Analysis of the essential oils of Chamaemelum fuscatum (Brot.) Vasc. from Spain as a contribution to reinforce its ethnobotanical use

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Chamaemelum fuscatum (Brot.) Vasc. is a south west Iberian chamomile that has been traditionally used as folk medicine in its natural distribution area but currently it is underestimated regarding its biological activities. For this reason, it is proposed in this paper to get insight into the scientific validation of the traditional knowledge of this plant with the aim of taking advantage of its anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective and antinociceptive activities, among others. To this aim, the chemical composition of the essential oil from the whole plant, the flowers and the green parts of this plant has been evaluated by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). Plant materials were collected in Badajoz (Spain). A total of 61 components including monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids and aliphatic esters were identified. (E)-2-Methyl-2-butenyl methacrylate (27.57%–18.53%) and 2-methylallyl isobutyrate (9.79%–7.51%) were the most abundant compounds in the essential oils of flowers and of the whole plant, whereas α-curcumene, trans-pinocarveol, α-bergamotene and pinocarvone were the major terpenoids irrespective of the plant part considered. Certain compounds showing a relative high abundance as isobutyl methacrylate, isoamyl butyrate, α-bergamotene and pinocarvone were identified for the first time in this species. Finally, we have reviewed the bioactivity of several compounds to relate the ethnobotanical use of this plant in Spain with its volatile profile. This work is a preliminary contribution to reinforce the use to this Mediterranean endemic plant as a natural source of bioactives.