Chemical and ecological studies of Matricaria aurea L. in the middle region of Syria

Ali Mohamad Zayak
General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research ،Administration of Horticulture Research.
Faculty of Agriculture, Damascus University


      As the Matricaria aurea L. is the most important medicinal plants and the most commonly used in Syria, the information and data available for this plant are few or not at all. It is common that when somebody  search for information about the chamomile plant even in the local scientific papers, he will soon find  out that data and results is considering the species  Matricaria chamomile L. ,this plant is widely studied especially in European countries.
Matricaria aurea L. is considered the most available plant in the Syrian flora, and it has multi-popular uses. This was the motive to conduct this scientific study. The work focused on the plant ecology and its essential oil.
The middle region of Syria had been chosen; mainly the provinces Homs and Hama, to conduct the work .The two provinces represent large area   of Syria and have different ecological locations.
This work was carried out during 2008 – 2009. Investigation   of ecogeographic survey shows that an enormous set-back had taken place within  Matricaria aurea L. concerning its natural habitats and the severs collection of the plant, in addition to land reform into farming system.
Eight location have been selected. Plants samples were steam extracted in a shelf  manner in a four replicates for each. The results showed that in both years the highest percentage of essential oil was at the site of Hamra  at the pick of flowering stage .The amount of essential oil were 0.15% ,0.16 %  respectively (ml / 100 g dry flowers ). The results also showed the role of the interaction between the soil and the climate on the percentage of oil  in the different location.
Studying the content of the essential oil by the technique of GC/MS revealed more than a hundred compounds where the Caryophyllene oxide showed to be the main compound representing between (11-42%).
Environmental study showed that the factor of humidity has the most important effect on the essential oil quantity.
The results of the study of cultivation of Matricaria aurea L. indicated that the best date for the cultivation of the plant is from January 15 until the first of February, as the appropriate depth for cultivation of the plant should not exceed 0.5 cm .