Special Issue "Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity"

A special issue of Medicines (ISSN 2305-6320).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Lutfun Nahar

Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
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Guest Editor
Dr. Norazah Basar

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Technologi Malaysia, Malaysia
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Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Satyajit Sarker

School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
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Interests: phytochemistry; phytomedicine; phytotherapy; natuaral products synthesis; structure elucidation; NMR, HPLC, chromatography; bioassay

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Essential oils are naturally occurring volatile oils with characteristic fragrance or aroma that depends on their chemical composition and also on the sources they are extracted from. For example, essential oil extracted from clove has characteristic aroma of ‘clove oil’. Chemically, an essential oil is composed of various small molecules, including predominantly, mono- and sesquiterpenes, simple aromatic compounds and various other aliphatic compounds. Essential oils have been used extensively, not only in various cosmetics, food and related products, but also for medicinal purposes to treat various human ailments, and in aromatherapy for thousands of years. This Special Issue will compile original research articles and critical reviews on various chemical and bioactivity aspects of essential oils, mainly obtained from higher plants. Topics related to advances in methods and technologies pertinent to extraction and analysis of essential oils will also be covered.

Dr. Lutfun Nahar
Dr. Norazah Basar
Prof. Dr. Satyajit D Sarker
Guest Editors

Keywords

  • essential oil
  • volatile oil
  • composition
  • bioactivity
  • analysis
  • extraction
  • cosmetics
  • medicine
  • food products

