Document Type : Original Research Article


Department of Chemistry, Khorramabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Khorramabad, Iran


Medicinal plants, plant extracts, and essential oils are critically important for the pharmaceutical, health, and food industries. Chemical analysis and identification of compounds of medicinal plants has drawn a great deal of attention. In May 2022, the samples of two aromatic species, borage (Anchusa italica Retz.) and marshmallow (Althaea officinalis L.), native to Dehloran in the south of Ilam province, western Iran, were collected. The medicinal plants were dried, and then pulverized. Their essential oils were extracted by using headspace-solid phase microextraction and their chemical compounds were identified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The functional groups of the plants were also identified by using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Total antioxidant capacity was measured based on divalent iron reducing ability and by single electron transfer mechanism. The GC-MS results showed that A. italica contains 42 chemical compounds including trans-caryophyllene (13.26%), allospathulenol (11.27%), germacrene D (10.47%), bicyclogermacrene (9.77%),  safranal (7.62%), δ-cadinene (6.42%), and α-pinene (4.38%) are α-copaene (3.96%) and β-myrcene (3.75%). A. officinalis also contains 39 chemical compounds such as tetradecane (22.54%), α-pinene (15.50%), hexadecane (10.46%), 2-hexenal (8.48%), dodecane (7.28%), β-Ionone (3.50%), and trans-geranylacetone (3.26%). After measurement of the wavelengths at 570 nm, the antioxidant property of A. officinalis was calculated at 1.2 mmol Fe2+/L and that of A. italica at 2.9 mmol Fe2+/L. Our results showed that the two studied medicinal plants have a wide range of chemical compounds such as phenols, flavonoids, alkaloids, polysaccharides, mucilage, and saponin with the potential antioxidant properties. Therefore, given the antioxidant properties of these plants, this research can be a starting point for the additional experiments regarding the use of essential oils and extracts of these two medicinal plants. Taken together, the potential of these two plants, as two important medicinal plants occurring in Iran, for use in traditional medicine, modern medicine, and industries can be promising with respect to their trade and cultivation, and can stimulate comprehensive research in their pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and medical applications in clinical pharmacy so that they would be introduced into the booming and popular market of medicines of natural origin.

Graphical Abstract

Extraction and Identification of Compounds of Althaea officinalis L. and Anchusa italica Retz. Native to Ilam Province by Using HS-SPME, GC-MS, and FTIR, and Study of Their Antioxidant Capacity


Main Subjects


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