Chemical composition and in vitro antifungal activity screening of the Allium ursinum L. (Liliaceae)

Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(2):1426-36. doi: 10.3390/ijms13021426. Epub 2012 Jan 30.


The objective of the study was to summarize the methods for isolating and identifying natural sulfur compounds from Allium ursinum (ramson) and to discuss the active constituents with regard to antifungal action. Using chromatographic techniques, the active constituents were isolated and subsequently identified. Analyses by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) suggested that these compounds were sulfur constituents, with a characteristic absorbance at 250 nm. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses allowed the chemical structures of the isolated constituents to be postulated. We adopted the same methods to identify the health-giving profiling of ramsons and the effects are thought to be primarily derived from the presence and breakdown of the alk(en)ylcysteine sulphoxide, alliin and its subsequent breakdown to allicin (sulfur-compounds of ramson) in connection with antifungal action. The aim of the study was the characterization of the chemical composition of ramsons and the testing of the action of the in vitro extracts, on different strains of Candida albicans. The main goal was to highlight the most efficient extracts of Allium ursinum that can provide long-term antifungal activity without remissions. The extracts from Allium ursinum plants, inhibited growth of Candida spp. cells at concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 4.0 mg/mL, while that of adherent cells at concentrations ranging from 1.0 to > 4.0 mg/mL, depending on the yeast and plant species.

Keywords: HPLC and GC/MS; MBC/MFC; antifungal activity; extract; ramsons.

MeSH terms

  • Allium / chemistry*
  • Antifungal Agents* / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents* / isolation & purification
  • Antifungal Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Candida albicans / growth & development*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cysteine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cysteine / chemistry
  • Cysteine / isolation & purification
  • Cysteine / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • alliin
  • Cysteine