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Submitted: 28 Jul 2015
Accepted: 09 Dec 2015
First published online: 30 Mar 2016

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Pharm Sci. 2016;22(1):60-67 doi: 10.15171/PS.2016.11

Essential Oil Compositions of Malaysian Lauraceae: A Mini Review


Wan Mohd Nuzul Hakimi Salleh 1, Farediah Ahmad 1 * , Khong Heng Yen 2, Razauden Mohamed Zulkifli 3

1 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia ( UTM), 81310 Skudai , Johor , Malaysia
2 School of Chemistry and Environment Studies, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)Cawangan Sarawak, Kampus Samarahan 2, Jalan Meranek, 94300 Kota Samarahan , Sarawak , Malaysia
3 Department of Bioscience and Health Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences and Medical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM ), 81310 Skudai , Johor, Malaysia

Essential oils have been largely employed for human need due to their antibacterial, antifungal and insecticidal activities. At present, approximately 3000 essential oils are known, 300 of which are commercially important. Essential oils or some of their components are used in perfumes and make-up products, sanitary products, dentistry, agriculture, as food preservers and additives, and as natural remedies. The essential oil compositions of Malaysian Lauraceae family have been investigated for many years. In the recent years, studies on the essential oils of the species have been progressing and many of them have reported interesting pharmacological activities. In this article, we summarized and updated the chemical compositions and biological activities of Malaysian Lauraceae. Throughout our literature review, only four genera which are Lindera, Beilschmiedia, Litsea, and Cinnamomum have been studied for their essential oil compositions in Malaysia. They were found to contain mainly safrole, eugenol, linalool, camphor, benzyl benzoate or cinnamaldehyde as major components. There were significant priorities to find out the details of the chemical compositions of the essential oils from Malaysian Lauraceae. Therefore, more clinical studies on the toxicity of the essential oil of the species are also crucial to ensure their safety and to assess their eligibility to be used as the sources of modern medicines.

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