Preservative properties of Calamintha officinalis essential oil with and without EDTA


Correspondence to: Dr A. Nostro, Dipartimento Farmaco-Biologico, Sezione Microbiologia, Facoltà di Farmacia, Università di Messina, Villaggio Annunziata, 98168, Italy (e-mail:


Aims: This study was focused on the preserving properties of Calamintha officinalis essential oil, a plant known for its diaphoretic, expectorant and aromatic properties.

Methods and Results: The commercial aerial parts of C. officinalis Moench were hydrodistilled and the essential oil analysed by Gas chromatography/Electron impact mass spectrometry (GC/EIMS) . The inhibition efficacy of this essence, alone (0·5 and 1·0% v/v) and in combination with 2·0 mM EDTA, was assayed, in culture medium and in cetomacrogol cream, using preservative efficacy testing against standard microrganisms (E. coli ATCC 25922, Ps. aeruginosa ATCC 9027, Staph. aureus ATCC 6538P, C. albicans ATCC 10231 and A. niger ATCC 16404). C. officinalis essential oil in cetomacrogol cream with EDTA showed long-lasting antimicrobial activity, satisfying the European Pharmacopoeia Commission (E. P.) criteria.

Conclusion:C. officinalis essential oil could have a potential for a future use as a cosmetic preservative.

Impact of the Study: To find natural compounds with antimicrobial activity which could be alternatives to the synthetic chemical preservatives.