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Volatile chemical profiling and potent antibacterial activity of senna occidentalis stem oil against various pathogens

Muhammad Zeeshan, Nadeem Muhammad, Azeem Intisar, Aqsa Aamir, Uzma Qaisar, Muhammad Yaseen, Nazim Hussain, Ifitkhar ul-Haq, and Muhammad Bilal

School of Chemistry, University of the Punjab, Lahore-54590, Pakistan



Received: 29 April 2022  Accepted: 29 June 2022


Senna occidentalis (Coffee Senna) is a renowned medicinal plant that has traditionally been used to treat fever, worms, snakebites, abscesses, liver disorders, and respiratory infections due to its efficacy in fighting against several disorders. Previously, volatile oils from its leaf and fruit have been investigated for their antimicrobial potential. However, in this study, the volatile composition and antibacterial activity of the stem of Senna occidentalis were reported for the first time. The volatile oil was extracted by microwave-assisted extraction that produced a yield of 0.086%, and a total of 19 compounds were successfully identified that accounted for 97.42% of total oil. Most dominant compounds were methyl salicylate (18.08%), furfural (16.94%), 5-Methylfurfural (13.61%), trans-isoeugenol (11.78%), p-vinyl guaiacol (9.91%) and furfuryl acetate (4.68%). Using the Agar Well diffusion method, this oil was further evaluated for the antibacterial potential against three well-known pathogenic strains, where very promising activity was observed against two strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (27 mm and 26 mm) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (21 mm). Hence, the stem oil of Coffee Senna can be considered a potent source of natural antimicrobial compounds that may also be used for the treatment of various pathogenic diseases caused by these microbes.

Keywords: Senna occidentalis; Methyl salicylate; Antibacterial activity; Microwave-extraction

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-022-02365-z


Chemical Papers 76 (11) 7235–7243 (2022)

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