Features of essential oils of Mentha arvensis L. from the European part of Russia and Indo-China

N.V. Tsitsin Main Botanical Garden, Moscow, Russia

Mentha arvensis L., (Lamiaceae), is widely used in world production of essential oil with a high menthol content. The species has a Eurasian boreal type of distribution. It is characterized by a significant ecological and geographical variability - about 11 varieties of this species are distinguished. This type is polymorphous which is reflected in the composition of essential oil. The main components of the oil of the European species M. arvensis were menthone (67,9 %), terpinen-4-ol (7,2 %), iso-menthone (4,7 %), 1,8-cineol (3,6 %), menthol (2,1 %). Among the minor components prevailed ß-caryophyllene (1,7%), ?-terpinene (1,1%), pulegone (1,1%), carvone (1,1%), germacrene D (1,1%), iso-menthol (1, 0%), ß-pinene (1,0%). In the composition of the essential oil of species M. arvensis of the natural flora by Indo-China dominated menthol (56,5 %). Also presented in significant amounts menthone (20,8 %), iso-menthone (12,2 %), menthyl acetate (5,8 %), piperitone (3,9%), iso-menthol(1,8 %) and D-limonene (1,5 %). Thus, morphologically similar species M. arvensis from different geographical origin had fundamentally different composition of major components of essential oil. This fact indicates that the specific mechanisms of synthesis of essential oil within a species may be closely related with the ploidy level (chromosome numbers) of species Mentha arvensis L. from different geographical origin. This work is supported by grant of RFFR 11-04-01820.

© 2012 Organizing Committee