Phytochemical analysis and in vitro antiviral activities of the essential oils of seven Lebanon species

Chem Biodivers. 2008 Mar;5(3):461-70. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.200890045.


The chemical composition of the essential oils of Laurus nobilis, Juniperus oxycedrus ssp. oxycedrus, Thuja orientalis, Cupressus sempervirens ssp. pyramidalis, Pistacia palaestina, Salvia officinalis, and Satureja thymbra was determined by GC/MS analysis. Essential oils have been evaluated for their inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV and HSV-1 replication in vitro by visually scoring of the virus-induced cytopathogenic effect post-infection. L. nobilis oil exerted an interesting activity against SARS-CoV with an IC(50) value of 120 microg/ml and a selectivity index (SI) of 4.16. This oil was characterized by the presence of beta-ocimene, 1,8-cineole, alpha-pinene, and beta-pinene as the main constituents. J. oxycedrus ssp. oxycedrus oil, in which alpha-pinene and beta-myrcene were the major constituents, revealed antiviral activity against HSV-1 with an IC(50) value of 200 microg/ml and a SI of 5.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / drug effects*
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Juniperus / chemistry*
  • Laurus / chemistry*
  • Lebanon
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Plant Structures / chemistry
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus / drug effects*
  • Vero Cells


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Oils, Volatile