Monday, September 12, 2011

Antibacterial essential oils

Antibacterial essential oils recently attracted worldwide attention, because its role in a natural treatment against infection. Why is that? Infectious diseases are still a major problem in the health field. Treatment of infections with a combination of antibiotics was originally believed to be a drug which capable of destroying the microbes causing the infection. But it is also known to raise new problems of the emergence of microorganism that is multiresistant. These microbes are easily transmitted from one patient to another, especially in hospitals, which is known as nosocomial infection. The situation prompted the researchers to find new, more effective drugs to treat the infections.
Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli are the pathogen bacterium of the most attacking humans. S. aureus is a gram-positive bacterium that lives as a saprophyte on the lining membrane of the human body, the surface of the skin, sweat glands, and intestinal tract, whereas E. coli is a gram-negative bacteria are commonly found in the human colon as normal flora.
Several studies have found that the volatile compounds of betel leaf, ginger, and turmeric have activity as an antifungal and antibacterial. They are generally divided into two components, namely the class of hydrocarbon and oxygenated hydrocarbon groups. The compounds derived from oxygenated hydrocarbons (phenols) have a strong antibacterial power.
Antibacterial essential oils from basil
Basil plants contain volatile compounds, but until now has not been cultivated. In Indonesia, basil plant is used for vegetables or salad as appetite boosters. Basil plants can be used as traditional medicine, to treat fever and nausea.
Biological activity that has been studied from the basil plant, among others, as antipyretic (lowers fever), carminative, laxative, and stimulates milk glands. Basil leaves essential oil are composed of hydrocarbons, alcohols, esters, phenols (1-19% eugenol, iso-eugenol), phenolat ether (methyl clavicol 3-31%, 1-9% methyl eugenol), oxides and ketones. Based on the research of Maryati et. al (2007) from Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta, Indonesia, basil essential oil has a better antibacterial activity on E. coli than on S. aureus.
Galangal (Alpinia galanga L.)
According to the research of Parwata and Dewi (2008) from Udayana University, Indonesia, galangal essential oil is more effective inhibit E. Coli than S. aureus. From the analysis of gas chromatography-mass spectrometer showed the galangal rhizome essential oil contain at least 8 antibacterial compounds: D-limonene; Eukaliptol; 3-cyclohexene-1-ol, 4-methyl-1-(1-methylethyl); phenol,4-(2-propenyl) acetate, 2.6-octadiene-1-ol, 3.7-dimethyl acetate; 1,6,10-dodecatriene, 7.11-dimethyl-3-methylene; pentadecane; cyclohexene,1-methyl-4- (5-methyl-1-methylene-4-hexenyl).
Flowers of Lagetan (Spilanthes paniculata Wall.)
Based on the research of Soetjipto (2008) from Satya Wacana Christian University, Indonesia, essential oil of Legetan flowers showed its bacteria inhibitory activity which was stronger against gram-positive, rather than against gram-negative. The main components of of lagetan flowers successfully identified as an antibacterial essential oils is a mixture of compounds: sabinene, β-phellandrene, β-ocimene, trans-cariophyllene, 1.11 - dodecadiena, α-humulene. , 1-pentadecene and β-pinene.

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