Local anaesthetic, antibacterial and antifungal properties of sesquiterpenes from myrrh

Planta Med. 2000 May;66(4):356-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-8532.


We extracted, purified and characterized 8 sesquiterpene fractions from Commyphora molmol. In particular, we focused our attention on a mixture of furanodiene-6-one and methoxyfuranoguaia-9-ene-8-one, which showed antibacterial and antifungal activity against standard pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans, with minimum inhibitory concentrations ranging from 0.18 to 2.8 micrograms/ml. These compounds also had local anaesthetic activity, blocking the inward sodium current of excitable mammalian membranes.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sesquiterpenes / isolation & purification
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Terpenes / chemistry*


  • Anesthetics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Terpenes
  • myrrh oil