Artemisia chamaemelifolia Vill., Asteraceae, has been used as an antimicrobial, antifungal, antiparasitic and antitumor. This study determined the variation in chemical composition, and antibacterial and antioxidant activity of A. chamaemelifolia collected at two phenological stages within five natural habitats in northern Iran. The highest oil yield was obtained from the Shahkoh population with 1.10 ml/100g dry matter harvested at the 50% flowering stage. The highest values of 1,8-cineole (31.82%) was obtained from the Pelor population at the 50% flowering stage. The highest percentages of artemisia ketone (12.27%), camphor (17.21%), and borneol (13.50%) were obtained from the Kandovan population, harvested before flowering. The highest content of chrysanthenone (18.14%) was obtained from the Gadok population before flowering. The essential oil of the Kandovan population harvested at the 50% flowering stage had the highest percentages of Davanone D (28.44%) and Davanone (28.88%). The A. chamaemelifolia oils inhibited the growth of four bacterial pathogens, while these same oils exhibit weak antioxidant (DPPH) activity. The results indicated A. chamaemelifolia contained three chemotypes: 1,8-cineole, davanone and/or Davanone D, and chrysanthenone. The antibacterial properties of the essential oils obtained from various populations of A. chamaemelifolia at two phenological stages may be significant from a pharmaceutical stand point. © 2013 Brazilian Society of Pharmacognosy.
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