Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils

Authors


Stanley G. Deans, Aromatic and Medicinal Plant Group, Scottish Agricultural College, Auchincruive, South Ayrshire KA6 5HW, UK (e-mail: s.deans@au.sac.ac.uk)

Abstract

The volatile oils of black pepper [Piper nigrum L. (Piperaceae)], clove [Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry (Myrtaceae)], geranium [Pelargonium graveolens L'Herit (Geraniaceae)], nutmeg [Myristica fragrans Houtt. (Myristicaceae), oregano [Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum (Link) Letsw. (Lamiaceae)] and thyme [Thymus vulgaris L. (Lamiaceae)] were assessed for antibacterial activity against 25 different genera of bacteria. These included animal and plant pathogens, food poisoning and spoilage bacteria. The volatile oils exhibited considerable inhibitory effects against all the organisms under test while their major components demonstrated various degrees of growth inhibition.

Ancillary