Composition, antimicrobial activity and in vitro cytotoxicity of essential oil from Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume (Lauraceae)

Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Nov;48(11):3274-80. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.09.001. Epub 2010 Sep 7.


The essential oil from the bark of Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume was analyzed by GC-MS and bioassays were carried out. Nine constituents representing 99.24% of the oil were identified by GC-MS. The major compounds in the oil were (E)-cinnamaldehyde (68.95%), benzaldehyde (9.94%) and (E)-cinnamyl acetate (7.44%). The antimicrobial activity of the oil was investigated in order to evaluate its efficacy against 21 bacteria and 4 Candida species, using disc diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration methods. The essential oil showed strong antimicrobial activity against all microorganisms tested. The cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of the essential oil on ras active (5RP7) and normal (F2408) fibroblasts were examined by MTT assay and acridine orange/ethidium bromide staining, respectively. The cytotoxicity of the oil was quite strong with IC(50) values less than 20 μg/mL for both cell lines. 5RP7 cells were affected stronger than normal cells. Morphological observation of apoptotic cells indicated the induction of apoptosis at the high level of the oil, especially in 5RP7 cells. The present study showed the potential antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic properties of the essential oil of cinnamon bark, indicating the possibilities of its potential use in the formula of natural remedies for the topical treatment of infections and neoplasms.

MeSH terms

  • Acrolein / analogs & derivatives
  • Acrolein / analysis
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / toxicity
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / chemistry
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / toxicity
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Benzaldehydes / analysis
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cinnamates / analysis
  • Cinnamomum zeylanicum / chemistry*
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile* / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile* / toxicity
  • Plant Bark / chemistry
  • Plant Oils* / chemistry
  • Plant Oils* / toxicity
  • Rats
  • Tetrazolium Salts / metabolism
  • Thiazoles / metabolism


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Benzaldehydes
  • Cinnamates
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Thiazoles
  • Acrolein
  • thiazolyl blue
  • cinnamyl acetate
  • cinnamaldehyde
  • benzaldehyde