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  • Jamonline / 2(2); 2012 / 613 Madhu Babu K & Bikshal Babu K

    All rights reserved 2011 6

    Review Article

    Journal of Atoms and Molecules An International Online JournalAn International Online JournalAn International Online JournalAn International Online Journal ISSN ISSN ISSN ISSN 2277 2277 2277 2277 1247124712471247


    Madhu Babu Kasimala1*, Bikshal Babu Kasimala2, 1Department of Allied Sciences, College of Marine Science and Technology, Massawa, Eritrea.

    2 QC department. RV labs, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India. Received on: 11-03-2012 Revised on: 01-04-2012 Accepted on: 16042012


    Schinus molle L. (Anacardiaceae), also known as Brazilian pepper tree, is a tree which is short and

    has thin, long leaves and it is often used in subtropical climates for landscaping. Schinus spp. has

    been traditionally used as medicine by indigenous people throughout the tropics (Erazo et al.,

    2006). Recent research show that extracts obtained from S. molle can be used as an analgesic (pain-

    reliever), anti-inflammatory and anti-tumorous agent (Yueqin et al., 2003; Diaz et al., 2008). It also

    possesses potent antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, insecticidal and repellent properties (Dikshit et

    al., 1986; Chopa et al., 2006; Ferrero and Gonzales, 2006; Ferrero et al, 2007; Padin et al., 2007).


    Kingdom : Plantae

    Subkingdom : Tracheobionta

    Superdivision : Spermatophyta

    Division : Magnoliophyta

    Class : Magnoliopsida

    Subclass : Rosidae

    Order : Sapindales

    Family : Anacardiaceae

    Genus : Schinus

    Species : Schinus molle L.

    * Corresponding author

    Madhu Babu K,


    Tel: 00291 7251105

  • Jamonline / 2(2); 2012 / 613 Madhu Babu K & Bikshal Babu K

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    S.molle plant Bark of S.molle Pinnate leaf of S.molle

    Fruits of S.molle ripened fruits of S.molle dry fruits of S.molle

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    Schinus molle is widely cultivated in tropical

    and subtropical countries (Huerta et al.,

    2010). It is widely spread outside their

    original geographical ranges, grows in North

    and Central America, Africa, Middle East and

    is cultivated around Mediterranean in

    Southern Europe. In Argentina, it is widely

    used as an urban tree because of its resistance

    to pollution, easy and economical spread and

    little need for irrigation. (Chamorro et al). It

    is an evergreen tree with weeping foliage,

    usually grow up to 6-8 m tall, on good sites

    up to 15 m; trunk is short with dark brown,

    deeply fissured and flaking bark, when the

    bark is damaged it exude a sticky latex.

    Leaves are compound with pinnate

    arrangement and 15-30 cm long, with 15-41

    leaflets; leaflets are yellowish-green, 2-5 cm

    long, lanceolate with entire or serrate margins.

    The leaves have a peppery smell when

    crushed. Flowers are unisexual, small and

    pale yellow, in 10-15 cm long panicles.

    Female and male flower grows normally on

    different trees, within the area of natural

    distribution flowering occurs in September to

    December and fruits are ripe in December-

    January. In East Africa fruits are collected in

    March. All fruits do not mature at the same

    time and within a cluster the fruits will often

    be at different stages of maturity. (Orwa et al;


    Fruits are small, round drupes, 5-9 mm in

    diameter, bright red when mature, later

    turning black. The pulp is thin and leathery; it

    has a sweet taste and contains aromatic oils.

    There are one or two seeds per fruit. Seeds are

    2-4 mm in diameter, round, brown-black,

    furrowed when dry. There are 30,000-40,000

    seeds per kg.

    Distribution and habitat

    The area of natural distribution is the Andes

    region, mainly Peru. It is found at altitudes up

    to 3900 MSL, in areas with 300-700 mm

    rain/year. It tolerates high temperatures and

    once established it is extremely drought

    resistant; it is resistant to frost but not for long

    periods. A fast growing pioneer species is

    typically found in roadsides and on

    agricultural lands. It grows well on stony sites

    and slopes. Prefers sandy, well-drained soils

    but is tolerant to most soil types and also to

    salinity and alkalinity. Introduced to Central

    and North America, Europe and Africa and in

    some places it has become naturalised. (Orwa

    et al; 2009)

    Local names:

    Amharic (qundo berbere); Arabic (felfel-

    kazib, filfilrafie); English (pepper tree,

    California pepper tree, Chilean pepper tree,

    mastic tree, molle, pepper berry tree, weeping

    pepper, Peruvian mastic, pink pepper,

    Peruvian pepper tree); French (faux Poivrier

    du Perou, poivre ros); German

    (Brasilianischer pfeffer, ros-pfeffer, rosa

    pfeffer, Peruanischer pfeffer); Italian (Albero

    del pepe, Pepe del Peru,Schino); Spanish

    (pirul, pimienta, arveira); Swahili (mpilipili);

