Syrian oregano (Origanum syriacum L., Lamiaceae) is a very popular culinary herb that has been used through the ages in traditional medicine mainly in Lebanon and the Arab world. The subject of this study was the microscopic analysis of the herbal drug Origani syriaci folium, as well as the chemical analysis of its essential oil components. Plant materials originated from Arabsalim - South Lebanon and were collected in 2010. The presence of very dense clusters of multicellular covering trichomes (510 μm × 18.47 μm) and peltate secretory glands (∅ 87.95 μm) with eight cells were observed. The essential oil of Origani syriaci folium was isolated and quantified using hydrodistillation according to SPhC 1997. The content of essential oil was 95 ml/1000 g, i.e. 9.5% (V/m). The volatile constituents of Origani syriaci folium were qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated using SPME GC/MS. The two dominant constituents identified in Syrian oregano leaves were carvacrol (78.4%) and thymol (17.9%).
Salvia officinalis L. (sage) is an important essential oil containing Mediterranean medicinal plant that is commonly cultivated for pharmaceutical uses. In addition to essential oil, other compounds participate on the biological effects of sage, mainly diterpenes, triterpenes and phenolic compounds of the hydroxycinnamic and flavonoid types. Sage essential oil content is known to differ in plant parts, and to be influenced by plant phenophase, climatic and edaphic conditions. This work deals with the study of total hydroxycinnamic derivatives (THD), and specifically rosmarinic acid (RA), content variation in different aerial parts of sage linked to different harvest times. Dry sage leaves (Salviae officinalis folium) THD content was quantified using a pharmacopoeial method, and varied between 3.06 % and 3.52 % in different harvest times, with maxima in youngest plant shoot leaves and newly-grown shoots in September. Sage stems showed similar THD content variations when linked to harvest times, however with lower percentage, 1.33 - 3.04 %. Rosmarinic acid variability showed the same trends, its content ranged between 0.76 % and 1.65 % in leaves, and between 0.19 % and 0.83 % in stems, respectively. Highest percentages of both THD and RA were found in top leaves, lowest in leaves from the middle of the stem. When linked to plant phenophase, the content of THD and RA decreased at flowering time.