In vitro antagonistic activity of monoterpenes and their mixtures against 'toe nail fungus' pathogens

Phytother Res. 2003 Apr;17(4):376-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1164.


The antibiotic effect of the active ingredients in Meijer medicated chest rub (eucalyptus oil, camphor and menthol) as well as the inactive ingredients (thymol, oil of turpentine, oil of nutmeg and oil of cedar leaf) were studied in vitro using the fungal pathogens responsible for onychomycosis, such as the dermatophytes Tricophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum canis, Epidermophyton fl occosum and Epidermophyton stockdale. The zones of inhibition data revealed that camphor (1). menthol (2). thymol (3). and oil of Eucalyptus citriodora were the most efficacious components against the test organisms. The MIC(100) for mixtures of these four components in various carrier solvents revealed that formulations consisting of 5 mg/mL concentrations of each have a potential to be efffective in controlling onychomycosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthrodermataceae / drug effects*
  • Camphor*
  • Epidermophyton / drug effects
  • Eucalyptus*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Methanol
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Microsporum / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Onychomycosis / drug therapy*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use
  • Plant Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use
  • Trichophyton / drug effects


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Plant Oils
  • Plant Preparations
  • Camphor
  • Methanol