The potential antifungal effects of Thymus vulgaris L., Thymus tosevii L., Mentha spicata L., and Mentha piperita L. (Labiatae) essential oils and their components against 17 micromycetal food poisoning, plant, animal and human pathogens are presented. The essential oils were obtained by hydrodestillation of dried plant material. Their composition was determined by GC-MS. Identification of individual constituents was made by comparison with analytical standards, and by computer matching mass spectral data with those of the Wiley/NBS Library of Mass Spectra. MIC’s and MFC’s of the oils and their components were determined by dilution assays. Thymol (48.9%) and p-cymene (19.0%) were the main components of T. vulgaris, while carvacrol (12.8%), a-terpinyl acetate (12.3%), cis-myrtanol (11.2%) and thymol (10.4%) were dominant in T. tosevii. Both Thymus species showed very strong antifungal activities. In M. piperita oil menthol (37.4%), menthyl acetate (17.4%) and menthone (12.7%) were the main components, whereas those of M. spicata oil were carvone (69.5%) and menthone (21.9%). Mentha sp. showed strong antifungal activities, however lower than Thymus sp. The commercial fungicide, bifonazole, used as a control, had much lower antifungal activity than the oils and components investigated. It is concluded that essential oils of Thymus and Mentha species possess great antifungal potential and could be used as natural preservatives and fungicides.
- antimicrobial activity