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Phytother Res. 2017 Oct;31(10):1475-1494. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5880. Epub 2017 Aug 7.

Plants of the Melaleuca Genus as Antimicrobial Agents: From Farm to Pharmacy.

Author information

1
Phytochemistry Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2
Young Researchers and Elites Club, North Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.
3
Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, Milan State University, via Beldiletto 1/3, Milan, 20142, Italy.
4
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Avicenna Tajik State Medical University, Rudaki 139, 734003, Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
5
Department of Botany, Lahore College for Women University, Jail Road Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan.
6
Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
7
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
8
Department of Medical Parasitology, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, 61663-335, Iran.
9
Rehabilitation College of Iran Medical Science University, Tehran, Iran.
10
Department of Range and Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran.
11
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Milan State University, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

Plants belonging to Melaleuca genus (Myrtaceae family) are native to Oceania, where they have been used for ages by Aborigine people in Australian traditional medicine, mainly because of their broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. Although, M. linariifolia, M. dissitiflora, and other species of Melaleuca can also be used, the tea tree oil, an essential oil obtained from M. alternifolia shows the longest history of medicinal uses. Tea tree oil contains for the 80-90% several monoterpenes (terpinen-4-ol, α-terpinene, 1,8-cineol, p-cymene, α-terpineol, α-pinene, terpinolene, limonene, and sabinene). Sesquiterpenes and aromatic compounds further compose this oil. The essential oil of Melaleuca spp. has been reported to possess effective antibacterial and antifungal properties in vitro. In particular, data show that 1,8-cineol, terpinen-4-ol and methyl eugenol play the key role in mediating this oil's antimicrobial activity.

KEYWORDS:

Australian traditional medicine; Myrtaceae; methyl eugenol; tea tree oil; terpinen-4-ol, 1,8-cineol

PMID:
28782167
DOI:
10.1002/ptr.5880
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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