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Chemical Composition, Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of the Volatile Oil of Ganoderma pfeifferi Bres
Received: 24 March 2016 / Revised: 18 April 2016 / Accepted: 19 April 2016 / Published: 28 April 2016
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Abstract
In a first study of the volatile oil of the mushroom basidiomycete Ganoderma pfeifferi Bres., the chemical composition and antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of the oil were investigated. The volatile oil was obtained from the fresh fruiting bodies of Ganoderma pfeifferi Bres. By [...] Read more.
In a first study of the volatile oil of the mushroom basidiomycete Ganoderma pfeifferi Bres., the chemical composition and antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of the oil were investigated. The volatile oil was obtained from the fresh fruiting bodies of Ganoderma pfeifferi Bres. By hydrodistillation extraction and analyzed by GC-MS. The antimicrobial activity of the oil was evaluated against five bacteria strains and two types of fungi strains, using disc diffusion and broth microdilution methods. In addition, the antioxidant activity of the oil was determined using DPPH assay. Four volatile compounds representing 90.5% of the total oil were identified. The majority of the essential oil was dominated by 1-octen-3-ol (amyl vinyl carbinol) 1 (73.6%) followed by 1-octen-3-ol acetate 2 (12.4%), phenylacetaldehyde 3 (3.0%) and 6-camphenol 4 (1.5%). The results showed that the Gram-positive bacteria species are more sensitive to the essential oil than Gram-negative bacteria. The oil showed strong antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus as well as Candida albicans. Moreover, the oil exhibited strong radical scavenging activity in the DPPH assay. This first report on the chemical composition and biological properties of G. pfeifferi volatile oil makes its pharmaceutical uses rational and provides a basis in the biological and phytochemical investigations of the volatile oils of Ganodermataceae species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
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Open AccessArticle Ionically Crosslinked Chitosan Hydrogels for the Controlled Release of Antimicrobial Essential Oils and Metal Ions for Wound Management Applications
Received: 13 November 2015 / Revised: 1 February 2016 / Accepted: 17 February 2016 / Published: 1 March 2016
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Abstract
The emerging problems posed by antibiotic resistance complicate the treatment regime required for wound infections and are driving the need to develop more effective methods of wound management. There is growing interest in the use of alternative, broad spectrum, pre-antibiotic antimicrobial agents such [...] Read more.
The emerging problems posed by antibiotic resistance complicate the treatment regime required for wound infections and are driving the need to develop more effective methods of wound management. There is growing interest in the use of alternative, broad spectrum, pre-antibiotic antimicrobial agents such as essential oils (e.g., tea tree oil, TTO) and metal ions (e.g., silver, Ag+). Both TTO and Ag+ have broad spectrum antimicrobial activity and act on multiple target sites, hence reducing the likelihood of developing resistance. Combining such agents with responsive, controlled release delivery systems such as hydrogels may enhance microbiocidal activity and promote wound healing. The advantages of using chitosan to formulate the hydrogels include its biocompatible, mucoadhesive and controlled release properties. In this study, hydrogels loaded with TTO and Ag+ exhibited antimicrobial activity against P. aeruginosa, S. aureus and C. albicans. Combining TTO and Ag+ into the hydrogel further improved antimicrobial activity by lowering the effective concentrations required, respectively. This has obvious advantages for reducing the potential toxic effects on the healthy tissues surrounding the wound. These studies highlight the feasibility of delivering lower effective concentrations of antimicrobial agents such as TTO and Ag+ in ionically crosslinked chitosan hydrogels to treat common wound-infecting pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
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Open AccessArticle Composition and Biological Activities of Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack Essential Oil from Nepal
Received: 10 January 2016 / Revised: 4 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 26 February 2016
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Abstract
Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack, a small tropical evergreen shrub growing in Nepal, has numerous uses in traditional medicine for treatment of abdominal pain, diarrhea, stomach ache, headache, edema, thrombosis, and blood stasis. The present study investigated the chemical composition and bioactivities of the [...] Read more.
Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack, a small tropical evergreen shrub growing in Nepal, has numerous uses in traditional medicine for treatment of abdominal pain, diarrhea, stomach ache, headache, edema, thrombosis, and blood stasis. The present study investigated the chemical composition and bioactivities of the leaf essential oil from M. paniculata from Nepal. The essential oil from leaves was obtained by hydrodistillation and a detailed chemical analysis was conducted by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The essential oil was screened for antimicrobial activity using the microbroth dilution test, for nematicidal activity against Caenorhabditis elegans, and for lethality against brine shrimp (Artemia salina). A total of 76 volatile components were identified from the essential oil. The major components were methyl palmitate (11.1%), isospathulenol (9.4%), (E,E)-geranyl linalool (5.3%), benzyl benzoate (4.2%), selin-6-en-4-ol (4.0%), β-caryophyllene (4.0%), germacrene B (3.6%), germacrene D (3.4%), and γ-elemene (3.2%). The essential oil showed no antibacterial activity, marginal antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger (MIC = 313 μg/mL), a moderate activity against A. salina (LC50 = 41 μg/mL), and a good nematicidal activity against C. elegans (LC50 = 37 μg/mL). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
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Open AccessArticle GC-MS Analysis and Preliminary Antimicrobial Activity of Albizia adianthifolia (Schumach) and Pterocarpus angolensis (DC)