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    Swedish (rospeppar); Tigrigna (berebere-

    tselim, berbere-tselim).(Orwa et al; 2009)


    Pharmacological studies carried out with

    extracts from Schinus molle showed that this

    plant has hypotensive (Bello et al., 1996),

    antitumoral (Diaz et al., 2008), antifungal

    (Schmourlo et al., 2005), antibacterial (Erazo

    et al., 2006), anti-inflammatory (Yueqin et

    al., 2003), analgesic (Barrachina et al., 1997),

    and antidepressant (Machado et al., 2007)

    properties, but there is no evidence of any

    effect against plant pathogens. Methanol

    extracts of the different species of Schinus

    showed an inhibitory effect on conidial

    germination of Fusarium solani. Leaf extracts

    of Schinus showed a high level of

    antimicrobial effect against the bacterial

    strains and the best results were obtained with

    S. molle against Agrobacterium tumefaciens

    and Bacillus subtilis (Rhouma et al., 2009).

    Leaf juice is used to treat ophthalmia and

    rheumatism; a bark extract infusion is used

    for diarrhoea, and resin of the bark is a

    dangerous purgative. Other known medicinal

    properties of the tree include using it as an

    astringent, a balsamic, diuretic, expectorant,

    masticatory, stomachic, tonic and vulnerary.

    The ailments it is known to treat include

    amenorrhoea, bronchitis, gingivitis,

    gonorrhoea, gout, tuberculosis, tumour, ulcer,

    urethritis, wart, wounds, and urogenital and

    venereal diseases. (Orwa et al; 2009)

    The oil of S. molle was the most effective,

    inhibiting the animal pathogens completely

    and exhibiting moderate activity against the

    storage fungi. The minimum fungistatic

    concentrations of S. molle oil were 300, 200,

    and 200 ppm against M. gypseum, T.

    mentagrophytes, and T. rubrum, respectively.

    The minimum fungicidal concentrations were

    900 ppm against T. mentagrophytes and 400

    ppm against T. rubrum. M. gypseum was

    completely resistant to the fungicidal action of

    S. molle oil, even at concentrations of 900

    ppm. The minimum fungistatic concentrations

    of S. molle oil were 60, 75, and 55 times more

    active against M. gypseum, T.

    mentagrophytes, and T. rubrum, respectively,

    when compared with Multifungin. In terms of

    minimum fungicidal concentrations, S. molle

    oil was 125 times more effective than

    Multifungin against T. rubrum and 55.5 times

    more effective against T. mentagrophytes .

    Physicochemical properties of the oil were

    determined. Of 50 components resolved by

    gas-liquid chromatography, 14 were found

    above 1% (vol/vol); however, only 10

    components could be identified. (Dikshit et

    al; 1986); (Deveci et al 2010).

    Insect Repellence:

    Leaves are an insect repellents. All materials

    showed repellency in varying degrees against

    Oriental cockroach ( Blatta orientalis). All the

    doses of essential oils of S.molle were found

    to be more effective, while the fruit oils and

    leaf extracts were not effective. (Deveci et al,

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    2010). The essential oils of ripe fruit has high

    repellency and leaf extracts of S.molle do not

    have repellency against German cockroach

    (Chopa et al, 2006).

    Essential oil:

    The plant extracts and essential oils can be

    obtained from different parts like leaves,

    unripe fruits and ripe fruits. Essential oil of

    leaf contained 24 components; mainly delta-

    cadinene (11.28%) and alpha-cadinol

    (10.77%) Germacrene D (20.77%) and Beta-

    ceryophyllene (13.48%).(Deveci et al 2010).

    The composition may differ by season and the

    region that the plant material was collected.

    (Abdel-sattar, 2010). The major components

    identified in the essential oil of S. molle of

    Resistencia city were - pinene (11.5%), -

    pinene (14.71%), limonene (9.17%), -

    ocimene (3.1%), germacrene D (3.6%), -

    cadinene (6.9%), -cadinene (4.9%) and epi-

    bicyclosesquiphelandrene (18.6%), as shown

    in the Figure 1. However, the composition of

    these oils differ in their main components

    compared to data reported from other sources,

    such as Liguria (Italy), whose main

    components are -phellandrene (30%) and

    elemol (13.25%) (Maffei & Chialvo, 1990),

    Uruguay with 30% of Biciclogermacreno

    (Menendez et al., 1996), state of Rio Grande

    do Sul in southern Brazil with 40% of

    limonene (Barroso et al., 2011) and Santa Fe

    (Argentina) whose major component is

    limonene (40%) (Guala et al., 2009).

