Composition and antimicrobial activity of Equisetum arvense L. essential oil

Phytother Res. 2006 Jan;20(1):85-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1815.


The volatile constituents of the sterile stems of Equisetum arvense L. (Equisetaceae) were investigated for the first time using GC, GC/MS and (13)C-NMR. Twenty-five compounds were identified. Hexahydrofarnesyl acetone (18.34%), cis-geranyl acetone (13.74%), thymol (12.09%) and trans-phytol (10.06%) were the major constituents. A disk diffusion method was used for the evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of this oil against a panel of microorganisms (bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enteritidis; fungi: Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans). The 1:10 dilution of the essential oil of Equisetum arvense L. was shown to possess a broad spectrum of a very strong antimicrobial activity against all tested strains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Aspergillus niger / drug effects
  • Candida albicans / drug effects
  • Equisetum / chemistry*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Plant Components, Aerial / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Salmonella enteritidis / drug effects


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils