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Medicines 2016, 3(4), 25;

Essential Oils’ Chemical Characterization and Investigation of Some Biological Activities: A Critical Review

UR Ecophysiologie Environnementale et Procédés Agroalimentaires, Institut Supérieur de Biotechnologie de Sidi Thabet, BiotechPole de Sidi Thabet, Université de la Manouba, Ariana 2020, Tunisia
LR11-ES31 Laboratory of Biotechnology and Valorisation of Bio-GeoRessources (BVBGR), Higher Institute of Biotechnology of Sidi Thabet (ISBST), Biotechpole Sidi Thabet, University of Manouba, Ariana 2020, Tunisia
Faculté des Sciences de Bizerte, Jarzouna-Bizerte, Université de Carthage, Carthage 7021, Tunisia
Faculty of Sciences and Arts in Balgarn, PO BOX 60 Balgarn, University of Bisha, Sabt Al Alaya 61985, Saudi Arabia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lutfun Nahar, Norazah Basar and Satyajit D. Sarker
Received: 2 March 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 2 September 2016 / Published: 22 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1124 KB, uploaded 22 September 2016]   |  


This review covers literature data summarizing, on one hand, the chemistry of essential oils and, on the other hand, their most important activities. Essential oils, which are complex mixtures of volatile compounds particularly abundant in aromatic plants, are mainly composed of terpenes biogenerated by the mevalonate pathway. These volatile molecules include monoterpenes (hydrocarbon and oxygenated monoterpens), and also sesquiterpenes (hydrocarbon and oxygenated sesquiterpens). Furthermore, they contain phenolic compounds, which are derived via the shikimate pathway. Thanks to their chemical composition, essential oils possess numerous biological activities (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, etc…) of great interest in food and cosmetic industries, as well as in the human health field. View Full-Text
Keywords: essential oils; chemical composition; biological activities essential oils; chemical composition; biological activities

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Dhifi, W.; Bellili, S.; Jazi, S.; Bahloul, N.; Mnif, W. Essential Oils’ Chemical Characterization and Investigation of Some Biological Activities: A Critical Review. Medicines 2016, 3, 25.

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