Chemical composition and anti-proliferative properties of Bursera graveolens essential oil

Nat Prod Commun. 2012 Nov;7(11):1531-4.


Bursera graveolens is a wild tree of commercial importance native to the Neotropics, which has been widely used in folk medicine. In the present study, the chemical composition and anti-proliferative properties of the essential oil from B. graveolens were assayed. The chemical composition of the essential oil, determined by GC-MS, was complex and dominated by limonene (26.5%). Bursera oil inhibited the growth of MCF-7 breast tumor cells as well as amastigotes of L. amazonensis, with IC50 values of 48.9 +/- 4.3 and 36.7 +/- 4.7 microg/mL, respectively. In addition, the cytotoxicity of the oil was 103.9 +/- 7.2 microg/mL against peritoneal macrophages from BALB/c mice. These results demonstrate that the essential oil from B. graveolens is a promissory antiproliferative product.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / analysis*
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / analysis*
  • Bursera / chemistry*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Parasitic Sensitivity Tests


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Oils, Volatile