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Antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of Origanum essential...

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Antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of Origanum essential oils.

Three Origanum essential oils, Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum, Origanum dictamnus, and a commercially available Origanum oil, were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and showed a high content of carvacrol, thymol, gamma-terpinene, and p-cymene representing 73.7%, 92.8%, and 87.78% of the total oil, respectively. The three essential oils exhibited high levels of antimicrobial activity against eight strains of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Among the major components of the three oils, carvacrol and thymol exhibited the highest levels of antimicrobial activity, while their biosynthetic precursors gamma-terpinene and p-cymene were inactive. The essential oil of 0. vulgare ssp. hirtum was extremely bactericidal at 1/4000 dilution and even at dilutions as high as 1/50000 caused considerable decrease in bacterial growth rates. The same essential oil also exhibited high levels of cytotoxicity against four permanent animal cell lines including two derived from human cancers.

Journal Title: Journal of agricultural and food chemistry.
Journal Volume/Issue: May 1996. v. 44 (5)
Main Author: Sivropoulou, A.
Other Authors: Papanikolaou, E., Nikolaou, C., Kokkini, S., Lanaras, T., Arsenakis, M.
Format: Article
Language: English
Subjects: Origanum vulgare
Origanum dictamnus
essential oils
chemical composition
terpenoids
cytotoxicity
bioassays
antibacterial properties
cell lines
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