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Essential Oils of Piper Dumosum Rudge and Piper Aleyreanum C.DC (Piperaceae) From Brazilian Amazonian Forest

May 10, 2007

By Facundo, Valdir Alves; Ferreira, Silane Aparecida; de Morais, Selene Maia


The essential oils obtained from the leaves of Piper dumosum Rudge and Piper aleyreanum C.DC, collected from the southern Amazon forest, Brazil, were analyzed by GC and GC/MS. The major components found in the oil of P. dumosum were biclyclogermacrene (16.2%), β-caryophyllene (15.9%), β-pinene (16.0%) and α- pinene (12.1%). The oil of P. aleyreanum showed as main constituents β-pinene (14.4%), isocaryophyllene (17.5%) and β- caryophyllene (18.6%).

Key Word Index

Piper dumosum, Piper aleyreanum, Piperaceae, essential oil composition, β-caryophyllene, isocaryophyllene, α-pinene, β-pinene, biclyclogermacrene, α-phellandrene.

Plant Name

Piper dumosum Rudge and P. aleyreanum C. DC, are known by the local population as “baburau” and “mebin nixpu,” respectively.


The plants of both Piper species were collected in April 2002 near the city of Porto Velho, Rondnia, in the southeast of the Amazon forest (Brazil). A voucher specimen of each has been deposited in the Herbarium of Institute Nacional de Pesquisa da Amaznia (INPA), under number 211715 for P. dumosum and 200162 for P. aleyreanum.

Plant Part

Fresh leaves of P. dumosum (1.0 kg) and P. aleyreanum (1.2 kg) were steam distilled to produce essential oils in yields of 1.2% and 0.9%, respectively.

Previous Work

The genus Piper is distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world (1). Piper species are widely used in folk medicine in Latin America and the West Indies, and several chemical and biological investigations have been undertaken due to their economic and medicinal uses (2-5). Piperamides, flavonoids, lignans, aristolactams, long and short chain esters, terpenes, steroids, propenylphenols and alkaloids have been previously reported for the genus Piper (4,5). Recently, β-sitosterol, galangin and 2- methoxy-4,5-methylenedioxypropiophenone were isolated from P. aleyreanum (6). No previous reports were found in the literature for P. dumosum.

Present Work

The essential oils were analyzed by a Hewlett-Packard 589OA GC and a 5973 GC/MS instrument under the following conditions: column: 5% phenyl-95% methylpolysiloxane DB-5 (J&W) fused silica capillary column (30 m x 0.25 mm x 0.25 m film thickness); carrier gas: He (1 mL/ min); injector temperature (split mode): 250C; detectortemperature (FID): 270C; column temperature: 35-180C at 3C/ min and then 180-250C at 10C/min, 15 min; mass spectra: electron impact at 70 eV (ion source at 200C). The identification of the constituents was performed by computer library search on Wiley 275, retention indices based on n-alkane series (7) and visual interpretation of the mass spectra (8-10). The list of compounds found in the oils is presented in Table I.


The authors thank the Brazilian government agencies CNPq forfinalcial suport and J. Lima, Instittito Nacional de Pesyuisa da Amaznia (INPA), Manaus, Amaznia, Brazil, for identification of plant material.

Table I. Percentage composition of the oils of P. dumosum and P. aleyreanum


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Valdir Alves Facundo* and Silane Aparecida Ferreira

Departamento de Qumica da Universidade Federal de Rondnia, Av. Pres. Outra 2965, CEP 78900-500,

Porto Velho – Rondnia – Brazil

Selene Maia de Morais

Curso de Qumica da Universidade Estadual do Cear, Av. Paranjana 1700 – Campus do ltaperi, CEP 60740-000,

Fortaleza – Cear – Brazil

* Address for correspondence

Received: September 2005

Revised: May 2006

Accepted: May 2006

Copyright Allured Publishing Corporation Mar/Apr 2007

(c) 2007 Journal of Essential Oil Research : JEOR. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.