Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of essential oils of Thymus algeriensis, Eucalyptus globulus and Rosmarinus officinalis from Morocco

J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Nov;91(14):2643-51. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4505. Epub 2011 Jul 18.


Background: The present study reports on the antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of the essential oils (EOs) of Thymus algeriensis, Eucalyptus globulus and Rosmarinus officinalis from Morocco.

Results: The composition of these species was analysed by GC-MS, and 65 components were identified. Eucalyptus globulus EO showed a great similarity with EOs from other regions, with 1,8-cineole (79.85%) the major component. Also rich in this constituent was Rosmarinus officinalis (43.99%). However, the chemical profile of Thymus algeriensis was rather different, and for the first time such a high content of borneol (23.48%) has been described in this EO. The antimicrobial activity of these species has also been studied against seven pathogenic and spoiling bacteria of significant importance. According to the results, Thymus algeriensis showed the best bacteriostatic and bactericidal effect, followed by Eucalyptus globulus and Rosmarinus officinalis.

Conclusions: As far as we know this is the first time that minimum inhibitory and bactericidal concentration values have been reported for Eucalyptus globulus EO. Our data support the possible use of this EO as well as Thymus algeriensis EO, as potential natural agents in preservatives for food and pharmaceutical products.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Camphanes / analysis
  • Camphanes / chemistry
  • Cyclohexanols / analysis
  • Cyclohexanols / chemistry
  • Eucalyptol
  • Eucalyptus / chemistry*
  • Food Preservatives / chemistry
  • Food Preservatives / pharmacology
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Monoterpenes / analysis
  • Monoterpenes / chemistry
  • Morocco
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Plant Components, Aerial / chemistry
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical / chemistry
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical / pharmacology
  • Rosmarinus / chemistry*
  • Thymus Plant / chemistry*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Camphanes
  • Cyclohexanols
  • Food Preservatives
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical
  • rosemary oil
  • isoborneol
  • Eucalyptol