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EXCLI J. 2014 Jul 17;13:772-81. eCollection 2014.

Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil from leaves of Algerian Melissa officinalis L.

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Laboratoire des Produits Bioactifs et Valorisation de la Biomasse, Ecole Normale Supérieure, BP. 92, Kouba, Algiers, Algeria.
Laboratoire de Biologie des Systèmes Microbiens. Ecole Normale Supérieure, BP. 92, Kouba, Algiers, Algeria.


The essential oil obtained from leaves of Melissa officinalis L. (Family of Lamiaceae) growing in Algeria, was investigated for its chemical composition and in vitro antimicrobial activity. The chemical composition was determined by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GC/MS and GC-FID. Sixty-three compounds were identified in the essential oil, representing 94.10 % of the total oil and the yields were 0.34 %. The major component was geranial (44.20 %). Other predominant components were neral (30.20 %) and citronellal (6.30 %). The in vitro antimicrobial activity was determined by paper disk agar diffusion testing and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) using 7 bacteria (3 Gram-positive and 4 Gram-negative), 2 yeasts and 3 fungi. The results showed that the essential oil presented high antimicrobial activity against all microorganisms targeted mainly against five human pathogenic bacteria, one yeast Candida albicans and two phytopathogenic fungi tested. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) ranged from 1.00 to 5.00 µL/mL.


Melissa officinalis; antimicrobial activity; chemical composition; essential oil; leaves


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