Guava Leaf Essential Oil as a Potent Antioxidant and Anticancer Agent: Validated through Experimental and Computational Study

Ashok Kumar Mandal, Samrat Paudel, Anisha Pandey, Parasmani Yadav, Prateek Pathak, Maria Grishina, Mariusz Jaremko, Abdul-Hamid M. Emwas, Habibullah Khalilullah, Amita Verma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Several drugs now employed in cancer therapy were discovered as a result of anticancer drug research based on natural products. Here, we reported the in vitro antioxidant and anticancer activity followed by in silico anticancer and estrogen-like activity of Psidium guajava L. essential oil against ER-α receptors which lead to potential inhibitory action against breast cancer pathways. Methods: The bioactive compounds in guava essential oil were screened using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Similarly, the antioxidant properties of the extracted oil were evaluated using 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl scavenging assay. Furthermore, the in vitro anticancer activity of guava oil was observed through the MTT assay and an in silico molecular docking experiment was also carried out to ensure that they fit into the estrogen receptors (ERs) and possess anticancer potential. Results: The GC–MS profile of the essential oil revealed the presence of 17 chemicals, with limonene (51.3%), eucalyptol (21.3%), caryophyllene oxide (6.2%), caryophyllene (5.6%), and nerolidol (4.5%) occupying more than one-third of the chromatographic spectrum zone. Guava leaves’ essential oil (EO) inhibited DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) radicals and exhibited concentration dependent free radical scavenging activity, acting as a potent antioxidant with an IC50 value of 29.3 ± 0.67 µg/mL. The outcome of the MTT assay showed that the extracted guava oil had nearly the same efficacy against breast and liver cancer cells at a low concentration (1 µg/mL), giving 98.3 ± 0.3% and 98.5 ± 0.4% cell viability against HepG2 at 1 µg/mL, respectively. When the concentration of essential oil was increased, it showed a small reduction in the percentage of viable cells. While conducting an in silico study of all the screened compounds, the potential for hydroxycaryophyllene, caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, humulene, terpineol, and calamenene to inhibit tumor growth was bolstered due to a resemblance to 4-hydroxytamoxifen, thereby implying that these compounds may act as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). The ADME analysis of the compounds indicated above revealed that they exhibit excellent drug likeness properties and follow the Lipinski rule of five. Conclusions: Consequently, they have a substantial anticancer therapeutic potential and can be used for novel drug discovery in the effort to minimize the global burden of breast cancer.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2204
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 7 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-11-11
Acknowledgements: The APC was funded by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Prateek Pathak and Maria Grishina acknowledged that their part of the work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia (FENU-2020-0019). The authors acknowledge the Natural Product Research Laboratory, Department of Plant Resources, and the Government of Nepal for providing us the facilities to run GC–MS for study purposes.


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