Original Research

Chemical composition, antioxidant potential and antimicrobial activities of Ixora scheffleri subspecies keniensis essential oil

Peter K. Njenga, Samuel M. Mugo
Journal of Medicinal Plants for Economic Development | Vol 4, No 1 | a58 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jomped.v4i1.58 | © 2020 Peter K. Njenga, Samuel M. Mugo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 March 2018 | Published: 13 February 2020

About the author(s)

Peter K. Njenga, Department of Botany, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Thika, Kenya
Samuel M. Mugo, Department of Physical Sciences-Chemistry, Grant MacEwan University, Edmonton, Canada


Background: Essential oil (EO) obtained from Ixora scheffleri subspecies (subsp.) keniensis has valuable biological properties and can play a possible therapeutic role because of its antimicrobial and antioxidant nature.

Aim: In this article, the chemical constituents, antimicrobial activity and antioxidant capacity of the EO obtained from Ixora scheffleri subsp. keniensis were determined using standard procedures.

Setting: Plant material collection, essential oils extractions and antimicrobial assays were performed at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Department of Botany Laboratories. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrophotometry (GC/MS) analysis was carried out at the Physical Science Laboratory, MacEwan University, Canada.

Methods: The chemical constituents were determined using GC/MS. The total phenol content was evaluated using the Folin–Ciocalteu procedure. The antioxidant activity was determined using 2,2-diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and β-carotene linoleic acid assays. The antimicrobial assay was performed using the disc diffusion method.

Results: The total phenol content of the EO was estimated to be 91.6 µg/mg ± 0.5 µg/mg. The antioxidant activity of EO obtained from Ixora relative to ascorbic acid was found to be 52% using the β-carotene linoleic acid assay. The DPPH scavenging activity of 30 µg/mL EO obtained from Ixora and 30 µg/mL ascorbic acid was 81.65% and 97.0%, respectively. The EO was found to have significant susceptibility against Escherichia coli, and intermediate susceptibility against Candida albicans. However, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed complete resistance.

Conclusion: The in vitro chemical compositional analysis of EO obtained from Ixora scheffleri subsp. keniensis confirms the presence of phenolic compounds attesting to the antioxidant properties and antimicrobial properties.


Ixora scheffleri; essential oils; phenolic compounds; antioxidant; antimicrobial


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