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 15 January 2016 / Accepted: 18 January 2016 / Published: 28 January 2016
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Abstract
The non-polar components of two leguminoceae species Albizia adianthifolia (Schumach), and Pterocarpus angolensis (DC) were investigated. GC-MS analysis of the crude n-hexane and chloroform extracts together with several chromatographic separation techniques led to the identification and characterization (using NMR) of sixteen known [...] Read more.
The non-polar components of two leguminoceae species Albizia adianthifolia (Schumach), and Pterocarpus angolensis (DC) were investigated. GC-MS analysis of the crude n-hexane and chloroform extracts together with several chromatographic separation techniques led to the identification and characterization (using NMR) of sixteen known compounds from the heartwood and stem bark of Albizia adianthifolia and Pterocarpus angolensis respectively. These constituents include, n-hexadecanoic acid (palmitic acid) 1, oleic acid 2, chondrillasterol 3, stigmasterol 4, 24S 5α-stigmast-7-en-3β-ol 5, 9,12-octadecadienoic acid (Z,Z)-, methyl ester 6, trans-13-octadecanoic acid, methyl ester 7, tetradecanoic acid 8, hexadecanoic acid, methyl ester 9, octadecanoic acid 10, tetratriacontane 11, 7-dehydrodiosgenin 12, lupeol 13, stigmasta-3,5-diene-7-one 14, friedelan-3-one (friedelin) 15, and 1-octacosanol 16. Using agar over lay method, the preliminary antimicrobial assay for the extracts was carried out against bacterial (E. coli, P. aeruginosa, B. subtilis, S. aueus) and a fungus/yeast (C. albicans) strains. The n-hexane and chloroform extracts of A. adianthifolia showed the best activity against E. coli with minimum inhibition quantity (MIQ) of 1 µg each while the remaining exhibited moderate-to-weak activity against the test microorganisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
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Open AccessArticle Characterization and Antimicrobial Activity of Volatile Constituents from Fresh Fruits of Alchornea cordifolia and Canthium subcordatum
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 16 December 2015 / Published: 29 December 2015
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Abstract
Bacterial resistance has been increasingly reported worldwide and is one of the major causes of failure in the treatment of infectious diseases. Natural-based products, including plant secondary metabolites (phytochemicals), can be exploited to ameliorate the problem of microbial resistance. The fruit essential oils [...] Read more.
Bacterial resistance has been increasingly reported worldwide and is one of the major causes of failure in the treatment of infectious diseases. Natural-based products, including plant secondary metabolites (phytochemicals), can be exploited to ameliorate the problem of microbial resistance. The fruit essential oils of Alchornea cordifolia and Canthium subcordatum were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The essential oils were subjected to in vitro antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activity screening. Thirty-eight compounds comprising 97.7% of A. cordifolia oil and forty-six constituents representing 98.2% of C. subcordatum oil were identified. The major components in A. cordifolia oil were methyl salicylate (25.3%), citronellol (21.4%), α-phellandrene (7.4%), terpinolene (5.7%) and 1,8-cineole (5.5%). Benzaldehyde (28.0%), β-caryophyllene (15.5%), (E,E)-α-farnesene (5.3%) and methyl salicylate (4.5%) were the quantitatively significant constituents in C. subcordatum fruit essential oil. A. cordifolia essential oil demonstrated potent in vitro antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (MIC = 78 μg/mL) and marginal antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger (MIC = 156 μg/mL). C. subcordatum showed antibacterial activity against Bacillus cereus and S. aureus (MIC = 156 μg/mL) and notable antifungal activity against A. niger (MIC = 39 μg/mL). However, no appreciable cytotoxic effects on human breast carcinoma cells (Hs 578T) and human prostate carcinoma cells (PC-3) were observed for either essential oil. The antimicrobial activities of A. cordifolia and C. subcordatum fruit essential oils are a function of their distinct chemical profiles; their volatiles and biological activities are reported for the first time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
Open AccessArticle Chemotaxonomic Characterization and in-Vitro Antimicrobial and Cytotoxic Activities of the Leaf Essential Oil of Curcuma longa Grown in Southern Nigeria
Medicines 2015, 2(4), 340-349; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines2040340
Received: 11 November 2015 / Revised: 4 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 21 December 2015
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Abstract
Curcuma longa (turmeric) has been used in Chinese traditional medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for many years. Methods: The leaf essential oil of C. longa from southern Nigeria was obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The essential oil was screened [...] Read more.
Curcuma longa (turmeric) has been used in Chinese traditional medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for many years. Methods: The leaf essential oil of C. longa from southern Nigeria was obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The essential oil was screened for in vitro antibacterial, antifungal, and cytotoxic activities. The major components in C. longa leaf oil were ar-turmerone (63.4%), α-turmerone (13.7%), and β-turmerone (12.6%). A cluster analysis has revealed this to be a new essential oil chemotype of C. longa. The leaf oil showed notable antibacterial activity to Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus, antifungal activity to Aspergillus niger, and cytotoxic activity to Hs 578T (breast tumor) and PC-3 (prostate tumor) cells. The ar-turmerone-rich leaf essential oil of C. longa from Nigeria has shown potent biological activity and therapeutic promise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
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Open AccessArticle Compositional Variation and Bioactivity of the Leaf Essential Oil of Montanoa guatemalensis from Monteverde, Costa Rica: A Preliminary Investigation
Medicines 2015, 2(4), 331-339; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines2040331
Received: 22 October 2015 / Revised: 11 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 24 November 2015
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Abstract
