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Essential Oils from Leaves of Medicinal Plants of Brazilian Flora: Chemical Composition and Activity against Candida Species

Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Biociências, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Cidade Universitária, Recife 50670-420, Pernambuco, Brazil
Instituto Nacional do Semiárido, Campina Grande 58429-970, Paraíba, Brazil
Departamento de Química Fundamental, Centro de Ciências Exatas e da Natureza, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife 50670-901, Pernambuco, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eleni Skaltsa
Medicines 2017, 4(2), 27;
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF [298 KB, uploaded 3 May 2017]


Background: The biotechnological potential of medicinal plants from Brazilian Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest has not been extensively studied. Thus, screening programs are important in prospecting for compounds for developing new drugs. The purpose of this study was to determine the chemical composition and to evaluate the anti-Candida activity of essential oils from leaves of Hymenaea courbaril var. courbaril, Myroxylon peruiferum, and Vismia guianensis. Methods: The oils were extracted through hydrodistillation and their chemical compositions were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Antifungal activity against C. albicans, C. tropicalis, C. parapsilosis, C. glabrata, and C. krusei was evaluated by determining the minimal inhibitory (MIC) and fungicidal (MFC) concentrations. Results: The major compounds of the oils were caryophyllene oxide and trans-caryophyllene for H. courbaril; spathulenol, α-pinene, and caryophyllene oxide for M. peruiferum; and caryophyllene oxide and humulene epoxide II for V. guianensis oil. The oils showed antifungal activity against all the strains tested, and the MIC values ranged between 0.625 and 1.25 μL/mL and MFC from 0.625 to 2.5 μL/mL. Conclusion: The essential oils from the species studied have the potential to be evaluated as clinical applications in the treatment of candidiasis. View Full-Text
Keywords: essential oils; antifungal activity; Brazilian flora; Fabaceae; Hypericaceae essential oils; antifungal activity; Brazilian flora; Fabaceae; Hypericaceae
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Costa, M.D.C.M.F.; Silva, A.G.; Silva, A.P.S.; Lima, V.L.M.; Bezerra-Silva, P.C.; Rocha, S.K.L.; Navarro, D.M.A.F.; Correia, M.T.S.; Napoleão, T.H.; Silva, M.V.; Paiva, P.M.G. Essential Oils from Leaves of Medicinal Plants of Brazilian Flora: Chemical Composition and Activity against Candida Species. Medicines 2017, 4, 27.

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