Bioactivity of Essential Oils

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After the essential oil had been obtained from the hydrodistillation of 100 g of freshly-gathered leaves in 500ml distilled water for 8 hours, each sample was tested on microorganism cultures of Erwinia, Candida albicans and Micrococcus. Each sample of oil came from one tree. The chemical composition was determined before carrying out this antimicrobial measurement.

A 5mm diameter Whatman circle soaked with essential oil was placed in the centre of a Petri dish containing medium and microorganism. Assay plates were incubated at 27°C (±1°C) for four days. The inhibition zones obtained were measured. Table 3, shows significant but variable bioactivity. Two reference oils, commercial niaouli oil (N) and Gomenol (G), were used to compare the bioactivity of a host of M. quinquenervia oil samples with eucalyptus and Australian tea tree oil [Bouraima-Madjebi et al. 1996]. Two effects were illustrated:

1. a bacteriostatic effect shown by an opaque inhibition zone;

2. a bactericidal effect shown by a translucent inhibition zone.

The Erwinia bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects were higher than for Candida albicans. For the sample tested on Micrococcus some activities higher than Erwinia bioactivity were observed. Preliminary tests also showed some biostatic and bactericidal activity of the

Table 3 Zone of inhibition diameters (mm) for essential oil samples of M. quinquenervia: op: opaque; t: translucent; TTE: Australian Tea Tree oil; N: commercial essential oils of M. quinquenervia; G: Gomenol (pharmaceutical product); E: eucalyptus oil; Nia, JLD: samples of essential oil of niaouli tested; 8-63: samples of essential oils of M. quinquenervia

Table 3 Zone of inhibition diameters (mm) for essential oil samples of M. quinquenervia: op: opaque; t: translucent; TTE: Australian Tea Tree oil; N: commercial essential oils of M. quinquenervia; G: Gomenol (pharmaceutical product); E: eucalyptus oil; Nia, JLD: samples of essential oil of niaouli tested; 8-63: samples of essential oils of M. quinquenervia

Sample

Erwinia

Candida albicans

Micrococcus

t

op

t

op

t

op

TTF.

2,03

2,1

1,75

2,8

2,04

3,7

N

3,91

1,6

3,5

0,6

2,3

1,1

G

0,11

1

0,32

0,7

0,83

0,23

E

7

11

4

1,3

Nia

3,3

-

7,3

4

JLD

3

5

1,3

2,3

N

5,3

-

3

8

3,5

3

15

12

3,5

-

2

3,7

16

1,8

2,7

20

2

0,7

2

25

4,3

6,7

26

6,3

0,3

30

3

5

31

4

5,7

-

32

2,7

3,7

33

3

-

1,2

4,7

35

6

30

7

1

37

3,7

6,3

7

3,5

40

17,3

4

1,5

43

5,33

2,7

8,33

54

1

11

6

55

3,7

3

5

60

3,5

2,5

6

62

4

1,33

63

6

6

3

6

essential oil on Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, Escherichia colt and Agrobacterium. Many of the New Caledonian M. quinquenervia oils showed bactericidal effects equivalent to or stronger than eucalyptus and tea tree oil.

REFERENCES

Bernath, J. (1986) Production ecology of secondary plant products. In L.E.Craker and J.E.Simon (eds.), Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants: Recent Advances in Botany, Horticulture, and Pharmacology, Vol. 1, Oryx Press, Phoenix, Ariz, pp. 185-234.

Bouraïma-Madjebi, S., Trilles, B., Valet, G. and Pineau, R. (1996) Valorisation des plantes à essence de Nouvelle-Calédonie. Rapport de convention, No. 239, Productions Vegetates et Forêts/Direction du Developpement Rural., Université Française du Pacifique, Nouvelle-Caledonie, pp. 5-57.

Brophy, J.J., Boland, D.J and Lassak, E.V. (1989) Leaf Essential Oils of Melaleuca and Leptospermum species from tropical Australia. In D.J.Boland (ed.), Trees for the Tropics, ACIAR, Canberra, pp. 193-203.

Brophy, J.J. and Doran, J.C. (1996) Essential Oils of Tropical Asteromyrtus, Callistemon and Melaleuca Species. ACIAR, Canberra, pp. 76-77.

Charles, D.J. and Simon, J.E. (1990) Comparison of extraction methods for the rapid determination of essential oils content and composition of Basil. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci., 115(3), 458-462.

Dawson, J. (1992) Flore de Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances: Myrtaceae—Leptospermoï'dées. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France, p. 251.

Degrez, F. (1908) Toxicité du Gomenol et pouvoir antiseptique comparé. Faculté de Médecine de Paris.

De Souza, S., Ayedoun, M.A., Batonan, A., Ayss, J. and Akplogan, A.B. (1994) Essai d'aromatherapie par l'huile essentielle de niaouli du Benin. Revue Med. Pharm. Afr., 8(1), 23-34.

Guenther, E. (1950) The Essential Oils, Van Nostrand, New York, 4, pp. 41-44.

Lawrence, B.M. (1985) A review of the world production of essential oils (1984). Perf and Flav., 10(5), 2-16.

Ramanoelina, P.A.R. (1992) Etude de la variation de la composition chimique de 1'huile essentielle de niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora Sol ex Gaeth) de Madagascar. Thèse de Doctorat des Sciences, Université d'Aix-Marseille, France, 193pp.

Ramanoelina, P.A.R., Viano, J., Bianchini, J.-P. and Gaydou, E.M. (1994) Occurrence of various chemotypes in niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia) essential oils from Madagascar using multivariate statistical analysis . J. Agric. Food Chem., 42, 1177-1182.

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