoxide and hydroxyl-free radicals by 71.72, 71.75, 72.87 and 72.36%, respectively. The ESEO yielded 6.02 ± 0.01 mg/g gallic acid equivalent total phenolic content. The present study provides evidence that the ESEO may be considered as a potential source of natural antioxidants.
Free radicals play a very important role in food deterioration and disease progression. Plant-based essential oils have wide applications in food preservation, cosmetics and fragrance industry, mainly due to their wide margin of safety and broad range of antioxidant and other biological properties. In this study, the microwave-assisted seed essential oil from Eleutherococcus senticosus showed significant (P < 0.05) antioxidant and radical-scavenging activities in various experimental models including inhibition of lipid peroxidation and phenolic content. These findings confirm that E. senticosus has potential to be developed into dietary supplements and nutraceuticals.