Chemical profiling and cytotoxic activity of 150-year old original sample of Jerusalem Balsam.


Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Science, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 50-375, Wroclaw, Poland. Electronic address: [Email]


Herbal formulations have been used in ethnomedicine and pharmacy around the world for thousands of years. One of them is Jerusalem Balsam (JB), which came into use in the seventeenth century. Today, people still produce and use it regularly as prophylactic supplement. JB has been widely used in Europe since the nineteenth century, as a remedy possessing antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory activities. The composition of the product was not known, although possible formulations were reported. In this study the original sample, which dated back to 1870, was investigated for chemical composition and cytotoxic activity. The obtained results were compared with results from more recently produced samples. Several tests were carried out, namely GC-MS, UPLC-PDA-Q-TOF-MS and MTT. Only the 150-year old sample showed a significant cytotoxic activity on cancer cell lines. At a concentration of 125 μg/mL after 72 h of incubation, the original sample inhibited almost 90% of cell metabolic activity, while contemporary samples showed none or little activity. None of the tested samples showed a significant impact on normal cells. These results may be attributed to the activities of benzoic acid and its derivatives, cinnamic acid derivatives, vanillin, group of sesquiterpenes and cembrene.


Cytotoxicity,Essential oils,Herbal formulation,Jerusalem Balsam,

OUR Recent Articles