Background: Montanoa guatemalensis is a small to medium-sized tree in the Asteraceae that grows in Central America from Mexico south through Costa Rica. There have been no previous investigations on the essential oil of this tree. Methods: The leaf essential oils of M. [...] Read more.
Background: Montanoa guatemalensis is a small to medium-sized tree in the Asteraceae that grows in Central America from Mexico south through Costa Rica. There have been no previous investigations on the essential oil of this tree. Methods: The leaf essential oils of M. guatemalensis were obtained from different individual trees growing in Monteverde, Costa Rica, in two different years, and were analyzed by gas chromatography—mass spectrometry. Results: The leaf oils from 2008 were rich in sesquiterpenoids, dominated by α-selinene, β-selinene, and cyclocolorenone, with lesser amounts of the monoterpenes α-pinene and limonene. In contrast, the samples from 2009 showed no α- or β-selinene, but large concentrations of trans-muurola-4(14),5-diene, β-cadinene, and cyclocolorenone, along with greater concentrations of α-pinene and limonene. The leaf oils were screened for cytotoxic and antimicrobial activities and did show selective cytotoxic activity on MDA-MB-231 breast tumor cells. Conclusion: M. guatemalensis leaf oil, rich in cyclocolorenone, α-selinene, and β-selinene, showed selective in vitro cytotoxic activity to MDA-MB-231 cells. The plant may be a good source of cyclocolorenone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Essential Oils’ Chemical Characterization and Investigation of Some Biological Activities: A Critical Review
Received: 2 March 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 2 September 2016 / Published: 22 September 2016
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Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
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Open AccessReview Essential Oils and Their Components as Modulators of Antibiotic Activity against Gram-Negative Bacteria
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 17 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
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Abstract
Gram-negative bacteria cause infections that are difficult to treat due to the emergence of multidrug resistance. This review summarizes the current status of the studies investigating the capacity of essential oils and their components to modulate antibiotic activity against Gram-negative bacteria. Synergistic interactions [...] Read more.
Gram-negative bacteria cause infections that are difficult to treat due to the emergence of multidrug resistance. This review summarizes the current status of the studies investigating the capacity of essential oils and their components to modulate antibiotic activity against Gram-negative bacteria. Synergistic interactions are particularly discussed with reference to possible mechanisms by which essential oil constituents interact with antibiotics. Special emphasis is given to essential oils and volatile compounds that inhibit efflux pumps, thus reversing drug resistance in Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, indifference and antagonism between essential oils/volatile compounds and conventional antibiotics have also been reported. Overall, this literature review reveals that essential oils and their purified components enhance the efficacy of antibiotics against Gram-negative bacteria, being promising candidates for the development of new effective formulations against Gram-negative bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
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Open AccessReview Essential Oils from the Malaysian Citrus (Rutaceae) Medicinal Plants
Received: 18 January 2016 / Revised: 11 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
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Abstract
This review article appraises the extraction methods, compositions, and bioactivities of the essential oils from the Citrus species (family: Rutaceae) endemic to Malaysia including C. aurantifolia, C. grandis, C. hystrix, and C. microcarpa. Generally, the fresh peels and [...] Read more.
This review article appraises the extraction methods, compositions, and bioactivities of the essential oils from the Citrus species (family: Rutaceae) endemic to Malaysia including C. aurantifolia, C. grandis, C. hystrix, and C. microcarpa. Generally, the fresh peels and leaves of the Citrus species were extracted using different methods such as steam and water distillation, Likens-Nikerson extraction, solvent extraction, and headspace solid-phase micro-extraction (HS-SPME). Most of the Citrus oils were found to be rich in monoterpene hydrocarbons with limonene (1) as the major component identified in the peels of C. aurantifolia (39.3%), C. grandis (81.6%–96.9%), and C. microcarpa (94.0%), while sabinene (19) was the major component in the peels of C. hystrix (36.4%–48.5%). In addition, citronellal (20) (61.7%–72.5%), linalool (18) (56.5%), and hedycaryol (23) (19.0%) were identified as the major components in the oil of C. hystrix leaves, C. grandis blossom and C. microcarpa leaves, respectively. The C. hystrix essential oil has been experimentally shown to have antimicrobial and antifeedant activities, while no bioactivity study has been reported on the essential oils of other Malaysian Citrus species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
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Open AccessReview Himalayan Aromatic Medicinal Plants: A Review of their Ethnopharmacology, Volatile Phytochemistry, and Biological Activities
Received: 24 December 2015 / Revised: 28 January 2016 / Accepted: 3 February 2016 / Published: 19 February 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (771 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aromatic plants have played key roles in the lives of tribal peoples living in the Himalaya by providing products for both food and medicine. This review presents a summary of aromatic medicinal plants from the Indian Himalaya, Nepal, and Bhutan, focusing on plant [...] Read more.
Aromatic plants have played key roles in the lives of tribal peoples living in the Himalaya by providing products for both food and medicine. This review presents a summary of aromatic medicinal plants from the Indian Himalaya, Nepal, and Bhutan, focusing on plant species for which volatile compositions have been described. The review summarizes 116 aromatic plant species distributed over 26 families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
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