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Phytother Res. 2005 Jul;19(7):643-6.

Antibacterial activity of essential oils from Australian native plants.

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School of Biomedical Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Australia.


To date, of the Australian essential oils, only tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Eucalyptus spp. have undergone extensive investigation. In this study a range of Australian essential oils, including those from Anethole anisata, Callistris glaucophyllia, Melaleuca spp. and Thyptomine calycina, were assayed for in vitro antibacterial activity. M. alternifolia was also included for comparison purposes. Activity was determined using standard disc diffusion assays with each oil assayed at 100%, 10% and 1% against five bacteria (Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Alcaligenes faecalis) and the yeast, Candida albicans. All bacteria, with the exception of Ps. aeruginosa, were susceptible to one or more of the essential oils at 100%, with only Eremophilia mitchelli inhibiting the growth of any bacteria at 1% (inhibition of Sal. typhimurium). Where multiple samples of a single oil variety were tested variability in activity profiles were noted. This suggests that different methods of preparation of essential oils, together with variability in plant chemical profiles has an impact on whether or not the essential oil is of use as an antimicrobial agent. These results show that essential oils from Australian plants may be valuable antimicrobial agents for use alone or incorporated into cosmetics, cleaning agents and pharmaceutical products.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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