    (Chamorro et al.,)

    Fig. 1. Chromatogram of essential oil from

    Schinus molle. Components: -pinene (1), -

    pinene (2), limonene (3), -ocimene (4),

    germacrene D (5), -cadinene (6), -cadinene

    (7) and epi- byciclosesquiphelandrene

    (18.6%).(Chamorro et al.,).

    Poisonous nature of plant:

    The hanging strings of little pink berries of

    this attractive ornamental tree are reputed to

    be moderately poisonous, particularly the

    seed.. The pollen, on contact or when inhaled,

    can cause dermatitis and asthmatic reactions.

    The tree also has antimicrobial, antifungal,

    piscicidal and viricidal properties. (Orwa et

    al; 2009)


    Heart wood is a dull, light red, deepening

    upon exposure and becoming more or less

    purplish and rather oily looking; the specific

    gravity (air dry) is 0.54 0.68, it is very

    easy to work and durability is high. Wood is

    termite resistance and therefore suitable for

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    posts. Bark is used as tanning of skin. (Orwa

    et al; 2009). The degree of solubility of the

    wood of S. molle in ethanol is comparatively

    low and the content of extractible substances

    of the wood of S. molle, 7.3%, is relatively

    low in comparison with the species that have

    been used in the pulp industries. (Rutiaga;

    2001). The content of holocellulose 67.3%

    and lignin is 22.2%, inorganic material 3.2%,

    in the wood of S. molle (Mejia Diaz and

    Rutiaga Quinoes ; 2008)


    Schinus molle contains anti microbial activity.

    It controls many microorganisms which are

    pathogenic in nature. It is also used for the

    repellent of certain insects. It contains many

    natural products in its essential oils. The

    further research can be carried out by

    isolation and identification of the natural

    products, quantitative and qualitative studies

    of the natural products present in the essential

    oils of the Schinus molle.


    The authors are extending their gratitude to

    Dr. P.Ashok Kumar, Department of Marine

    Biotechnology, College of Marine Science

    and Technology, Massawa, Eritrea for his

    help in the collection of literature.


    1 Abdel-Sattar E, Zaitoun AA, Farag MA,

    Gayed SH, Harraz FMH (2010).

    Chemical composition, insecticidal and

    insect repellent activity of Schinus molle

    leaf and fruit essential oils against

    Tragoderma granarium and Tribolium

    castaneum. Nat.Prod. Res., 24(3): 226-


    2 Barroso, M. S. T.; Villanueva, G.; Lucas,

    A. M.; Perez, G. P.; Vargas, R. M. F.;

    Brun, G. W. and Cassel, E.; (2011).

    Supercritical Fluid Extraction of Volatile

    and Non-Volatile Compoundsfrom

    Schinus molle L. Brazilian J. Chem.

    Engineering. 28:305312.

    3 Chamorro ER, Zambon SN, Morales

    WG, Morales WG, Sequeira AF, Velasco

    GA. Study of the chemical composition

    of Essential oils by Gas Chromatography.

    Nat. Tech University, Argentina. 15:


    4 Chopa CS, Alzogaray RA, Ferrero AA

    (2006). Repellency Assays with Schinus

    molle var. areira(L)(Anacardiaceae)

    Essential Oils against Blattella

    germanica L(Blattodea: Blatellidae).


    5 Deveci O, Suka A, Tuzun N, Kocabas

    EHE (2010). Chemical Composition,

    repellent and antimicrobial activity of

    Schinus molle L.. J. Med.plants Res.

    4(21): 2211-2216.

    6 Diaz C, Quesada S, Brenes O, Aguilar G,

    Ciccio JF (2008). Chemical composition

    of Schinus mole essential oil and its

    cytotoxic activity on tumour cell lines.

    Nat.Prod.Res., 22(17): 1521-1534.

  • Jamonline / 2(2); 2012 / 613 Madhu Babu K & Bikshal Babu K

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    7 Dikshit A, Naqvi AA, Husain A (1986).

    Schinus molle: a new source of natural

    fungitoxicant. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.,

    51(5): 1085 88.

    8 Erazo S, Delporte C, Negrete R, Garcia

    R, Zaldivar M, Ittura G, Caballero E,

    Lopez JL, Backhouse N (2006).

    Constituents and biological activities of

    Schinus polugamus. J. Ethnopharmacol.,


    9 Ferrero AA, Chopa CS, Gonzalez JOW,

    Alzogaray RA (2007). Repellence and

    Toxicity of Schinus molle Extracts on

    Blatella germanica. Fitoterpia.,


    10 Ferrero AA, Gonzalez JOW , Chopa CS

    (2006). Biological activity of Schinus

    molle on Triatoma infestans. Fititerapia ,

    77(5): 381-383.

    11 Guala, M. S.; Elder, H. V.; Perez, G. y

    Chiesa, A.; (2009). Evaluacin del Poder

    Antioxidante de Fracciones de Aceite

    Esencial Crudo de Schinus molle L.

    obtenidas por Destilacin al Vaco.