Seasonal variation of volatile oil composition and antioxidant property of aerial parts of <i>Syzygium paniculatum</i> Gaertn. grown in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

<p><i>Syzygium paniculatum</i> Gaertn of the family <i>Myrtaceae</i> is a medicinal and aromatic plant. The hydrodistilled volatile oil (VO) from the aerial parts was characterised by GC-MS and Kovat’s index, while the antioxidant property was investigated using spectrophotometric techniques. Antioxidant capacities of the aerial parts VOs range from 0.12 to 0.93 mg/mL in scavenging 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radicals (DPPH<sup>•</sup>). Overall, 75 and 67 compounds were identified from the summer and winter VOs, respectively. The main compounds were α-pinene (33.13%), <i>n</i>-hexadecanoic acid (19.14%), limonene (14.26%), farnesol (14.21%), β-ocimene (13.04%), citronellol (12.67%), linoleic acid (11.50%), octahydro-1,4-dimethyl azulene (11.57%), citral (9.91%), phytol (5.07%), linolenic acid (4.85%) and thymol (2.23%). The bioavailability of citronellol, thymol, β-ocimene and linoleic acid, used as bactericidal, fungicidal and antioxidant agents in cosmetics and perfumery, suggests <i>S. paniculatum</i> potential as a natural food flavouring and source of antibiotics in this era of emerging multi-drug-resistant pathogens.</p>